NEWPORT parents are angry after changes made to their school transport and catchment areas will see new pupils forced to different school or pay to travel.

Caldicot high school pupils travelling from Llanmartin will now have to pay approx £400 to travel on a public bus to school after Newport City Council made changes to its secondary school catchment policies following public consultation in 2013.

As a result, Llanmartin’s catchment secondary school will be Llanwern High from this September.

Traditionally some parents have applied for their children to go out of county to Caldicot comprehensive and they have continued to be accepted despite the catchment change.

Children already attending Caldicot from Llanmartin will continue to receive free transport.

From this September, pupils going to Caldicot for the first time would not be eligible for free transport.

A spokeswoman for Newport City Council said: “Newport City Council is required to consult on its proposed school admission arrangements one year in advance of them coming into force.

“Our consultation on admission arrangements for September 2015 began on 9 December 2013.

“Neighbouring authorities and Newport Schools were communicated with about this and provided a link to the consultation document which itself included links to the proposed maps and information showing that Llanmartin’s secondary cluster school would be Llanwern High.

“We asked head teachers to consider advising parents about the consultation by posting the details, and the relevant links, on school websites and in newsletters.

“More than 41 separate responses were received, all relating to the primary school catchment areas proposal, before it closed on 31 January 2014.

“A formal decision on the amended proposals was then made by the cabinet member and notification provided of the determined arrangements.”

But parents are unhappy with the changes which will see siblings starting school in September to attend a different school from their brother or sister.

Parent Liz Short met with Newport council representatives and school governors who said the decision is now extant and operational and cannot be overturned.

“They confirmed that they followed all the protocols that they needed to,” she said.

“That the email was sent to our head teacher with the consultation papers advising her she may want to inform parents.

“Our only options now are to send our children to Llanwern High our cluster school and receive free transport.

“That would mean my children in separate schools, or pay approx £380 - £400 a year to Caldicot School if there is a space on the bus.”

A spokeswoman from Caldicot school said: “Caldicot School was alerted to the Llanmartin transport issue approximately two weeks ago [early March] by Monmouthshire County Council and several Llanmartin parents.

“The head teacher has informed governors and spoken with MCC about these concerns.

“The Local Authority is now dealing with them.”