NEWPORT'S Llanwern High School will be closed on Thursday due to a strike by members of the NASUWT teachers' union.

The staff in the union are striking over "unnecessary" staff restructuring, which they say could lead to job losses.

Thursday's strike will be the first of three planned days of action at the school.

Newport City Council has confirmed the school's closure and called the strike plans "disappointing".

But Chris Keates, the acting general secretary of NASUWT, said the teacher's union is "concerned that redundancies will not only leave teachers without their livelihoods, but will also undermine the provision of high-quality education for pupils".

Ms Keates called any redundancies avoidable, and said "the retention of skilled, experienced and dedicated teachers" was even more important given the upcoming reforms of the curriculum in Wales.

“We have made every effort to work with the Employer to try to resolve this dispute and we regret any disruption to pupils or parents, but members cannot stand by while their jobs are being placed in jeopardy," she added.

In a statement, a Newport council spokeswoman said restructuring at Llanwern High could cut two teaching jobs due to compulsory redundancies.

She said the council would try to mitigate this by "seeking redeployment opportunities".

Thursday's strike, the council said, would "result in pupils losing important teaching and learning time, which is essential to their education".

"We are particularly concerned for those pupils who are studying for their GCSEs and A-level examinations," the council spokeswoman added. "This is a critical time for year 11 and 13 learners in particular."

Jane Setchfield, NASUWT's national executive member for the South East Wales region, said the union was "committed to further negotiations, but the employer must commit to protecting the livelihoods of our members, rather than continuing to place their jobs in jeopardy".

She said NASUWT members at Llanwern High "should not be experiencing the distress and anxiety of not knowing what the future holds for them and their families".

Ms Setchfield called on the local authority to "find an alternative way forward which safeguards teachers’ jobs and upholds the provision of quality education for all pupils at the school”.

Around 900 pupils attend Llanwern High School. In November it was judged to have made "sufficient progress" on recommendations made at its most recent Estyn inspection, and was removed from the inspectors' list of schools in Wales requiring significant improvement.