A ROW has broken out between two Gwent councils over proposed changes to the catchment area of a Newport school.

Newport City Council is proposing to change Caerleon Comprehensive School’s catchment area to remove Ponthir, Usk and Goytre schools.

The proposed changes aim to “maximise the number of secondary school places available for Newport residents” and would align the authority with Monmouthshire council’s admission arrangements.


But parents at Ponthir Church in Wales primary school in Torfaen have raised concerns over the plan, which would mean its pupils would no longer be able to go to the Caerleon school.

Torfaen council has formally objected, and says the proposal to bring the changes into effect from September 2021 would not allow time for it to carry out its own consultation.

A Torfaen council report on admission arrangements for September 2021 says the authority has again asked for the implementation date of the proposals to be pushed back.

“Torfaen has again asked that Newport City Council recognise the time required to complete that process and specifically that it cannot be achieved for September 2021,” the report says.

If the changes are approved, Torfaen council says it would have to carry out a consultation on changes to its catchment areas.

At a meeting earlier this month, Torfaen councillor David Yeowell said it is “a most unsatisfactory situation.”

He said he was ‘disappointed’ by a reply from Newport council to the authority’s objection because it “fundamentally misses the point” over the time frame of the proposed changes.

“I think they (Newport council) are acting very much as if they have already won the decision but we can’t take that chance,” he said.

“That is playing silly so-and-sos.”

Conservative councillor Huw Bevan said he was also “genuinely concerned about the developments.”

A report going before Torfaen council’s executive member for education on Friday says it would be ‘premature’ for the authority to propose changes before Newport council has made a decision on its plans.

Newport council confirmed the changes are still planned to become effective from September 2021 if approved.

“This decision has not been ratified yet,” a Newport council spokesman said.

“Consultation with cabinet and members is still ongoing and all responses will be considered before a final decision is made.”