CALLS to block the nursery at a new Abergavenny school from being privately-run have been rejected by Monmouthshire council.

Cllr Martyn Groucutt submitted a motion rejecting a private nursery as part of the plan.

The motion says: “It rejects the view that the year of children’s nursery education on this new school site should be provided by private provision that will not be under the control of the school’s leadership team. 

“Further, this should have formed part of the public consultation, rather than this being based on the provision of maintained education from four to 19 years old.” 

A consultation has just concluded on plans for a new all-through school in Abergavenny on the site of King Henry VIII School.

Under the plans, the school would cater for 30 nursery pupils, 420 primary pupils, 1,200 students aged 11-16 and 200 sixth formers.


The proposal is for the four to 19 element of the school to be maintained by the council, however the consultation considered plans for the nursery element to be non-maintained – separate from the school – which could include a private day nursery or playgroup.

Cllr Jo Watkins said she was supportive of the motion.

She said: “I have grave concerns that we appear to be reducing the amount of state nursery provision in Monmouthshire.

“Monmouthshire already has a much lower rate of state nursery provision than our neighbouring counties.”

However, the cabinet member for education, Cllr Paul Pavia, described the motion as “misleading” and said he was “bemused” at what it was trying to achieve.

He said: “ We’ve just concluded a nine week consultation on the governance arrangements for the new school that was the opportunity for the Labour group to raise concerns on any aspect of those arrangements. 

“I know the member has been deeply engaged in this consultation process and I am sure he has submitted a response.

“I have no doubt those concerns would have been raised as part of that response.”

Cllr Pavia said he couldn’t give a lot of detail because the consultation had only just concluded.

He admitted that the non-maintained setting has been considered as part of the consultation process because “it’s the right thing to do”.

He said: “It offers families the opportunities to access wrap-around childcare –  a significant benefit for working families and it aligns to the 30 hours free childcare offer.

“Non-maintained settings do provide the most flexible early childhood care offer.”

The post-consultation report will be presented to scrutiny in September, which will give more details on what the views from the consultation are.

Currently no decisions on the nursery provision have been made.