A NEW nursery will open at a Newport primary school in September, in a shake-up which will also cut 63 pupil places from classrooms.

The number of children attending Malpas Church in Wales (CIW) Primary has been decreasing over the past five years, leaving one-in-five places surplus, according to a city council report.

The local authority has forecast that pupil numbers will fall even more in the coming years, leaving just 243 children enrolled in the 2026/27 academic year – down from 367 nine years previously.

That means pupil numbers will have fallen by a third in nearly a decade, unless changes are made.

The council has acknowledged the drop in numbers “will make planning and managing the school difficult, and potentially leave parts of the school unused”.

This is “not cost-effective”, the council has warned.

In a bid to stabilise the school’s pupil numbers, the council and the governing body have agreed to reduce the capacity from 378 to 315 pupils with effect from September.

The school will also open a new nursery a year later.

Newport Council noted Malpas CIW is “the only primary school in the Newport High cluster that does not benefit from an attached nursery class”.

Opening a new nursery will “support positive transition” into school education “for very young learners”.

The cost of opening the new nursery will come from the school’s revenue budget and is “not expected to be significant”, the council said.

If the nursery was to fill all its places, when it opens, this would generate £40,000 in the first year, rising to £70,000 afterwards.

Councillor Deb Davies, the cabinet member for education and early years, signed off on the proposals on Friday (April 12).