A NEW Welsh-medium ‘seedling’ school will open its doors in Newport in September.

The Welsh Government gave the go-ahead to plans to open a temporary school at Maindee Primary School.

It will begin with 17 pupils in a nursery reception class, to help cope with the increasing demand for Welsh-medium provision in the city centre.

Councillor David Atwell, cabinet member for education and young people, said: “Maindee Primary School is renowned for its inclusive ethos and this will provide opportunities for both sets of pupils to do some activities together.

"This could possibly include some joint project work or occasional events.

“A comprehensive service level agreement between the two schools and the council will set out all the arrangements to ensure the efficient running of both schools.

“This is a ground-breaking concept which was developed by the city council to meet the growing demand for Welsh medium education in the city.”

A new Welsh-medium school is needed in Newport because the two existing schools – Ysgol Gymraeg Casnewydd in Ringland and Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael in Bettws – are already over their capacity for foundation phase pupils and will not be able to cope with increasing demand past 2011.

The seedling school is expected to be open for a maximum of three years, which will give the council the opportunity to consider plans for a permanent location for a third school under its 21st Century Schools Programme.

Until then the temporary school will operate under its own name, identity, governors and staff.