FAQs - Welsh-medium primary school and relocation of Pill primary school

Welsh-medium primary school

Q: Does Newport need another Welsh-medium primary school?

A: There are three Welsh-medium primary schools in Newport and they are almost full.  Welsh Government is committed to increasing the number of Welsh speakers across Wales, and a fourth Welsh-medium primary school will support this. Opening this new school in the west of the city ensures that the Welsh-medium schools are locally available for more families.

Currently 5% of pupils access Welsh-medium primary education. In a recent parent survey 16% of respondents stated a preference for their child to attend a Welsh-medium primary school. 

Q: Will catchment areas for Newport’s Welsh-medium primary schools change?

A: Yes, to accommodate the fourth Welsh-medium primary school the existing catchment areas will change. Proposed catchment areas have been designated according to proposed school capacities but are not final until the proposal is determined. 

View the proposed Welsh-medium primary catchment areas

Q: One of my children is in Year 1 at a Welsh-medium primary school in Newport. My other child is due to start Reception in September 2020. With the change of Welsh-medium catchment areas, how can I guarantee both of my children will be in the same school?

A: There is no guarantee of admission to a chosen school, even if it is the catchment school. The proposed establishment of a fourth Welsh-medium primary school means that Welsh-medium catchment areas will be re-defined. Reception places for academic year 2020/21 will be considered under the new proposed catchment areas if the proposal goes ahead.

Parents affected by the re-defined catchment areas can still make an application for their preferred school.

Where a school is oversubscribed the council’s over-subscription criteria will be applied to determine priority, and those who have siblings already attending the preferred school will receive a higher priority.

View priority criteria in the School Admissions Policy 2020/21 (pdf)  

Q: Could the new Welsh-medium primary school be established somewhere else in Newport?

A: The council wants to establish the new Welsh-medium primary school in the centre or west of the city to meet demand and ensure that children seeking a Welsh-medium education can go to a school near their home. The Pillgwenlly Primary School site was considered to be the best of the options available.  

Q: Where is the funding coming from and why can’t it be used for   Newport's English-medium schools?

A: The funding is being provided by Welsh Government through a specific Welsh-medium Capital Grant and is only available to support expansion in Welsh-medium education provision. 

Pill Primary School

Q: How far will the new school build be from the current Pill primary school?

A: The new school site is located off Mendalgief Road, less than a mile away from the current Pill school. 

Q: Will I have time to take my children to the new school building and drop other children to different schools, playgroups etc?

A: Pill Primary School offers a breakfast club and after school club for children. The council is looking into other ways to help parents taking children to and from school, such as a walking bus. One of the reasons for the proposal to expand Pill Primary is to create more spaces so that siblings can attend the same school and avoid multiple drop-offs. 

Q: Mendalgief Road can be busy, will safe crossing points be put in place?

A: As part of this proposal council officers will consider measures to ensure Mendalgief Road is safe for pedestrians to cross. 

Q: Why can’t Pill Primary School remain in its current location and the new Welsh-medium school be built on the new site?

A: Pill Primary School is full with a waiting list for all year groups and some children who live in the catchment area have to attend other schools meaning that sometimes brothers and sisters are unable to attend the same school.

We want to make the school bigger so that it can take more children but the current site is not big enough to be expanded.

Moving Pill Primary School to the new building on the larger site will increase school capacity allowing more pupils from the Pillgwenlly area to attend their catchment school.

If the new Welsh-medium primary school were to open in the new building much of the new school would remain vacant for some years until the school population matures and all classes are occupied.