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Newport primary school to expand after new homes put pressure on crowded classrooms

Tredegar Park Primary School in Newport (Pic: Google)

A PRIMARY school in Newport will expand into a nearby community centre under plans to welcome 105 more pupils.

Three new housing developments in the west of the city will put extra pressure on classroom sizes in schools which are already at capacity, Newport Council has warned.

Cllr Deb Davies, the cabinet member for education, signed off on the plan, on Monday (May 13), to increase the capacity of Tredegar Park Primary School from 420 to 525 pupils.

The first additional spaces will be available from September this year, after no legal objections were lodged to the plan during a recent public consultation.

According to a council report, the new housing developments will place “significant pressure on the availability of school places in the John Frost School cluster”.

A headcount in October 2023 revealed there were just five spaces available in reception classes across the whole cluster area.

Other schools which feed into John Frost are “either not suitable, too far away or are already being considered for expansion under alternative projects”, the council said.

The growth of Tredegar Park Primary, in Duffryn, is only possible by using part of the nearby Forest Family Centre and making “some adaptations to existing space within the main school building”.

Newport Council will receive £1 million of Welsh Government grant funding to carry out the necessary works.

The 75 new spaces will be added incrementally, with 15 extra pupils able to join the reception class each year until September 2030.

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Estyn school inspectors were impressed when visiting Tredegar Park Primary in October 2022, describing a “caring school with support for pupil well-being at its heart”.

The school’s curriculum “encourages aspiration for pupils” and there is a “strong emphasis on supporting the well-being of pupils and providing them with the vital skills they need for their futures”.

The inspectors concluded Tredegar Park Primary “provides good value for the parents who send their children to the school”.