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Guide to Schools in Newport

Moving to a new city as a family can be a difficult time, especially with younger ones in tow. Not only do you have to deal with sorting out your home removals and acclimatising to a new area, but, more importantly, trying to place your child in a new school.

Studies show that a quarter of parents in the UK move houses specifically to enter into a good school’s catchment area. But when your child will be spending an average of 195 days per year in school, for the majority of their formative years, it’s understandable that it should be a driving factor in your decision.

If you’re planning on relocating to Newport, there are a number of primary and secondary schools that provide excellent care and educational opportunities.

However, with some of the most oversubscribed schools in Wales, to ensure your child’s place at the right school in Newport, it’s vital that you plan ahead and plan early.

In our Small Move Company Guide to Schools in Newport, we cover all the essential information on primary and secondary schooling, as well as the admissions process, to help you find the right school for your child.

Guide to Schools in Newport

Finding the Right School in Swindon

Catchment Area

When it comes to school admissions, it’s all about location, location, location, as catchment area is the main criteria that dictate whether or not your child gets a spot as a specific school.

It’s only natural then, that access to certain schools may dictate where you decide to live in Newport, and then the process of narrowing down your children’s school choices evolves to become equally as time-consuming as your search for your new home. In fact, it’s not out of the ordinary to find parents browsing over Ofsted reports and specifications for a potential new home with equal intensity. 

Even if it does seem preemptive, the earlier you begin to start narrowing down a selection of schools, the sooner you can begin the application process and the more likely your child is to get their place. Start researching schools as soon as you can and developing a shortlist of schools that you would be happy for your child to attend. If you live nearby, you could even arrange a visit to see the school in person.

We’ve compiled a shortlist of some of the best ranked primary and secondary schools in Newport below, but there are also a number of online resources you can use to research schools and their catchment areas.

The Welsh Government runs the service, My Local School, where you can search for schools by postcode and view a back catalogue of performance data, and the Ofsted website allows you to search through the reports of specific schools here.

Now is the best time to start researching admissions criteria, and what other things you and your child can do to combat oversubscription rates.

Bear in mind, if you’re applying to an independent or private school, who act as their own admissions authorities, you may need to meet different requirements than catchment. Rougemont School, for instance, requires students entering comprehensive to pass an admissions assessment, and those wishing to attend their sixth form to meet certain minimum grades. For independent schools, and for Newport’s voluntary aided faith schools, it is best to contact the school directly for admissions information and applications.

Type of School

Whilst league table performance gives a great indication of the general success of a school, the learning environment that best suits your child will be highly subjective. You may find that your child is best placed in a different learning environment.

Newport offers a range of faith-based, independent, specialist and alternative primary and secondary schools. Including 3 Welsh-medium primary schools and 1 Welsh-medium secondary school, which you can learn more about on the Council’s Welsh in Education page

For children with special educational needs, Newport Council can offer aid both inside mainstream schooling and within a specialist school. And for children with Autism applying for a school place in 2018, applications are open for a school built specially for children aged up to 19, with ASD.

League Tables

League tables, often based on a mix of predicted and obtained exam performance and various inspection reports, can be used as a useful marker on the overall performance of a school, and the type of educational environment they can offer your child. 

These are often released every year by various independent and governmental bodies, as well as being widely reported on by local newspapers, which are great to look through for advice.

We’ve looked at the performance tables from a number of national school guides, newspapers and Ofsted ratings and compiled a list of the 5 best comprehensive and primary state schools in Newport.

You can find a comprehensive list of Newport’s Primary Schools on the Council website here and Newport’s Secondary Schools here.

The Best Primary Schools in Newport

  1. Clytha Primary School
  2. St. David’s Primary School
  3. Glan Usk Primary School
  4. Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Teyrnon
  5. St Michael's Rc Primary School

The Best Secondary Schools in Newport

  1. St. Joseph's R.C. High School
  2. Bassaleg School
  3. Caerleon Comprehensive School
  4. Croesyceiliog School
  5. St. Julian’s School

Where Your Child Fits In Best

When you have created a shortlist of a few schools, it’s wise to contact their administration office to gauge the likelihood of a successful application. Often this can give you an idea of whether the school will be oversubscribed and if there’s a high potential your application may be declined.

One of the most important things in this process is to create a dialogue with your child about what they may want. Visiting the schools you’ve chosen so far together allows your child to see whether they would feel happy or can see themselves fitting in there. You may find that this changes the order of preference.

Throughout this process it’s advised to keep your child enrolled wherever they are currently, to ensure they don’t miss any school if the moving day is pushed back

Although Newport Council tries to guarantee every child gets a place where they have expressed a preference, it’s also worth bearing in mind that your child may not get their first place school. It is important that you do not encourage your child to believe that a place will be available to them at any particular school before you have received your decision.

The Admissions Process for Newport Schools

Newport Council coordinates all state-funded schools online, meaning that you can apply to a number of schools through one channel, rather than multiple access points. Although for sixth form places, they ask that you apply directly to the school.

Unless you’ve timed your move perfectly, it’s more than likely that you’ll be moving your child outside of the typical admission dates, in which case you’ll need to make an in –year application.

Both the dates and information on the application process for applying within regular school year admissions and in-year transfers can be found on the Newport Council website here. Although it is also worth reading a number of their online resources on admissions before proceeding to the application pages for infant and primary, or secondary schools

It’s important to remember that you can express a preference for up to three schools, including your catchment school, where you will receive priority, though not guaranteed, placement. The more schools you indicate you would be happy for your child to attend, the more likely the chance of them getting a school place in one of those three schools. As children whose parents have expressed a preference for a school will be given priority over children whose parents have not.

For more information on moving to Newport, or for a cracking quote on a home removals service, call us for a chat on 01633 481391.

Guides to Newport