PRESSURE is mounting on Monmouthshire County Council to grant permission for an extra reception class at an oversubscribed school amid growing anger over the admissions policy.

High demand for places at Gilwern Primary School near Abergavenny has meant 17 local children – many of whom already have siblings at the school – will miss out.

Monmouth MP David Davies has been contacted by furious parents whose children face refusal for admission in September, despite living in the catchment area.

It is understood 17 of the 47 applicants were turned down.

“Gilwern is a popular village and school provision is essential to accommodate the increasing number of families in the area,” said Mr Davies.

“It is very concerning to hear that 17 of the 47 applicants, many of whom live near Gilwern Primary School or have siblings currently in attendance, have been refused a place for reception due to oversubscription.

“I am told the majority of the children have also attended Hopscotch Nursery, which is situated on the same site as Gilwern Primary School, and are familiar with the environment.

“One parent had their application turned down due to living “too far” from the school. However, it seems the mapping software used by the council to determine the catchment area has not taken into account the surrounding footpaths, which would significantly reduce the overall distance from home to school.”

Mr Davies said it was his understanding that the headteacher had requested the provision of an additional reception class to accommodate the higher number of applicants for 2024/25, but this has been rejected by Monmouthshire County Council.

“If Gilwern Primary School is willing to accommodate the children, this could have offered a solution to the many families now facing a logistical nightmare of having siblings in different schools or their children having to attend schools further away,” he said.

“I have written to Cllr Martyn Groucutt, cabinet member for education, asking him to ensure admission appeals are looked into favourably with the view to granting permission for an additional reception class to be established at the school.”