CHANGING secondary school catchment areas in parts of Monmouthshire would reverse “decades of unfairness”, a councillor has said.

The shake-up aims to send children to their closest school, while also giving those currently living in the catchment area of schools in neighbouring authorities, a greater chance of going to a Monmouthshire school, from September 2020.

Under the proposals, Usk Church in Wales Primary School and Goytre Fawr Primary School would be realigned to Monmouth Comprehensive and King Henry VIII in Abergavenny respectively.

Both schools currently fall within the catchment of Caerleon Comprehensive in neighbouring Newport, arrangements that were in place when Councillor Laura Jones was growing up in Usk.

Speaking at a meeting of the children and young people select committee, the Conservative councillor said: “For me it’s been decades of unfairness.

“I had no choice and I was almost forced to go to Caerleon. I wouldn’t have been able to get transport to go to Monmouth Comprehensive if I wanted to go there, which I did. I think it’s completely unfair that residents and children in Usk don’t have a choice.”

The review also proposes to bring Llandogo Primary and Trellech Primary within reach of Monmouth Comprehensive. Opinion has been split over the review, with parents on both sides of the debate fearing change, or no change, could see their children split from friends and siblings.

But the meeting on March 22 was told proposals have been backed by most people who had taken part in the consultation.

Councillor Richard John, cabinet member for education, said: “If you live in Monmouthshire, pay council tax in Monmouthshire you elect councillors to take decisions about school funding, you should be able to send your children to a Monmouthshire school.”

Labour councillor Tudor Thomas described the subject as an emotive one, adding that the council was “between a rock and a hard place”.

The council’s cabinet will vote on the proposals on April 3.