Newport by numbers

10th February 2006 at 00:00
POLITICS

Unitary authority created in 1996 - and a city since 2002 - at mouth of most easterly Welsh valley. Fifteen minutes by M4 from Cardiff. Formerly part of Gwent. Eighth-largest authority and third-largest urban area in Wales. Labour-controlled: Lab 31, Con 11, Lib Dem 6, Plaid Cymru 1 and Ind 1.

PEOPLE

Population about 140,000. Extremes of wealth: five wards among 100 richest in Wales, four among 100 most deprived. About 5% from ethnic minorities, mainly Pakistani, Bengali, Somali and Yemeni.

JOBS

High job losses in recent years through closures of traditional manufacturing industries, notably steelworks, but recent growth in service and electronic industries, with national and international companies such as Asda and Panasonic moving in. More than three-quarters now in service sector - nearly one-third of it in public services. Only 17% in manufacturing; less than 4% in building; 2.8% claim jobseekers' allowance.

SCHOOLS AND PUPILS

25,000 pupils in maintained schools (one 3-18 independent, Rougemont, near border with Torfaen ): 12 infant, 12 junior, 29 primaries and 8 secondaries. One Welsh-medium primary; older pupils attend Welsh-medium secondary in neighbouring authority. Maintains one special school, one pupil-referral unit and education unit attached to hospital. Primary pupils on free school meals: about 24% (Welsh average 19%). Just over 2,000 pupils have English as a second language. About 150 are from asylum-seeker families.

ATTENDANCE

Continuing to improve but still just below 90% in secondaries last academic year. Unauthorised absence in secondaries, at 2.1%, higher than Welsh average (1.7%). Exclusion rates high: 41 permanent and 1,480 temporary last academic year.

RESULTS

49% of 16-year-olds achieved five A-C grades in 2005 (Welsh average 52%), but only 1.6% left full-time education without a qualification (Wales 2%).

Newport's share of pupils achieving required levels at key stage 1 and 2 in three core subjects of English, maths and science is among highest in Wales.

FUNDING

Total local education authority budget in 2005-6 is pound;103m. Gross spending per pupil is pound;4,162 per pupil, 16th out of the 22 Welsh authorities, up 5.7% on previous academic year.

STAYING-ON RATE

High: 73% of 16-year-olds continuing in education or training and 8% start work-based training. Two-thirds of 18-year-old pupils go to university or FE.

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