Tag Archives: Education

Parents win fight over school catchment area changes

From The Argus

School Catchment Map

Controversial plans to change secondary school catchment areas and cut primary school class sizes have been abandoned.

The proposals rallied opposition from thousands of parents who said good primaries would be forced to close, and secondary pupils would be separated from friends and forced to travel hours a day, if the changes went ahead.

But in a dramatic climbdown following a public consultation – and months of petitions and threats of legal challenges from parents – Brighton and Hove city council announced a report is recommending it scrap all of the controversial aspects of the plans.

Benfield and Hertford primary schools will remain two-form entry, and no secondary catchment areas will change. Four of the city’s secondary schools will take extra pupils over the next few years, to accommodate the demographic “bulge” which was the reason for the proposed changes.

The U-turn was greeted with joy by campaigners. Parent Dave Boyle, who organised opposition to the plan, said: “I’m sorry we’ve had to spend so much time becoming education policy experts over the last six months, but I’m thrilled the council has now made the right decision.”

The decision also cancels the planned creation of an additional secondary school on the site of Brighton General hospital, which had been pencilled in for September 2019.

The chair of the children, young people and skills committee, Councillor Dan Chapman, said: “In the circumstance we are now facing, I believe that the benefits of leaving the catchment areas as they are outweigh the possible benefits of the changes that were proposed.”

He added: “Taking these changes in circumstances into consideration our administration believes that the new free school, as proposed in 2015, is no longer in the best interests of the city as a whole.

“We have therefore advised the University of Brighton Academies Trust that we have withdrawn the in-principle support for the new school.”

Green education spokeswoman Councillor Alex Phillips and Conservative education spokeswoman Councillor Vanessa Brown both told The Argus it was a shame that secondary school heads – who latterly said they could accommodate more pupils – had not said the same to the council before the lengthy and costly consultation started.

A statement issued by Richard Bradford, Headteacher of Dorothy Stringer School and Chair of the Secondary School Partnership, read: “We welcome the council’s willingness to take on board the feedback we have given them about school places, and their flexibility in responding to a rapidly changing situation.

“We would also like to acknowledge the sensitivity and partnership spirit with which the University of Brighton has worked on their free school project, and to thank them for all their work on this.

“However, given the circumstances the city now faces we agree with the view that there is no longer a need for a new secondary school in the city.

“We are committed to working in partnership with the council to deliver new school places, and to ensuring the long-term sustainability of all the city’s secondary schools.”

Brighton secondary school sites announced

From Brighton & Hove News

Two sites in Brighton & Hove have emerged as potential locations for a site for the proposed new secondary free school in the city.

They are the Brighton General Hospital site at the top of Elm Grove, and a section of City College’s estate on the east side of Pelham Road in the city centre.

The University of Brighton gained government approval earlier this year to develop a secondary free school. The university is working towards an opening date in September 2018, admitting 180 pupils a year.

Brighton & Hove City Council is working with the university and the national Education Funding Agency to identify an appropriate site for the new school. Any decision to pursue a particular site would be subject both to planning permission and the agreement of the EFA.

Negotiations are ongoing with the respective site owners – the Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and City College.

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust is considering the school interest in the context of a planning brief which will be developed to highlight future possible uses for The Brighton General Hospital site including continued healthcare.

City College has plans to create a new Institute of Arts & Technology at their Pelham Road site. If sufficient funding can be found for the project, it would enable some of the site to be used to create the proposed free school. City College is working with the Local Authority to explore all the options for the site.

Click here for full story.

Secondary School Admission Arrangements 2018/19 – Update

From Richard Barker, Head of School Organisation

The public engagement phase considering proposals to change secondary school catchment areas from September 2018 is well underway. 6 public meetings have been held already and there are another 2 scheduled for this week at Whitehawk library on Tuesday evening and Jubilee Library on Wednesday lunchtime. These meetings have generated some thoughtful discussion from participants and some clear themes are emerging. There have been more than 280 responses via the council’s online portal to date. However some parents report that they have not received any information from their child’s school about the public engagement.

To allow residents more opportunities to attend one of the engagement events and then respond to the proposals being put forward the engagement phase is to be extended by an additional week until Sunday 1 May.

The following events have been scheduled for after the school holidays.

· Tuesday 12 April Longhill High School 7 – 9pm

· Wednesday 13 April Patcham High School 7 – 9pm

· Thursday 14 April County Ground, Hove 7 – 9pm

In response to direct enquiries, further meetings are in the process of being scheduled for the following weeks and the school will be updated with these as soon as the arrangements have been confirmed.

As the council is keen to engage young people in this process there will be an approach to all Partnership Chairs seeking volunteer schools to host a focus group activity with pupils in year 3 and 4 who will be impacted by the proposals and year 7 pupils who have recently experienced the admission process.

Please ensure that parents are informed, as soon as is possible, of the details of these events using your existing communication channels with parents together with details of how to respond formally to the proposals in this engagement phase.

For ease the confirmed dates are:

° Whitehawk Library: Tuesday 22 March, 7pm to 9pm

° Jubilee Library: Wednesday 23 March, 12 noon to 2pm.

° Longhill High School: Tuesday 12 April 7pm to 9pm

° Patcham High School: Wednesday 13 April 7pm to 9pm

° County Ground, Hove: Thursday 14 April 7pm to 9pm

Further information is available at:

https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/children-and-education/school-admissions/consultation-reorganisation-secondary-school

Consultation on the reorganisation of secondary school …

www.brighton-hove.gov.uk

We want your views on proposed changes to school admissions for children starting secondary school in September 2018. The consultation will open on Monday 14 March …

Responses can be made at:

http://consult.brighton-hove.gov.uk/portal/

Thank you for your support in this matter.

Richard Barker, Head of School Organisation

Children’s Services (Education and Inclusion)

Brighton and Hove City Council

Room 322, Kings House,

Grand Avenue,

Hove, BN3 2LS

Tel: 01273 290732 Mob: 07584 217328

Richard.barker@brighton-hove.gov.uk