Further meetings planned for school catchment consultation

School catchment area proposals for 2019
School catchment area proposals for 2019

Two more public meetings have been arranged over new proposals for school admissions arrangements in Brighton and Hove.

‘Light-touch’ temporary changes have been proposed for secondary school catchment areas, set to take effect for two years starting in September 2019.

Residents are also being asked for their views on proposals to reduce admissions numbers at five primary schools in the city: West Hove Infant (Connaught Road site); Moulsecoomb Primary; Coombe Road Primary; Benfield Primary; and Hertford Infant.

Brighton and Hove City Council said forecasts of future pupil numbers at primary level indicate that there will be a reduction in numbers across the city in the coming years, and the aim of reducing primary intake is to ensure the future viability of all the city’s schools.

The council said the secondary school catchment areas proposals were prompted by rising pupils numbers causing pressure on school places in some catchment areas, and the decision by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to delay the opening of the new University of Brighton Academies Trust secondary free school.

Cllr Dan Chapman, children, young people and skills committee chairman, said: “We want to reduce pressure on school places in the city’s catchment areas, and offer families greater clarity about which secondary school their child may go to.

“Government guidelines say parents should be able to look at a set of arrangements and understand easily how places for a school will be allocated. The temporary light touch changes we are proposing would achieve this.

“The primary age proposals aim to ensure the future viability of all the city’s primary age schools. We are committed to ensuring that all schools remain open.”

Secondary school catchment changes would see the Dorothy Stringer and Varndean Catchment area reduces, with an area north and east of Elm Grove incorporated into the Longhill High School catchment, and the area at the northern end of the catchment area would be incorporated into the Patcham High School catchment. Two areas to the west of the catchment area would be incorporated into the Blatchington Mill/Hove Park catchment area.

The Blatchington Mill/Hove Park catchment area would then see a section to the west of the catchment area would be incorporated into the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy catchment area.

Public meetings organised by the council is set to offer residents a chance to find out more about the proposals and to discuss them with council representatives. A number have already taken place. The current list of upcoming meetings is as follows:

- Tuesday, October 31 at Patcham High from 6pm to 8pm

- Wednesday, November 1 at West Hove Infant (Connaught Road) from 3.30pm to 5pm

- *new* Thursday, November 2 at Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) from 6pm to 8pm

- Saturday, November 4 at the Brighthelm Centre from 9am to 11am

- Monday, November 6 at Stanford Junior from 1.30pm to 3pm

- Thursday, November 9 at Elm Grove Primary from 6pm to 8pm

- *new* Tuesday, November 14 at Moulsecoomb Primary School from 6pm to 8pm

The closing date for the consultation is November 19.

To give your views on the proposals, please visit the council’s website at www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/schooladmissions