Cash handed to oversubscribed secondary schools

Hove Town Hall
Hove Town Hall

A portion of the cash set to be spent on the now scrapped secondary free school proposal in the city will go towards placing the ‘misplaced 38’ into Dorothy Stringer and Varndean.

The 38 students were not given any of their top three secondary school choices for September 2018, but the two popular schools agreed to expand in order to take them in.

Dr James Kilmartin objected to the fact that Cardinal Newman had not been allocated any cash in the proposals

Dr James Kilmartin objected to the fact that Cardinal Newman had not been allocated any cash in the proposals

On Monday, the council's children, young people and skills urgency sub-committee met at Hove Town Hall to discuss spending the £15m for the free school on the city’s schools.

Initial plans were to give £5m to Hove Park, £5m to Varndean, £2m to Dorothy Stringer, £1m to Patcham High, £1m to Longhill and £500,000 to Blatchington Mill.

But councillors decided to allocate just £2m of the cash to Varndean and Dorothy Stringer only, while a decision is made of the remainder of the pot.

This came as the headteacher of Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Hove objected to the move, saying it has seen an increase in pupil numbers but was left off the funding list.

Dr James Kilmartin, said: “We are concerned about the process by which the proposal has been arrived at and the proposal itself.

"About half the funding has been allocated to schools which have spare places (ie are undersubscribed). Cardinal Newman is consistently oversubscribed.

"As a consequence of the demand, we have had to take on extra students in recent years and are now at 360 which is the largest in the city with a recent increase from 341 to 360.

"We have received no funding for our facilities to take on this extra pressure and our dining area, classrooms and PE facilities are in real need of this financial support. School Headteachers have not been included in any of the discussions or meetings to decide how the funds should be allocated."

He said he had been in contact with Brighton and Hove City Council to make the local authority ' aware of our concerns'.