University of Brighton withdraws bid to sponsor new secondary school

Dr John Smith, chief executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust
Dr John Smith, chief executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust

A university academy trust has scrapped its plans to run a new secondary school in Brighton.

This comes after Brighton and Hove City Council announced it had withdrawn its support for the new school.

In 2015, the University was invited by Brighton and Hove City Council to sponsor the proposed new school which was set to open on the Brighton General Hospital site.

But plans for the school were thrown into doubt after the city's headteachers said the extra capacity was not needed.

Today (March 14), the University of Brighton Academies Trust said its decision to withdraw its support follows changes to the demand for secondary school places in the city, as well as planned expansions of existing local secondary schools.

Dr John Smith, chief executive of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, said: “Given the change of circumstances since we were invited to sponsor the school in 2015, and recent discussions with the Department for Education to discuss alternative options, it is clear that the project cannot continue as planned. The Academies Trust has therefore formally withdrawn its proposal.

“We received a significant amount of support and input from across the city from those who wanted to see the new school go ahead. We are particularly grateful to parents/carers and primary schools in the local area and officers in the local authority for their contribution to the development of the plans for what would have been an exciting and innovative addition to secondary education in the city.”

The University of Brighton Academies Trust is a not-for-profit charitable trust and sponsors 15 secondary and primary schools in the Sussex area.