2 November 2020 Children and learning

Managing school places – your views please!

We want your views on the council's plans for reducing the total number of school places across the city for the academic year starting in September 2022.

In our video the chair of the council’s Children, Young People & Skills committee, Councillor Hannah Clare, explains why we believe reducing the number of places is an important step to take.

By September 2022 there are predicted to be around 19% surplus places city-wide. This is far more than the government recommends. There are concerns that it could lead to some schools facing serious financial problems.
  
Residents are being asked for their views on proposals to reduce the Published Admission Numbers (PAN) of nine schools in the city. They are: 

  • Balfour Primary School from 120 to 90 pupils
  • Benfield Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils
  • Brunswick Primary School from 120 to 90 pupils
  • Downs Infant School from 120 to 90 pupils
  • Goldstone Primary School from 90 to 60 pupils
  • Moulsecoomb Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils
  • Stanford Infant School from 90 to 60 pupils
  • West Blatchington Primary School from 60 to 30 pupils
  • Hove Park School and Sixth Form from 300 to 180 pupils.

The proposals have been developed through a cross-party working group of councillors.

Councillor Clare said: “Our priority is to ensure that families have a wide choice of schools – and ensuring that through managing the large number of spare places we have, we keep all schools in the city open. 

“We want to be able to offer families school places within a reasonable distance of their home.  

“Sadly, having too many school places puts our schools at financial risk. This is because they may end up supporting multiple classes that aren’t full – without the funding to provide enough support to those pupils. 

“This means we will need to make some difficult decisions. 

“This consultation is an important chance for our residents to give their views on how we achieve these aims, along with providing detail around routes to school and any other issues they may wish to raise.
 
“But given government rules that determine school funding I think most people would agree that doing nothing is simply not an option.”

Decisions about school numbers for September 2022 need to be agreed by the end of February 2021.
 
The consultation runs until 27 November. The committee will then consider the results of the consultation and make decisions early in the new year.