School catchment area changed on Brighton and Hove boundary

Posted On 26 Apr 2012 at 6:43 pm

A school boundary change has been agreed with cross-party support by politicians in Brighton and Hove.

Most children at Stanford Junior School living in the Port Hall area of Brighton will now be in the Varndean and Dorothy Stringer catchment area.

Previously they were in the Hove Park and Blatchington Mill catchment area.

Stanford parent Justine Sylvester won applause from councillors and supporters in the public gallery after making the case for change.

Council covid support

She told a special meeting of Brighton and Hove City Council: “Stanford is the only junior school in the affected area, slap-bang on the catchment boundary.

“Torn apart by the current system, it has 96 children split between 11 different schools.

“It’s tough on children, sent miles from home.

“Even if they are lucky and get the school they want, it’s rare for them to go with the friends they’ve grown up with.

“In the past, the school has dealt with up to 20 appeals in one year.

“Kids need certainty and support when they move to secondary school. Our children face division, disappointment and distress.

“Some families can’t stand the uncertainty. They choose ‘knees’ or ‘fees’ – either faking a faith to get into Cardinal Newman or reluctantly going private, not options open or attractive to everyone.

“Sending children to their fifth and sixth closest schools makes no sense. Blatchington Mill and Hove Park are simply not our schools.

“Children don’t walk or cycle. They take crowded buses. They can’t participate in after-school clubs because there is no bus service to bring them home.

“Today you can send our children back to their closest inclusive schools – Stringer and Varndean. You will transform our community. It’s a better, fairer and more sustainable solution.”

Councillor Sue Shanks said that there was some opposition but on balance she felt that the change was right for most children.

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