Brighton and Hove Bilingual Primary School offered home by academy

Posted On 06 May 2012 at 11:02 pm

The proposed Brighton and Hove Bilingual Primary School looks likely to open on the site of the Falmer academy.

A deal has been reached with the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) subject to local consultation and the agreement of the Department for Education.

The primary school aims to be Britain’s first state-funded bilingual English and Spanish primary school and has been seeking a suitable location to serve its Brighton and Hove catchment area.

It aims to open in September at the academy’s £25 million Lucraft Road premises which opened to pupils last September.

The academy site is likely to be a temporary home for the first year or two of the primary school’s existence while a more permanent home is found.

The part of the Falmer site to be made available is intended to take sixth formers and has its own entrance and reception, enabling the primary school to operate independently.


Marina Gutierrez, founder and chairman of the Bilingual Primary School Trust, said: “Our vision is to be the leading bilingual school in the UK, offering the very best of British education and learning through English and Spanish.

“We want to build the love of learning through language.

“Brighton and Hove was the natural first home for us because the city has a reputation for innovation and has a large Spanish speaking community.”

“We are working towards opening the school this September with reception and year 1 classes.

“But in the long term we are looking for a permanent location which not only allows the school to grow, but can also house adult learning facilities, a cultural centre and host activities from music and dance to cooking, that involve the wider community.

“As has been widely reported in the local media this year, new locations for schools in the city are very difficult to find and we are very grateful to BACA for offering us this help.

“Using BACA’s excellent facilities on a temporary basis gives us more time to search for an ideal permanent site and to prepare it for the school to fully occupy.”


Philomena Hogg, principal of the academy, said: “As our 6th form is still growing we currently have some additional space and we were delighted to support education in the city as a whole by helping the Bilingual Primary School.

“BACA is a wonderful, modern purpose-built school, which gives us the flexibility to be able to extend this help for one or two years.

“It means the bilingual school can retain its independence and identity and operate completely separately from the academy, but that the children can still benefit from great teaching and sports facilities we have, and also outdoor spaces such as our sensory garden.

“BACA is very much a community facility. We aim to work closely with our local primary schools, including making our teaching and sports resources available to them whenever possible.

“With our sponsors, the Aldridge Foundation, we are keen to support new innovative and practical initiatives to increase educational options for parents and children within the city.

“So offering this help to the Bilingual Primary School was an easy decision for us.”

The Bilingual Primary School’s recently appointed head Carolina Gopal said: “I am very excited to know that I can take this unique school forward in such a wonderful setting with fabulous facilities.”

Both schools are in discussions with local bus companies about improving services linking BACA to its neighbouring communities and more generally within Brighton and Hove.

The Bilingual Primary School will be consulting on the proposed move. More information about the forthcoming consultation, or how to apply to the school, will be published on the school’s website


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