Education Minister Lord Nash confirmed the arrangement yesterday (Wednesday 1 May).
The change to academy status follows an inspection by schools watchdog Ofsted in September 2011. It graded the school inadequate – the lowest rating – and placed it in special measures.
A follow-up inspection in February last year found that while there were improvements, they were only satisfactory and not consistent throughout the school.
The head teacher Daniel Weiner resigned a year ago and the school has since been run by executive head Janis Taylor, who also runs West Hove Junior School.
Derek Trimmer, the head teacher at Hove Park School, has also been providing mentoring support.
Liz Wylie, who chairs the governors at Whitehawk Primary, said: “We are delighted to be moving forward in this way and to have a local sponsor working with us which already has such a good reputation in education and achievement.
“When it became clear that the school would be required to become an academy, we considered whether City College Brighton and Hove could be our sponsor because their East Brighton site has had extremely successful results working in the local community and we have a shared vested interest in achieving the best education possible for our local young people.
“After intensive discussions with a range of local groups we have gone down the collaborative route to reach this point today.”
City College principal Lynn Thackway: “We want to sponsor the school because we are confident that we can do a good job.
“The college has improved outcomes for students year on year and is proud of its outstanding success rates and was rated as having outstanding leadership and management in its most recent Ofsted inspection.
“We also already have local facilities and support services in place to help the school focus on what is most important – the education of its pupils.”
“The first thing we intend to do is to meet with and listen to the staff, governors and parents about what is working well and start building on improvements which the school is already making since the Ofsted report two years back which prompted this move.
“We will be inviting parents to meet in early May to discuss all the practical issues around the new academy, covering everything from curriculum provision to school uniforms and school meals.
“We are already advertising for staff to fill the vacancies at the school and are committed to having a top quality head teacher in place when the academy opens in September.”
Simon Kirby, the MP for Brighton Kemptown, which includes the school, said: “I am delighted that the academy can now go ahead which will benefit children from the Whitehawk area.
“I am sure this new partnership involving organisations with strong track records of driving up educational standards in the city will provide children from Whitehawk with the best possible start in life and I look forward to working with the staff, parents and pupils going forward.”
The chairman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Children and Young People Committee, Councillor Sue Shanks, said: “Whitehawk Primary School has seen a dramatic improvement in academic performance recently.
“City College is a local and highly respected educational establishment and I very much hope that with their sponsorship these improvements will be built upon when the school becomes an academy.”
Brighton University has also lent its support to the academy and will be sharing resources from its outstanding primary education department.
The head teachers from West Hove Junior and Hove Park will continue to provide mentoring support for the school.