Brighton governors rule out seeking academy status for college

Posted On 30 Apr 2017 at 8:29 pm

The governors of a Brighton sixth form college have ruled out seeking academy status after a review of education for 16 to 19-year-olds in the area.

In a statement they said: “The governing body of BHASVIC (Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College) have informed the Department for Education that the college will remain a sixth form college in accordance with the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act.

“Governors and senior managers at the college had actively explored the possibility of BHASVIC becoming a 16-19 academy following the Sussex area review (published November 2016).

“The costs and benefits of becoming an academy were carefully weighed up over a number of months before the final decision not to submit an application was taken during the corporation meeting on Monday 3 April.”

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A switch to academy status could have saved the college more than £300,000 a year in VAT payments as a result of an offer by George Osborne when he was Chancellor.

But it was reported that the change of status would have necessitated the risk of renegotiating a £5 million loan to fund an extension at the college, in Dyke Road, Hove.

Bosses at BHASVIC are believed to have been alive to sensitivities around academy status in the area.

A proposed switch at Hove Park School proved divisive and prompted a vigorous campaign to keep the school’s local authority maintained status.

Sixth form colleges are not overseen by councils, having been granted greater autonomy in reforms 25 years ago.

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