Schools

In Brighton there is no shortage of primary school places, in Portslade there is a very serious over-supply of primary school places.  Hove, the place to move to, has had a serious primary school shortage which is now easing (2015). The secondary school situation is about to go nuclear on the shortages front as the huge numbers who had to be accommodated in much expanded schools age towards that need (2015) and the  Administration elected in 2015 has to face and resolve THAT issue first and foremost.
See live planning applications for info on new schools applications and applications for extensions and changes to accommodate increased need.  Click Schools in the tag cloud for articles.   But realise it may not be up-to-date!  Updating websites is a game of chase and available time!  See below for a rough idea of where things are at the primary school level.                                                                         ____________________________________________________________________
Hove Police Station – conversion to a junior school   There is no need for me to write anything as Neil Vowles has produced a very good feature article for The Argus (9.4.14) on the works going on.  The first intake is expected in September 2014 with preference to Connaught School infants moving up to Junior School.  Each year from then, the school will expand another form to match progression.  Click link here
Aldrington C of E School   Planning Application  BH2013/01720 was registered in the week ending 21/6/13 for “Extensions and alterations to school buildings including erection of two storey block and creation of link corridor, erection of single storey extension to school hall, erection of single storey extension and creationof new main entranceto school.  Internal remodelling, creation of new parking spaces, landscaping, alteration to West bounday and associated works.
Cardinal Newman RC school, The Upper Drive, Hove     Planning Application BH2013/01693 was  registered in the week ending 15/6/13 for the erection of a new three-storey detached building to the north of the existing school, alterations to existing Newman building, relocation of 40 car parking spaces to south east corner and associated works. 
Connaught School, Connaught Road     saveHOVE worked its socks off before the 2010 General Election, by first raising a petition asking the then Conservative Administration to take over Connaught when City College were to cease use, vacate and dispose of it.  Labour Cllr Melanie Davis and Green Cllr Alex Phillips (both from Goldsmid) were invited to join us for the petition launch outside Connaught School itself with an Argus photographer attending.  We made page 2!  We could not ask Central ward cllrs along because they were Conservative and it was their party that did not want the building for primary school use again in the city.  With saveHOVE agreement, Cllr Davis invited Action4Kids to attend with us and the two groups worked together from that moment – with Action4Kids parents doing the lion’s share of the signature gathering.  Very impressively so.  Of special note was the haul achieved by Honey Weston – 8 months pregnant at the time!  It kind of reflects how desperately we needed to GET THAT BUILDING!  At our request, then-Cllr Davis presented the saveHOVE petition to Committee.  The MP asked if he could…too late.  It is generally not wise to ask politicians to present petitions as they are liable to use the opportunity to big themselves up, to make claims for their involvement which may not be entirely right.   Action4Kids parents and saveHOVE remain in contact.
The new MP for Hove at the time (2010?) was asked to sign the petition. This was to become an important catalyst for achieving acceptance that the Conservative Administration HAD to buy the school back for local authority infant school use once again.
He diplomatically called a public meeting in Connaught School at which a half dozen Conservative Cllrs  reddened, scowled and made their anger apparent.  Westbourne Cllr Brian Oxley muttered into his lap and shook his head negatively.  Former Labour Cllr for Schools, Pat Hawkes, told a group attending that she regretted that the building had been given a Grade 2 Listing and she spent the meeting mouthing her coachings to a very uncomfortable Vanessa Brown, the serving Conservative Cllr in charge of schools at that time.  It was clear they DID NOT WANT TO TAKE IT ON.  The attending officer, Gil Sweetenham, explained the problems of getting anywhere to build schools, the financial situation and mentioned that in future office buildings would have to be converted to schools use.
And then Mike Weatherley, MP, stood up and announced he was going to sign the petition and that was pretty much that.  Hove can credit that one move for getting the school – his Conservative colleagues then kind of had to give in to it.  The building had already been taken off their short list….now it is repaired and back in full use once again as the Infant School it was originally built to be.  And one of the last remaining Victorian schools of its type has been Listed Grade 2 and saved for the area.
Because of Coalition (Conservative/LibDem) Government policy the school could only become a satellite, accepted and run by West Hove school.  Conservative Party policy dictates that no new local authority schools can be built or created, that all new schools have to be Free Schools (run by central Govt’s EFA at collossal expense and sited where THEY want them, not where needed) or Academies.  Free Schools have no restrictions on teacher-qualifications.  Anyone they choose to hire can teach.  After a few years of operation they will eventually be OFSTED-inspected and graded (as happened with the Spanish-English Bilingual Primary School, currently based at Falmer)
Hove Police Station     This has been vacated by the police, who decamped to Hove Town Hall offices.   It has been converted to school use to take junior level primary pupils and is linked, as a satellite school building, to West Hove School.  A poorly attended public consultation meeting took place at Connaught School on Monday, June 17, 2013 at 7pm ahead of it happening.

SCHOOLS IN GENERAL

Due to refusal of funding from govt for newbuild schools, existing ones are being expanded by extra intake and extension-building in the main.  This is because the Coalition Government outlawed the building of new schools on ideological grounds unless they are Free Schools that are not run by the Council.  This has prevented new schools being built as there is a cost/land problem which is proving insurmountable in this built-up area.  The govt set up a quango for would-be free schools to go to. They assess and grab local auhorityland for the free schools over the heads of local authorities where possible to force these minority interest free schools onto the community.  They are state-funded separate  schools with their own-determined curriculum.
The Govt is in 2013 seeking to over-ride BHCC wishes and to exercise dictator-like control in taking public land for Free Schools (their own curriculum, outside council control, at public expense as a State School).  These free schools are unable or unwilling to buy land to build their own-interest schools.

Free Schools

Kings School (a faith school)  were accommodated in Portslade by BHCC.  Faith schools are in general  unavailable to the general population.  They accept only a small percentage over and above faith pupils.  All get the same religious instruction.  But as a so-called ‘Free School’, they are tax-payer funded the same as general state schools.  Kings want the King Alfred site, currently operate out of Portslade and have consent to expand there.
Their winter/spring 2013  attempt through the Coalition govt. quango to seize land between BHASVIC and Cardinal Newman has now been abandoned, following a vigorous public campaign and intervention from the Hove MP.  They continue to push to get their preferred site:  the King Alfred/RNR site on the Kingsway.
A Spanish/English bilingual school, based at Falmer,    actively seek to expand and build a 650 pupil new school somewhere more convenient.  Teaching is in Spanish and in English and children going there would have no choice about that.
It has gone to the Coalition Government’s education quango to get them to force BHCC to give them city land for it.  They now have BHCC support to grab the gardeners’ depot part of Hove Park beside The Engineerium.  A 3 storey giant brown brick number is proposed with free use of Hove Park itself likely to go with it, before and after school for sure (it is a public park).  Vehicle access is nearly impossible.  Trucks occasionally use the Droveway to take workers in and out of the depot.  Lane use is very low at present.  This one-way, narrow, paved track is also used by City Park and The Engineerium for access.
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