Parents uniting to fight plan to cut admission numbers in seven schools Brighton,
Concerned parents have created a Facebook group as well as a petition for the School Places campaign.
The move comes as seven primaries in some of the most disadvantaged areas face losing a reception class – or half a class at the local level – as councils try to deal with falling pupil numbers.
One parent, Leila Erin-Jenkins, launched the Stop the Proposed School Admission Cuts in Our Schools petition last Friday, covering all seven schools on the Action Network website.
They have to face the proposed deduction in their Published Admission Number (PAN) which is now A. subject to Brighton and Hove City Council Consulting.
Under the proposals, admission numbers at Bavendian, Coldian, Rudyard Kipling and Woodingdean Elementary Schools will be reduced from 60 to 45.
Missing half of the class is likely to teach mixed age group children.
The number of receptions at Cardon and Queens Park Elementary Schools will be reduced from 60 to 30 pupils and Saltdeen Primary from 90 to 60 pupils.
Ms Erin-Jenkins, parent of Bavendian Primary School and former Labor Council election candidate, said: “I am shocked by the targeting of communities in less affluent areas of the city.
“The council continues to talk about giving paramount importance to parental choice and yet the proposed changes remove parental choice from families in these areas.
“The impact of these changes is even greater on these families as these schools are not around many other schools and instead serve communities on the outskirts of Brighton.
“If these proposals are allowed to go ahead, children in these communities will be forced to walk a great deal of distance at a time when the council has made a commitment to being carbon-neutral.
“The council talks about how they’re trying to do this to prevent school closures, but it sounds like they’re trying to manage which schools to close.”
In an email to Green Council leader Felim MacCafferty and all councilors on the Council’s Children, Young People and Skills committee, Ms Erin-Jenkins said: “At this time, they have only met in one school and yet the consultation period is over. Opened since a week.
“Since a certain amount of time is needed for parents and community members to organize to put forward their views, and some of this time is right over the Christmas period, it is a good time to stifle the debate.” Appears to be a deliberate act.”
Councilors shared the same concern at a meeting at Hove Town Hall on Monday 8 November.
Richard Barker, the council’s head of school organization, told the committee that the timing was “set in stone” by the schools’ admission codes and was to take place at least six weeks between October and February.
As well as the joint petition, parents have set up separate petitions on the council’s website to protest the low numbers at Cardon, Woodingdean and Bavendian Elementary Schools.
Mr Barker also told the committee that forecasts indicate that parents will apply for just 1,930 primary and child locations in September 2025 – 20 percent less than this year.
This year there were 2,820 reception year venues – and the council wanted to reduce the number to 540, to allow some additional capacity to allow people visiting the area of choice.
Earlier this year, Downs and Goldstone Elementary Schools and Stanford Infant School all successfully appealed against lower admissions numbers for next September.
Brunswick Primary School, in Hove, is waiting to know whether its late appeal has been successful in preventing cuts across four forms of admission.
Next September, there will be a reduced reception class at four elementary schools – Balfour, Benfield, Moulscombe and West Blatchington.
Admission numbers were cut this year at the Connaught Road site of Hangleton and Mile Oak Primary Schools and West Hove Infant School.
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