Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
New secondary school planned for Worthing
A new secondary school could be built in Worthing.
West Sussex County Council wants to build a new school next to Northbrook College so that the borough can be brought in line with neighbouring areas over when children change schools.
Currently Worthing is one of only two areas under the council’s control where children go to secondary school in Year 8 – aged 12 – instead of Year 7, aged 11.
The council has begun to consult on implementing the change but said an extra secondary school is needed to carry out the switch.
Officials say the new school would be part of the “essential infrastructure” to change the age of transfer.
It has earmarked an area deemed “surplus to requirement” at Northbrook College’s site in Littlehampton Road it believes could be used for the new development.
In line with government guidelines, the school would be an academy or a free school.
The plan is backed by a collaboration of headteachers and governors, the principal of Northbrook College and Worthing Borough Council.
The county council believes it could put the proposals to change the age of transfer out for public consultation this year – paving the way for the new school.
Peter Griffiths, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and schools, said he hoped the scheme could get funding from the government’s new Targeted Basic Needs pot of money.
He has written to the Minister for Schools to ask for cash for the plan, which is backed by Worthing West MP Sir Peter Bottomley and Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham.
Mr Griffiths said: “A potential obstacle to the proposals has been the need for another secondary school site but a time-limited opportunity has emerged which would see a new secondary site as part of the proposals to cater for the extra numbers coming through the primary sector.
“I hope that our bid for a share of this major new funding stream will be forthcoming because this would bring the community together with a single objective.
“There is a strong feeling based on local and national evidence that attainment levels, which are already good in the Worthing area, can be further improved with a change in the pattern of schools.”
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Victim "fabricated" sex assault story - day eleven of Albion players' trial
- Dad-of-two was visiting brother and nephew when he was gunned down in Hove
- UPDATE: A27 closed in both directions near Worthing after serious accident
- Sussex artists put their skills on show
- Sussex's sewage will become drinking water under new plans