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Bilingual free school to open at city academy
An academy has agreed to temporarily house Brighton and Hove’s first free school.
The Bilingual Primary School, which is due to open in September, has announced it will hold classes at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy in Lewes Road, subject to a consultation this month.
The school has struggled to find a home since it was given the provisional green light by the Department of Education last year.
It aims to be the first state-funded bilingual English/Spanish primary school in the country.
The bilingual school is due to open to year one and reception aged children and will be based at BACA for up to two years.
The school did not confirm on Friday how many children have so far been accept- ed to start this year.
The number of classes that will be provided by BACA could also not be confirmed.
The Bilingual Primary School Trust acknowledged it had been a “challenge” to find a suitable building. Last week 2,400 parents were allocated places at their first choice local authority run school in Brighton and Hove.
Brighton and Hove City Council found places for 2,700 children, however up to 60 of those could choose to turn down those places in favour of the free school.
Marina Gutierrez, founder and chair of the trust, said: “Our vision is to be the leading bilingual school in the UK. We want to build the love of learning through language.
“New locations for schools in the city are very difficult to find and we are very grateful to BACA for offering us this help. Using BACA’s excellent facilities on a tem- porary basis gives us more time to search for an ideal permanent site.”
Philomena Hogg, principal of BACA, said they have additional space as its sixth form is still growing. She said: “It means the Bilingual School can retain its independence and operate completely separately but that the children can still benefit from outdoor spaces such as our Sensory Garden.”
Carolina Gopal, the bilingual school’s headteacher, said: “I am very excited to know that I can take this unique school forward in such a wonderful setting with fabulous facilities.”