A primary school could become an academy by next year.

The Government decided Whitehawk Primary School in Whitehawk Road, Brighton was to be taken out of local authority control after inspectors said it was “failing”.

City College Brighton and Hove and the University of Brighton were asked by the Department for Education if they would like to consider becoming its sponsor and help decide what lessons are taught. The further education college has confirmed it will progress down the legal and financial route, adding it hopes to open in September 2013.

Phil Frier, principal of City College Brighton and Hove, which has a campus nearby in Wilson Avenue, said: “This is quite a different approach to the private sector led sponsorship arrangements that are being developed elsewhere.

“We are heartened that the University of Brighton with its national reputation for training primary school teachers is also involved in these on-going discussions.

“There are many good things going on at the school and with us already working in Whitehawk it is natural that we would want to see how we could support the primary school and the community.”

Government policy is that all schools that are placed in special measures by Ofsted will become academies.

Despite being deemed to be failing, Whitehawk Primary has recently reported record exam results for its ten and 11-year-olds in the current year.

Sue Shanks, chairwoman of Brighton and Hove City Council ’s education committee, said: “I’m sure that if the college is approved as a sponsor it will work to continue the improvements that are already happening at the school.”