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Secondary school plan gets go-ahead
The Government has given the go ahead to a Christian free school which aims to move on to the site of a leisure centre.
Kings School Hove secondary school has been given Department for Education backing to open in September 2013.
The preferred option for the school’s backers is to build the school with shared leisure facilities on the site of the King Alfred Leisure Centre.
The school is one of three given the green light yesterday alongside the pro- posed Chichester Free School and East Sussex Free School based in Eastbourne.
Kings School Hove will cater for up to 750 11 to 16-year-olds with half of the school’s places allocated to students from Christian primary schools.
Parent proposers Sue Worthing and Katherine Laux, who are being backed by the Russell Education Trust and the Diocese of Chichester, argue there is a shortage of Christian secondary places in Brighton and Hove.
Karen Lynch, chief executive of the Russell Education Trust, said she was delighted by the decision.
She said: “We know that there’s going to be demand for an extra secondary school and there is overwhelming demand for a school with Christian values.”
Mother-of-two Louisa Greenbaum led the King’s School No Thanks campaign against the school and says she has collected around 100 signatures opposing the school.
She said: “It’s disappointing but not surprising. Very few applications for free schools get turned down.
“I object to the free school as a free school and because it’s a faith school. I think they promote segregation and selection by the back door which I don’t think is good for the community.
“I can’t see any hope of stopping it but we might be able to challenge their search for a premises.”
A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “We have a statutory duty to deliver enough school places for the children and young people in our city.
“We will need more secondary age school places in the coming years, and we look forward to sitting down with the Kings School to find out more about their plans.”
Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls, opposition spokesman for children and young people, said: “It is well known that the city needs two more secondary schools by the second half of this decade, and it is good that one of these will now offer extra choice to parents and pupils.”