ONE OF the country’s top schools is set to welcome refugees as they flee war-torn Ukraine.

Brighton College, in Eastern Road, is opening 15 entirely free scholarship places for children aged between five and 17, who have been forced to leave their country.

Parents and friends of current pupils have clubbed together to show support – with one person even donating a four-bedroom property in Kemp Town for some of the displaced children to stay in.

Richard Cairns, head master, said: “We look forward to welcoming up to 15 Ukrainian children to Brighton College over the coming days, all of them driven from their homeland by this dreadful war.”

The Argus: Brighton College has been raising money for UkraineBrighton College has been raising money for Ukraine

The free places come as just the latest effort from the school, as pupils from one boarding house last week collectively cycled the distance from Brighton to Kyiv, Ukraine, raising £4,000 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian appeal.

Entrepreneurial events have been held right across Brighton College as pupils do all they can to help, while the school’s Amnesty International group arranged for pupils to send letters to MPs.

“Pupils of all ages have been fundraising for the DEC and also writing to politicians from the outset urging them to do more, something that seems to be bearing fruit,” said Mr Cairns.

“Parents also have been wonderfully engaged, dozens signing up to accommodate refugees as best they can.”

The Argus: Children have been forced to leave their homes in UkraineChildren have been forced to leave their homes in Ukraine

During the upcoming Easter break, all the pupils and staff from another boarding house will be walking, running, cycling and swimming the combined distance to Kyiv and back, 4300 kilometres, to raise further funds for the DEC.

As well as the places for Ukrainian refugees, Brighton College will continue to run its Opening Doors scholarship, offering 20 free sixth form places to pupils across Sussex who may have experienced a disadvantage in their lives.

In a statement on the college’s website, Opening Doors is open to “talented and ambitious young people from the local area, for whom our pastoral care and academic rigor will offer a life-changing opportunity.”

The scholarship was created after the school offered free places to two Syrian refugees, as they arrived in Brighton in 2015.