Brighton parents and teachers continue to protest against cuts to school admission
More than 100 people have gathered to protest against plans by Brighton and Hove City Council to reduce the number of foster pupils in seven primary schools from 2023.
The council is consulting the public on proposals to reduce the number of admissions to the school, in order to address the problems in the coming years caused by the falling national birth rate.
They predict that only 1,930 applications for primary and infant spaces in September 2025 – down 20% from this year.
Leila Erin-Jenkins, parent of Bevendean Elementary School and organizer of the rally, said: âWe organized the rally to try and involve all seven schools and everything went very well. Despite everything that happened with Covid, we had over 100 people around. All the kids got involved in making the signs and banners and we had speakers from all the schools. MP Lloyd Russel Moyle was present and he also delivered a speech. So it was a very good event.
The seven primary schools affected by the proposals are – Bevendean, Carden, Coldean, Queen’s Park, Rudyard Kipling, Saltdean and Woodingdean.
Teachers and parents believe the cuts would be devastating for schools and disproportionately affect the poorest families, students with special educational needs and the region’s diverse community.
Parents also argued that the proposals conflicted with the council’s values ââsupporting diversity and reducing carbon emissions.
Those who oppose the proposals think that the solution is to bring together the directors of the schools of the city so that between them, they can find a less drastic solution.
After the rally, three of the protesters returned home and participated in the virtual council’s public engagement meeting – where they each petitioned against the proposed admission cuts.
Leila presented the petition for Bevingdean Elementary School – which had over 1,600 signatures – while Laura Bissonnet and Gemma Chumnansin handed in their appeals for Carden and Woodingdean respectively.
Originally, a decision on the number of school admissions was to be made at a meeting of the boards’ children, youth and skills committee on January 10 – where they would receive a report on the comments from the board. public consultation, currently underway on the board. website.
However, following the public engagement meeting, the chair of the Children, Youth and Skills Committee – Councilor Hannah Clare – said the decision would be made at a later meeting and would not be decided. January 10.
Leila Erin-Jenkins said: âWe are really happy with the outcome of the meeting. This gives us more time to organize ourselves and get people to add their names to the petition, complete the online consultation, and let the public know what’s going on and get more support.
Cllr Clare said at the meeting, âThis is an important question and I urge you to complete these consultations if you haven’t already. This is the best way to ensure that the potential impact of these proposals is explored in depth by advisers with all the depth they deserve. “
The consultation ends on January 2.