Brighton and Hove City Council confirms plans to close primary schools

Brighton and Hove City Council is set to close two primary schools due to falling pupil numbers.

The plans also include reduced intake numbers at nine other primary schools.

St Bartholomew's Church of England Primary School in Brighton and St Peter's Community Primary School in Portslade are due to close in August.

The council has agreed to consult on how to give pupils receiving free school meals a better chance of securing their first choice school.

Jacob Taylor, co-chairing a meeting of the council's children, families and school's committee on Monday, said: "We've agonised over these decisions and we don't take them lightly.

"What we're proposing is about trying to create a properly-funded school system in the city and that will benefit all pupils, particularly those that need the support."

Katie Blood, head teacher at St Bartholomew's, told BBC Radio Sussex: "As a school we're the only people that know our community, nobody sat in that meeting [on Monday] knows our community, the talk is very factual but not about our children or families.

"This doesn't mean the fight is over for us but that the fight is just beginning."

Parents and teachers say the schools set to close cater for children with special educational needs (SEN).

Ms Blood said: "Uprooting our children from the safe setting, from the warm dedicated staff, would be devastating to them."

She suggested a better alternative to suddenly closing schools would be for them to stop taking new pupils, so any existing children could complete their full primary education.

Francis Moyo, Parent of a St Bartholomew's student

Parents of St Bartholomew's reacted to the move, including Francis Moyo who said he felt "really disappointed" by the decision.

Mr Moyo said: "My child has been here since reception, the service that they have provided has been amazing. To think of him changing to another school I feel worried about it as it means he is going to have to restart again."

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