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Primary Schools in Hove

(13 Posts)
Merleau Mon 23-Mar-09 17:09:28

Is the school situation in Hove as bad as it seems? First of all I'm assuming that they use distance as the crow flies, but someone told me that it's distance walking, in which case the situation is even more hopeless.

Realising that I have two years to get school admissions sorted out for twin boys (2 yrs), I started investigating local schools.

Closest: St Andrews, but we're not in the parish (?), and you have to have attended church for 2 years previously so even if we wanted to do that its too late.

Next Closest: Cottesmore. Catholic, which I am, but not sure I want my kids to attend one. Also, even if you attend church, its still a lottery system...

Next Closest: Aldrington. Need to attend the church for 18 months, blah, blah.

Next Closest: Davigdor: we're 1.2 km away, so apparently impossible.

Next Closest: West Hove. We're 1.4 km away, so apparently impossible

Next Closest: Goldstone Primary: We're 1.6 Km away (as the crow flies) so this is also probably impossible (right on the boundary), and anyway its a pain to get to from where we live (just south of Hove Park).

And on it goes. This is insane. Is this right? The further away you are from a school, the further outside its catchment area you are, which means we're in a catch-22 situation. I don't want my kids to get into the best school, just a pretty good school which is not on the other side of town, of which there are apparently dozens in Brighton and Hove. Unless you live near the station, in which case you live in a bizarre black hole.

Do we move? (where too? Preston Park? and anyway in this market that's not that easy). Are there affordable non-snobby private schools? Home educate? I'm bewildered.

biggernow Fri 01-May-09 13:32:00

hello- im also in hove, near station- same situation as you- little one 2 in at a loss!!!! think st andrews have community places though. as for private- steiner is alternative but not as expensive as some- other decent private is st christophers- friend assures me it's not snobby (but we can't afford)..........
i have been reading up on it- and you choose your 3 preferred ones and are apparantly guaranteed to get one of those 3- and it does not matter with distance as primary does not depend on catchment area. however, if you wanted davigdor for example- and say 50 people were also going for 20 places, they will look at distances's a minefield- hope we can move before then.....!!!!!!!! Any more luck on info???? Did I make any sense??!!

ramonaquimby Fri 01-May-09 13:47:11

I'm not in Hove so don't know your situation but it's the case in most authorities that distance is measured on a walkable path/road etc and not as the crow flies.

furrycat Fri 01-May-09 23:26:12

Sorry but I'm in Brighton and you're not guaranteed to get one of the three. If none of your three can take you, you get sent to the nearest school with spaces

taczilla Fri 01-May-09 23:50:46

Right.. I am waiting on my place which will be revealed next week. I live 900 M from St Andrews but didn't bother applying as it is very over-suscribed and those 12 places are like gold dust. Plus I am an atheist. Pick up a map of the parish from the school Office to see just how tiny the area it covers is and read on the Council website just how long the list of criteria is before non C of E children can get in. Likewise with Cottesmore. Davigdor is being extended but it will still be very popular even so, but worth looking at the distance to school figures available from Schools and Families. I am between Davigdor and West Hove but like you the area south of George Street is a black hole. Anyway according to recent years children were sent to either West Blatchington or Portslade infants. So my advice is look at the distance to schools figures for the last four years just email Schools admissions and move into the area. You must submit your application in the Feb prior to starting BUT I think you need to be living there for at least 6 months.

Nahnah Thu 07-May-09 23:33:03

First of all the 'black hole' is a considerable size covering most of central Hove.
I've live very close to Hove Station. Four years ago, two of my neighbours who live in my block and both had children at entering school age were allocated Fairlight School (Upper Lewes Road) as their place. That's a considerable distance and two bus rides away, and not easy to get to.
They both contested, ending with one family going to West Hove after a term - the other went private.

IN the recent allocation of places, a neighbour who lives a few doors down has been allocated Moulsecomb Primary as her place. From Hove station, - again at least two bus rides away, and across town, and quite frankly ridiculous.

This is a not a vent about the quality of the schools being offered, but a complaint about the distance from home to school.

What happens to the criteria, when there is no local school?

We live in an area where if you are not Cof E or Catholic, there is no hope of getting into a local school, which if you consider walking distance as being the criteria includes -

Davigdor too far away to get into

West Hove -too far away to get into

St Andrews - C of E and although has 'community places' ( I think there is 7 per year) check the criteria, because it's pretty hard to get these places, even if you are happy to send your children to a religious school.

Cottesmore - catholic.

Leaving no school.

Brighton and Hove City Council have policies about "Local Sustainability" which I agree with, it is a great shame that their education policy doesn't see the importance of school places in Hove. I want to know what they are doing about this problem. Anyone got any suggestions of how to take this further?

I' a parent of a one year old, irrespective of whether I am living in this flat by the time my child goes to school, this is likely to be an on going problem as the demographics of Hove change.

What should we do about this?

taczilla Thu 07-May-09 23:48:56

I got as anticipated Portslade Infants which is in the opposite direction to where work so I will spend a lot of time traveling to school as opposed to the 10 min walk one would prefer. The actual distances overall have shrunk again this year and it strikes me that there is a critical need for a new primary school in Hove looking at the figures it would be hard to argue. I suppose the first course of action could be lobbying Celia Barlow MP and local Councillors however in truth I honestly don't imagine there is money available to build a new school unless it comes from central Govt.

Something not touched on here and relevant to any working parent is how all the time spent getting to and from school has a massive impact on working mothers (usually)as one needs to get to work at a reasonable time to keep one's job and that is seriously jeopardised if it means time is spent travelling around the city.

sunnydelight Fri 08-May-09 00:35:09

I'm currently in Sydney but still have friends and family in Brighton and Hove and I can't believe how long this mess has been going on. When my eldest started primary in 1997 there was still some element of choice around, by 2003 when my second child was starting the majority of the schools were over subscribed. The unpopular schools (Fairlight, Moulecoomb etc.) are still the same ones (Fairlight isn't actually a bad school btw, but it draws from Moulscoomb so the majority of the Brighton chattering classes turn up their noses at it) but because the council can offer "a place" they fulfil their statutory obliations. And if you think primary admissions are a nightmare, wait until secondary. We moved to Lewes at that point!

furrycat Fri 08-May-09 09:21:31

Am in Brighton and hugely relieved to get our first choice but I know many people who didn't get any of their choices and I feel so upset for them. Some of them are having to travel miles and inevitably they have been put in the schools no-one else wants to go to.

I don't know what's gone on this year, but the home to school distance have shrunk alarmingly.

There's a big piece on this in today's Argus if anyone is interested

biggernow Fri 08-May-09 17:12:31

yes- saw argus. It's crazy and something needs to be done. There was speculation in the paper about them opening another school in central Hove- connaught centre or church on the drive i think- but I can't see how this will be funded, or when this will happen in order to sort this problem- it will only get worse as more people move here and more people have kids. It's RIDICULOUS!!! I feel so sad for the parents who didn't get places near them and I am sorry for those who have issues with buses and getting to their work.
And so many people I know are starting church in order to try and get church school places...which in this day and age to me is madness. Schools should be embracing multi cultures and religions in an attempt to educate future generations- this 'exclusivity' seems so outdated. Why should people of no particular faith be penalised? Imagine non church schools turning pupils away because they are of a certain faith? So is moving town the only option?? For goodness sake.

olnroar Mon 20-Jul-09 07:53:10

Have a look at The Dharma School in Patcham ( It's a small,friendly affordable independent nursery & primary school. It's very child centred with excellent teachers. It's based on a buddhist ethos but welcomes kids from ALL backgrounds and faiths. It doesn't see itself as a 'religious' school; buddhist values simply underpin the teaching and steer of the school.

We moved to Fiveways three years ago and my son ended up on a very long waiting list for Downs. As months passed we got really concerned as Oli needed to be in school and make new friends. I then heard about The Dharma School and was very impressed by its 'at home' feel and the kids seem so grounded and content. Both my children have thrived there (now 7 & 5). It also has a real sense of community and parents are welcomed into the school; and not kept at arms length. Go and have a look!

tangerinemole Sat 18-Dec-10 01:32:33


tangerinemole Sat 18-Dec-10 01:33:05


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