Lost in Brighton's hall of mirrors

3rd February 2006 at 00:00
Reassuring news reaches us from Brighton and Hove: their schools are going to stay put - for the time being. The problem? Secondary schools are huddled in the middle and west, while quite a few families favour the east.

This imbalance has become more acute since the closure of Comart, the East Brighton College of Media Arts.

The council's proposed solution? Move two schools - not literally, but virtually, by proclaiming that their "node" (jargon for centre of catchment area) has shifted a mile or two down the road. Pupils would be selected for Dorothy Stringer school based on how close they lived to a park called The Level and half of pupils for Blatchington Mill school would be chosen based on proximity to Sussex County Cricket Ground. (The Diary is not making this up.) Well, the burghers of Brighton did not like the idea at all. No fewer than 65 per cent of those consulted were against the change, including those who lived within spitting distance of a real, live school who would end up too far from its virtual self to guarantee their child a place. So the council is thinking again and will come back within the year with another plan.

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