Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Thursday, 4 March 2010

Underperforming Brighton school could become academy

An underperforming Sussex school could be turned into an academy under plans revealed by the local council.

Brighton and Hove City Council said it had submitted a bid to the government for Portslade Community College to open as an academy in September 2011.

The new school would be sponsored by the education group The Aldridge Foundation, whose founder Rod Aldridge was a former pupil at the school.

The council said the move was aimed at tackling long-term underperformance.

'Emotional moment'

Brighton and Hove City Council would be the school's co-sponsor and the University of Sussex would be the academy's education partner.

Mr Aldridge said: "On a personal basis this is a very emotional moment for me as I was a pupil at the school many years ago.

"To now be its sponsor is a great privilege and I give the parents and students my commitment to improving educational standards for all."

It will also give the school greater freedom and independence to provide the curriculum that the pupils need and deserve.
Mary Mears,
Brighton and Hove City Council

Council leader Mary Mears said: "We are determined to do everything we can to make sure that all children in Brighton and Hove have the opportunity to make the most of their talents and live up to their potential.

"High quality schools are at the heart of this vision.

"We want to continue to work closely with Portslade Community College to improve their results and standards and I believe that by turning it into an academy school we will achieve this.

"It will not only enable us to bring in extra funding to improve the school's buildings and facilities but it will also give the school greater freedom and independence to provide the curriculum that the pupils need and deserve."

The Aldridge Foundation currently sponsors the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and a school in Darwen, Lancashire.

Both specialise in entrepreneurship and sport.

A final decision on the Portslade application will be taken by the Department for Children, Families and Schools.

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