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School Organisation Plan 2021 to 2025

1. Executive Summary

The School Organisation Plan, which covers the period 2021 to 2025, is a four-year rolling plan that is updated annually.  It sets out how East Sussex County Council (the local authority), in accordance with its statutory duty, seeks to ensure there are sufficient school places in the right locations to meet demand, while at the same time fulfilling our other responsibilities to raise education standards.

The document contains information on:

  • the current pattern of school provision across the county
  • forecasts of future school numbers
  • our plans to meet the need for additional places in areas of growth
  • our plans to address the over-supply of places in areas with falling rolls

The need for school places fluctuates in response to population changes, new housing developments and government policy and can lead to rising as well as declining pupil numbers.  Increases in demand can lead to the establishment of new schools or the expansion of existing schools.  Decreases in demand can lead to a reduction in places through changes to admission arrangements or the rationalisation of provision.

The purpose of the School Organisation Plan is to share the projected demand for school places in the future and to set out where we think we will need to commission additional places or re-organise existing provision.  It is a contextual document, providing the framework within which proposals for change may be brought forward.  Any reviews of education provision we undertake and any recommendations for school re-organisation (for example opening, closing, amalgamating, enlarging or contracting of schools) will, in part, be based on information contained in the plan.

Over the plan period there will continue to be areas of growing demand for school places, primarily linked to new housing development. However, there will also be areas with a declining demand, including in the rural areas of East Sussex.  We will work with schools that face challenges associated with falling rolls which can create budget pressures and impact on decisions of school leadership and organisation.  

The forecasts and our emerging strategies are based on known data and intelligence, there are however some unknowns that may impact what is set out in the plan.  Covid-19 has created much uncertainty in the last 18 months, and it may be some time before the impact, direct or indirect, of the virus on future demand for school places is truly known.  In addition, Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

We work closely with local planning authorities, developers, school leaders, governors, academy trusts and the dioceses to ensure there are the right numbers of school places in the right locations at the right time with the aim of delivering a high quality and inclusive education for all pupils in East Sussex.  Alongside our statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient school places to meet demand, we are responsible for promoting a good supply of places at strong schools through planning, organising and commissioning places in a way that raises attainment, increases diversity, encourages collaboration between schools and promotes community cohesion.  

We endeavour to communicate clearly with schools and local communities about current and predicted place planning pressures in their area.  In general, we will only name particular schools in the plan when there is certainty that a proposal will be implemented or where this is already underway.

The plan focusses exclusively on primary and secondary school places.  It is one of a number of policies and strategies that relate to wider education provision in East Sussex including early years and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as set out in Section 2.


2. Policies and Strategies

2.1 Admissions and Transport

All schools must have admission arrangements that clearly set out how children will be admitted, including the criteria that will be applied if there are more applications than places at the school.  Admission arrangements are determined by admission authorities.  East Sussex County Council is the admissions authority for community schools and voluntary controlled church schools.  The governing boards of voluntary aided church schools, trust schools, academies and free schools set the admissions criteria for their individual school(s).

Parents and carers have the right to express a preference for a school, which is not the same as choosing the school where their child will attend.  Parents and carers in East Sussex are invited to indicate up to three preferences when applying for a school place for their child.

For September 2021, the local authority was able to offer a place at a preferred school to 98.2% of primary Year reception (Year R) applicants, 99.6% of junior Year 3 applicants and 96.6% of secondary Year 7 applicants.  There is more information about applying for a school place on the local authority's website.

2.2 Childcare Sufficiency Assessment

The Childcare Sufficiency Assessment is a statutory annual report presented to the Lead Member for Education and Inclusion, Special Educational Needs and Disability. It reports on the sufficiency of childcare and the state of the childcare market across East Sussex.

We have a statutory duty to secure sufficient childcare, as far as is reasonably practicable, for working parents, or parents who are studying or training for employment, for children aged 0-14 (or up to 18 for disabled children).  We also have a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient early learning places for all eligible two, three and four year-olds.  Childcare provision needs to be organised to support parents or carers who are in work or training for work.

A new Childcare Sufficiency Assessment for 2022-23 will be published in early 2022.

2.3 Excellence for All 2021-2023

The first Excellence for All strategy was published in 2013 and each iteration has a two-year life span.  In 2020, the pandemic precipitated an unprecedented change in the education landscape, and we shall continue to uncover the implications of that change for many years to come.

In the spirit of using this monumental shift for the benefit of children and young people, rather than looking at it as an insurmountable challenge, the Excellence for All Strategy 2021-2023 draws on the innovation and creativity of the work that was done during lockdown on remote learning, participation and inclusion and looks to embed these into our future ways of working.

Our partnership infrastructure remains the key local mechanism for delivering the shared ambitions set out in the Excellence for All strategy.  We shall continue to work collaboratively in order to build capacity for improvement, drive innovation and ensure the very best education for our children and young people.

2.4 East Sussex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Strategy 2019-2021

The East Sussex SEND 2019-21 Strategy is shortly expiring.  Therefore, we are developing a new ambitious 2022-2024 strategy, which will set out the strategic direction for children with additional and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families in East Sussex.

The strategy will represent a joint approach to service provision and commissioning across Education, Health and Care, with children, young people and families, at the centre.  Our new strategy will be launched in early 2022 to allow for a meaningful co-production.  We are working in partnership with the East Sussex Parent Carer Forum on every aspect, and a strategy steering group are leading on the development of the strategy.

Our new strategy will:

  • be underpinned by the ISEND Self Evaluation Framework themes, framed from the children and young people’s perspective
  • include engagement and consultation with children and young people
  • be informed by gaps identified in the latest Joint Strategic Needs Assessment published in August 2021
  • focus on high level direction, linking to accountabilities and delivery plans

At the point of the launch of the new strategy, the work will transfer to the Strategy Governance Group, who will continue with their function to oversee the strategy and ensure the aims are delivered.

2.5 Place Planning for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including for those with SEND. Our SEND forecasts, which are produced annually, provide clear evidence that we will continue to see an increase in the number of pupils with SEND over the next 10-15 years.  Our SEND place planning strategy for pupils aims to ensure that affordable, high quality and local provision is available to meet the needs of SEND pupils across the county.  Over the last few years the local authority has been implementing its plans to develop more places for SEND pupils, these include securing new special free schools and the development of more specialist facilities in mainstream schools.

Special Free Schools

  • Ropemakers’ Academy, Hailsham: new school for 80 pupils aged 4-16 with social emotional and mental health needs. The local authority provided the land and funded the building from its approved capital programme. The school opened to pupils in September 2020.
  • The Flagship School, Hastings: new school for 72 pupils aged 7-16 with high functioning autism and pupils with social, behavioural and communication difficulties. The school is located on the former ARK Helenswood upper school site.  The new build is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA). The school opened in September 2021. 
  • Summerdown School, Eastbourne: new school for 84 pupils aged 5-16 with autism and speech language and communication needs, and 51 pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties including 6 places for nursery age children. The local authority provided the land, and the build is jointly funded by the ESFA and the local authority from its approved capital programme.  The school will open in September 2022.
  • The Workplace, Bexhill: alternative provision free school for 94 pupils aged 11-16 with behavioural issues and excluded children. The school is located at the former Bexhill Skills Centre.  The ESFA funded the building works.  The Workplace opened in September 2020.

Specialist Facilities

  • Churchwood Primary Academy, Hastings: for 8 pupils with autistic spectrum disorder, opened September 2019.
  • Grovelands Community Primary School, Hailsham: for 8 pupils with autistic spectrum disorder, opened September 2019.
  • Priory School, Lewes: for 12 pupils with specific learning difficulties with associated special education needs (e.g. anxiety or high functioning autism), opened September 2020.
  • Robertsbridge Community College: for 12 pupils with specific learning difficulties with associated special education needs (e.g. anxiety or high functioning autism), opened September 2020.

We have identified the following further SEN provision needs as priorities for development:

  • Specialist facility provision at primary in Hastings/Rother, Eastbourne/Hailsham and the Newhaven/Peacehaven for pupils with autistic spectrum disorder
  • Special school provision in the north of the county for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties, including at nursery age
  • Post-16 provision developments, including more supported employment and internships

During May 2021, we consulted with parents/carers and school communities on our priorities.  Respondents agreed with the priorities and also identified further gaps in SEND provision across the county.

2.6 Post-16 education and training

Local authorities have statutory duties to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education or training. Specifically, these are:

  • to secure sufficient suitable education and training provision for all young people in their area who are over compulsory school age but under 19 or aged 19 to 25 and for whom an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is maintained. This is a duty under the Education Act 1996.  To fulfil this, local authorities need to have a strategic overview of the provision available in their area and to identify and resolve gaps in provision.
  • to make available to all young people aged 13-19 and those up to 25 with SEND, support that will encourage, enable or assist them to participate in education or training under Section 68 of the Education and Skills Act (ESA) 2008.
  • tracking young people’s participation is a key element of these duties, as is promoting effective participation.

The post-16 offer should meet the requirements of increasing participation, by offering a wide range of options with clear progression routes into further or higher education or employment with training.  The post-16 offer should also reflect the local skills needs and priority sectors of East Sussex, with a curriculum plan and progression pathways which are influenced by local employers.  The growth of the East Sussex economy is a key strategic priority and the strategic board for skills, Skills East Sussex, helps drive this work through a strong partnership of local employers, post-16 education, training providers and schools.  This includes a focus on securing good quality careers advice through local East Sussex Careers Hub activities, embedding the Enterprise Advisors Network, the provision of Careers East Sussex; an e-prospectus and online application platform, a Work Experience Service for schools and the commissioning of a Youth Employability Service to provide support for young people who are not in education, employment or training or at risk of not being so.

The local authority receives no capital funding for Post-16 provision; this is commissioned and funded by the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA).

2.7 National Framework

For more information about the national framework within which local authorities must work in relation to education provision and place planning, please refer to the Department for Education (DfE) website.


3. The local perspective

3.1 Population

The overall population in East Sussex has grown steadily, rising from 493,000 in 2001 to 559,000 in 2020 (Source: Office for National Statistics (ONS) mid-year population estimates).

Around three quarters of the population live in urban areas (Source: 2011 Census). The main centres of population and employment are concentrated in the southern coastal strip of the county in Eastbourne, Hastings and St Leonard’s, Bexhill, Newhaven, Seaford and Lewes.

The picture for East Sussex as a whole is of an ageing county. The proportion of the population aged 65 and over is forecast to rise from 26% in 2020 to 28% in 2025 and 30% by 2030 (Source: ESCC Policy Based Population Projections April 2021).

Births in East Sussex peaked at 5,503 in academic year 2010/11. Since then, births have fallen to 4,786 in 2019/20 and are likely to continue to fall until at least 2021/22.  The following chart demonstrates this. The figure for 2019/20 is an estimate based on the local authority’s dwelling led population projections.

East Sussex Births from 2008/2009 to 2019/2020
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 5074
2009/10 5280
2010/11 5503
2011/12 5406
2012/13 5329
2013/14 5149
2014/15 5190
2015/16 5191
2016/17 4925
2017/18 4926
2018/19 4788
2019/20 4786
This chart shows that births in East Sussex peaked at 5,503 in academic year 2010/11.
East Sussex Births from 2008/2009 to 2019/2020 (chart view)

3.2 School numbers

The fall in countywide births is reflected in falling primary reception (Year R) intake numbers, which are forecast to continue falling, at least until 2024/25.  The local authority’s pupil forecasting model is showing numbers recovering beyond this point.  However, intake forecasts beyond 2024/25 are based on demographic projections of future births rather than actual live birth or GP registration data and therefore may change as new data becomes available.  Looking at previous cycles of births and Year R intakes, it is very possible that we may not see a recovery in Year R numbers until well into the second half of the decade.

Total numbers on roll in primary schools peaked in 2018/19 and are now in decline, currently leaving around 8% surplus places overall, although this margin varies from area to area.

In areas of the county such as Hailsham and Bexhill, where high volumes of new housing are planned, Year R numbers may rise sooner than in other parts of East Sussex. 

East Sussex Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Year R number on roll
2013/14 5317
2014/15 5509
2015/16 5623
2016/17 5578
2017/18 5476
2018/19 5262
2019/20 5253
2020/21 5201
2021/22 4919
2022/23 4970
2023/24 4857
2024/25 4734
This chart shows that the total numbers on roll in primary schools peaked in 2018/19 and are now in decline
East Sussex Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)
East Sussex Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Total number on roll
2013/14 36015
2014/15 36854
2015/16 37594
2016/17 38264
2017/18 38594
2018/19 38648
2019/20 38406
2020/21 38080
2021/22 37583
2022/23 36958
2023/24 36317
2024/25 35728
This chart shows
East Sussex Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Previous high numbers in primary schools are being reflected in rising Year 7 secondary school intakes.  Total numbers on roll in secondary schools are expected to peak around 2024/25 or 2025/26.  As a result of rising numbers, surplus places in secondary schools, currently at 11% countywide, are predicted to reduce to 6% by 2024/25.

East Sussex Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Year 7 number on roll
2013/14 4694
2014/15 4741
2015/16 4882
2016/17 4814
2017/18 5078
2018/19 5158
2019/20 5275
2020/21 5263
2021/22 5397
2022/23 5530
2023/24 5516
2024/25 5417
East Sussex Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)
East Sussex Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)
East Sussex Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Total number on roll
2013/14 26365
2014/15 26067
2015/16 25919
2016/17 25684
2017/18 25735
2018/19 25955
2019/20 26455
2020/21 26920
2021/22 27549
2022/23 28094
2023/24 28568
2024/25 28830
This chart shows
East Sussex Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

3.3 Cross-border movement

At primary school level (across all year groups) East Sussex imports around 500 children from the neighbouring authorities of Kent, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove and exports approximately 800 children to these same authorities.

At secondary school level (across all year groups) East Sussex imports approximately 750 children from the neighbouring authorities of Kent, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove and exports approximately 1500 children to these same authorities.  Kent Grammar schools represent a particular ‘pull factor’ for East Sussex children.

3.4 Schools in East Sussex

On 1 September 2021 there were 174 state funded mainstream schools and 14 special schools and alternative provisions in East Sussex.  These range from local authority-maintained schools to academies and free schools.  A breakdown of the different types of school is provided in the following tables.

Infant (5-7)
School Type Number
Community 3
Voluntary Controlled 1
Academy 3
Total 7
Junior (7-11)
School Type Number
Community 2
Academy 4
Total 6
Primary (4-11)*
School Type Number
Community 37
Voluntary Controlled 43
Voluntary Aided 21
Foundation 2
Academy 32
Total 135

* Some schools include nursery provision and therefore have age ranges starting at 2 or 3.

All-through
School Type Number
Academy (2-16) 1
Academy (2-18) 1
Free School (4-18) 1
Total 3
Secondary (11-16)
School Type Number
Community 4
Voluntary Aided 1
Foundation 1
Academy 11
Total 17
Secondary (11-18)
School Type Number
Community 3
Academy 3
Total 6
Special and Alternative Provision
School Type Number
Community 1
Academy 10
Free School 3
Total 14
Summary Total
School Type (all schools) Number
Community 50
Voluntary Controlled 44
Voluntary Aided 22
Foundation 3
Academy 65
Free School 4
Total number of schools in East Sussex 188
  • Of the 69 academies and free schools, 64 are part of a multi-academy trust while 5 are single academy trusts.
  • 13 of the 22 voluntary aided schools in East Sussex are Church of England, one is Church of England/Methodist and eight are Catholic.
  • There are 14 federations in East Sussex made up of 33 primary schools.
  • There are specialist facilities at 18 mainstream schools in East Sussex (seven primary and 11 secondary), catering for primary needs such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), Moderate Learning Disability (MLD), Physical Disability (PD) and Hearing Impairment (HI).
  • Reflecting that East Sussex is a mix of rural and urban areas, 67 of the 135 primary schools in the county (50%) are classified as rural. The 13 linked infant and junior schools are all located in urban areas, mainly Eastbourne.

For more information about schools in East Sussex please refer to about schools in East Sussex on the local authority's website.


4. Guiding principles to school organisation

4.1 Introduction

This section sets out the local authority’s approach to school organisation to ensure there are sufficient places to meet demand and to support school leadership teams and governing boards to provide a high-quality education for all their pupils.

The guiding principles underlying our approach are:

  • to ensure that schools are of the right size and in the right location to meet local demand for places.
  • to ensure that school provision is sustainable in all parts of the county and is well placed to deliver a high-quality education that meets the needs of their local community and makes best use of public funding.
  • to support a diversity of provision and proportionality of places where possible.
  • where there is sustained evidence that a school is failing to meet the needs of its local community and/or to deliver improved outcomes and/or is not financially viable, to explore a range of partnership solutions where appropriate e.g. collaborations, federations, amalgamations, and multi-academy trusts (MATs) or, to consult on closure.
  • to support the federation or amalgamation of linked infant and junior schools. The local authority recognises the benefit of continuous provision from early years to the end of Key Stage 2 (KS2), the benefit this brings to staff and the reduction in headteacher vacancies when a headteacher leaves at a time of a national recruitment crisis.
  • to ensure any change to school organisation impacts positively on school performance and on the life chances of children; to support governing boards to review, on an annual basis, their organisational and leadership arrangements and to plan for building leadership capacity.
  • to develop an approach to school organisation review that enables stakeholders to engage fully and effectively in the process.

4.2 School planning areas

The county of East Sussex is divided into five boroughs and districts (local planning authorities).  Within these areas there are:

  • 17 primary planning areas which closely reflect school admissions areas. There is a planning area for each town in East Sussex.  For the purposes of the plan, rural primary schools (which tend to be single school admission areas) have been grouped together under the headings of ‘Rural Lewes’, ‘Rural Rother’ and ‘Rural Wealden’.
  • 17 secondary planning areas which closely reflect school admissions areas. Many secondary school admissions areas relate to a single school.  In Eastbourne, where the single school boundaries are complex and overlapping, six secondary schools (including two all-through schools) have been grouped together for school place planning purposes.  Three secondary schools make up the Hastings place planning area.  The Bexhill planning area contains two schools, one of which (a Catholic Aided school) has a much wider catchment area than the town.

We work closely with the five local planning authorities in the production of their Local Plan documents.  This planning process identifies the requirement for additional school places arising from new housing development.  It is anticipated that, through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), new housing development will contribute a percentage of the funding required to provide additional school places.

4.3 Pupil forecasting

In producing forecasts of future demand, we take into account factors such as births, trend data, parental preference, housing growth and existing and planned capacity as well as patterns of inward and outward migration.  The forecasts within this document provide a comprehensive account of predicted future trends in numbers and the areas of the county where pressures on places are most likely to occur.  However, pupil forecasting is complex and, as a result, is not an exact science.  For example, it is not always possible to predict changes in local demand for school places owing to swings in parental preference, changing migration patterns or revisions to planned local housing targets. Pupil forecasts are updated annually, and exceptions identified in order to manage the risk of under/over-supply of school places.

Based on the January 2021 actual numbers on roll our primary pupil forecasts are accurate to 0.5% one year ahead and 1.5% three years ahead. Our secondary pupil forecasts are accurate to 0.4% one year ahead and 1.4% three years ahead.  While we have a track record of accurate forecasting, derived from sound methodology and our forecasts generally compare well to other local authorities, they are forecasts not guarantees.

It is important to note that while the local authority seeks to meet parental preference, our projections are primarily concerned with ensuring we have sufficient places in a given area.  It may be the case that some schools in an area that are consistently oversubscribed give the impression that there is a shortage of places when this is not the case overall as other schools in that area have capacity.  The principal factor for place planning is the number of places in an area compared to the number of children requiring a place and it is this that the local authority seeks to predict and respond to.

4.4 Creating new places

When the local authority identifies a shortfall of capacity it will consider providing additional school places, either through the expansion of existing schools or through commissioning new provision.  The local authority welcomes proposals from existing schools to expand and from interested parties to establish new provision in areas of pressure.

The local authority will consult with key stakeholders when developing proposals to provide new places.  When considering proposals for adding new places to meet demand the local authority will take account of the following principles:

  • prioritise the expansion of good and outstanding schools
  • consider the pattern of parental preference and local demand for places
  • consider the diversity of provision
  • consider transport patterns to reduce travel times to schools wherever possible
  • consider safe routes to schools
  • where there is demand for both school and early years places, the local authority will consider providing additional accommodation designed to ensure a seamless transition between nursery and Year R
  • support new schools (academies and free schools) where their location will help relieve pressure on places and / or increase parental preference and raise outcomes
  • where possible, only enlarge schools where it creates or sustains round forms of entry as the preferred model of organisation
  • ensure value for money.

The local authority recognises that at times some of these principles might be incompatible with each other and therefore applied in a priority order appropriate to the context and circumstances.

Whilst it would be desirable for every child to be educated in permanent school buildings, the local authority must be certain there is a long term need before we provide additional permanent school places.  This is to ensure we do not add surplus capacity to the system which may then create viability issues in times of low pupil numbers.  If the need is considered short term, the local authority will generally use temporary classrooms which provide a valuable and flexible resource and are an appropriate way of providing school places for a short period of time.

4.5 Surplus places

Schools operate most efficiently and effectively when full or nearly full.  To this end the local authority seeks to keep the number of surplus places (the number of places in schools that are unfilled) to a minimum.  However, it is generally accepted that not all unfilled places in a school are surplus places, but that a small margin of surplus capacity is often allowed to facilitate parental preference, to take account of the fact that schools with available places may not always be in the part of a planning area where the demand is, and to allow for a degree of error in the forecasts. 

A school is generally considered to be full when it has less than 5% of its places unfilled.  This is in line with the National Audit Office report on Capital Funding for new school places published in 2013, where it states: 

 “It is considered that on average 5 per cent was the bare minimum needed for authorities to meet their statutory duty with operational flexibility, while enabling parents to have some choice of schools”.

In larger towns around one form of entry of surplus capacity (30 intake places) is considered acceptable, while in smaller areas it is closer to half a form of entry (15 intake places).  This figure is deemed to give the appropriate amount of flexibility in an area and is set against the need to ensure the efficient use of resources.  In practice, the number of surplus places planned for in an area will also take account of local circumstances.

4.6 School leadership

School leadership teams and governing boards face increasing pressures to maintain the efficient organisation and effective leadership of their schools, particularly of rural primary schools, with regard to:

  • recruiting headteachers
  • developing alternative models of school leadership
  • creating effective partnerships between schools.

Within this challenging context, building leadership capacity and succession planning is an issue that must be part of any governing board’s strategic planning.  The local authority works with governing boards to develop strategies to build capacity and to plan well in advance for strong, sustainable future leadership of a school.  It is vital that this is approached and managed in a forward thinking and proactive manner and not in response to the resignation or retirement of a headteacher.

The local authority supports governing boards to take a strategic approach to the challenge of developing a model of leadership that will suit their school in the future.  This includes exploration of the suitability of executive headteacher arrangements as part of a collaboration, federation or Multi-academy trust (MAT).

Academisation has not progressed as quickly in the primary sector as the local authority had envisaged.  In undertaking their due diligence, academy trusts, both local and national, find some small schools to be financially unviable or too isolated to be included in their trust.

Across East Sussex, a range of models of school organisation and leadership and management exist, including co-leadership and executive leadership.  33 schools in East Sussex are part of a federation.  Although federations are recognised as a way of enabling smaller schools to work more formally in partnerships to improve the quality of provision, raise standards and share costs, given their size there does need to be a sufficient number of schools involved in such arrangements and significant structural changes made to achieve savings.  This can take some time to realise.  

4.7 School organisation reviews

An increasing number of primary schools are facing financial challenges and schools’ budgets are under considerable pressure.  The impact of these financial challenges is often more acute in small rural schools due to the characteristics of rural communities; low birth rates and in-area demand for places which can vary noticeably from one year to another.  Fluctuating pupil numbers are difficult to manage and can lead to irregular class sizes and inefficient staff to pupil ratios.  A number of rural schools have, or are predicted to have, significant surplus places (25% or more).  Smaller schools tend to have a higher proportion of their budget allocated to fixed costs than larger schools and, as such, have less flexibility to respond to cost pressures, unexpected events and deficit recovery.

The DfE has recently issued a consultation stating that it intends to implement a National Funding Formula (NFF).  Though there is not a fixed date for this, in recent years, the local authority has been working towards aligning the East Sussex Funding Formula to that of the NFF and it is now at the stage where it closely mirrors what the NFF will be when it is formally implemented.  The expectation is that there will still be some funding protection for schools, which will include a Minimum Funding Guarantee and a lump sum for each school. 

The DfE has recently confirmed changes to the Sparsity factor from 2022/23.  This is aimed at supporting small rural schools, eligible schools receive a lump sum, with the amount depending on the number of pupils in the school.  From 2022/23, the criteria are changing meaning potentially more primary schools will be eligible for the funding.  Nonetheless, it is likely that more small schools will experience increasing financial pressures in the future.

The local authority has a duty to consider the organisation of school provision to create a sustainable network of schools in rural areas; rationalisation of provision can benefit other schools by reducing surplus places in an area so that the remaining schools can operate more efficiently with more certainty over their pupil numbers.

To support this, the local authority regularly reviews every primary school’s context drawing on a range of information including pupil numbers, finance, pupil performance, leadership arrangements and succession planning.  The local authority also conducts regular reviews of specific geographical areas drawing on the same information.  The reviews will reach a view about the effectiveness of arrangements for the organisation and management of primary schools across the county and at individual school level.  The outcome of the review could lead to the identification of primary schools where support should be provided for governors to explore issues specific to the organisation and leadership challenges in their school. 

Key issues that will be considered in relation to individual school’s contexts include:

  • succession planning where there is a current headteacher vacancy or possible vacancy within the next two years
  • year groups with fewer than ten pupils
  • classes made up of three or more year groups
  • total pupil numbers of fewer than 80 pupils, or a surplus of more than 25% for three or more years
  • a declining trend in the level of parental preferences
  • a low birth rate and in-area demand for places
  • a two-year declining trend of pupil performance, as measured by attainment and progress data
  • evidence of financial difficulties being experienced by the school.

In addition to the ongoing review process, there will be times when the local authority wishes to conduct a more detailed review of specific school/s and/or a specific geographical area.  This review could be conducted for any school/s in which there is significant change in circumstances at any time of the year that could impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the school/s.  Examples of significant change in circumstances include:

  • the position of a headteacher becomes unexpectedly vacant
  • a school is placed in an Ofsted category of concern of serious weaknesses or special measures
  • a school has remained in an Ofsted category of requires improvement for the last two inspections
  • a school becomes eligible for intervention by the local authority
  • a school has a pre-existing licensed budget deficit and is unable to create a viable recovery plan
  • an organisation wishing to set up an academy or a free school indicates an interest in a specific locality.

The outcomes of the review of schools would be assessed and schools identified for further analysis and discussion with the governing board.  Many schools in East Sussex are church schools, being voluntary controlled or voluntary aided, and therefore the Diocese of Chichester and the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton would be fully involved in the whole review process.

The options for consideration would be prepared and considered at a meeting with the governing board/s to explore the key issues and agree a course of further action; a personalised programme of support would be drawn up to take developments forward.

By placing the focus on discussion and planning in a pro-active manner there will be better opportunities to explore and develop a range of options, time to build the capacity required to work differently, time to consult and time to implement change.

Where the result of the review and discussions with a governing board necessitate a solution requiring a formal change of school organisation (for example, amalgamation, federation or closure), the local community would be consulted together with other key stakeholders.  Where this is the case, consultation will comply with statutory requirements contained in, but not limited to, the Education and Inspections Act 2006, the School Governance (Federation) Regulations 2007, the Education Act 2011 and the School Organisation Regulations (2013).  Legislation in this area is subject to regular review by government.

The following sections describe the current circumstances in each planning area.  They set out how we expect pupil numbers to change during the plan period and what action the local authority is planning to take to address any shortfalls or surpluses in capacity or organisational change.  The information is subject to revision and review as new data (for example, on live births) becomes available or Borough and District housing targets and trajectories are amended.

The capacity information provided in the ‘total primary number’ charts in each section is based on the net capacity assessment for each local authority maintained school and the recorded capacity in each academy’s funding agreement.


5. Eastbourne

5.1 Schools in Eastbourne

In Eastbourne there are 19 primary schools, two all-through schools (primary and secondary) and four secondary schools.  Of the 19 primary schools, six are infant schools and five are junior schools.  Five schools have nursery provision.

5.2 Births in Eastbourne

Data shows that births in Eastbourne continue to fall, with the estimated 2019/20 figure of 956 some 20% lower than the peak of 1195 in 2011/12.

Eastbourne Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 1123
2009/10 1165
2010/11 1179
2011/12 1195
2012/13 1163
2013/14 1121
2014/15 1120
2015/16 1043
2016/17 1000
2017/18 993
2018/19 916
2019/20 956
Eastbourne Births
Eastbourne Births (chart view)

5.3 Housing plans in Eastbourne

As at January 2021 Eastbourne Borough Council planned for approximately 5000 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2026/27, of which an estimated 1800 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

5.4 Primary places in Eastbourne

In line with the falling births in Eastbourne, we anticipate reception (Year R) intake numbers in the town to generally fall away at least until the latter part of the decade.

Eastbourne Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Year R number on roll
2013/14 1061
2014/15 1096
2015/16 1087
2016/17 1147
2017/18 1107
2018/19 1073
2019/20 1057
2020/21 988
2021/22 920
2022/23 939
2023/24 894
2024/25 874
Eastbourne Primary Year R Numbers
Eastbourne Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Falling intakes will have a knock-on effect on total numbers on roll.  Surplus places, which currently stand at 2%, are predicted to rise to around 11% by 2024/25.

Eastbourne Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Total number on roll
2013/14 6763
2014/15 7012
2015/16 7207
2016/17 7495
2017/18 7648
2018/19 7750
2019/20 7616
2020/21 7616
2021/22 7408
2022/23 7241
2023/24 6994
2024/25 6756
Eastbourne Total Primary Numbers
Eastbourne Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

In light of falling Year R numbers in the town and reduced demand for places at the school, the local authority has approved a reduction in PAN at Motcombe Infants School from 120 to 90.  The change will take effect from the 2022/23 academic year.  Accommodation will not be removed and can be brought back into use if and when pupil numbers start to rise again.

Many Eastbourne pupils occupy places in Polegate and Willingdon Schools (section 19) and at Hankham Primary School, Pevensey and Westham CE Primary School and Stone Cross School (section 20).

All these surrounding schools are full or close to full.  High levels of new housing (recent and planned) at Polegate and Stone Cross will put additional pressure on places at these schools.  The permanent expansion of Polegate School from two forms of entry (420 places) to three forms of entry (630 places) from 2019/20 should help to alleviate pressures.  Nevertheless, rising in-area numbers at Stone Cross and Hankham in particular are likely to result in some demand from Eastbourne children being redirected by the school admissions system into the town

5.5 Secondary places in Eastbourne

Based on the numbers coming through primary schools, intakes into Year 7 are forecast to remain high until at least 2024/25.  A shortfall, of up to one form of entry, is currently forecast only for 2023/24 but shortfalls against PAN are also possible in 2022/23 and 2024/25.  Conversely, it is possible that a combined PAN for the area of 1140 may just about prove sufficient to meet demand in 2023/24.

Eastbourne Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Year 7 number on roll
2013/14 923
2014/15 927
2015/16 963
2016/17 941
2017/18 1058
2018/19 1040
2019/20 1062
2020/21 1101
2021/22 1126
2022/23 1124
2023/24 1156
2024/25 1129
Eastbourne Secondary Year 7 Numbers
Eastbourne Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

In line with larger Year 7 intakes, total secondary numbers in schools in the town have been rising and are expected to reach just over 5700 by the end of the plan period, a rise of nearly 9% on 2020/21 figures.

Eastbourne Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Total number on roll
2013/14 4702
2014/15 4662
2015/16 4720
2016/17 4811
2017/18 4898
2018/19 5019
2019/20 5150
2020/21 5276
2021/22 5448
2022/23 5544
2023/24 5668
2024/25 5742
Eastbourne Total Secondary Numbers
Eastbourne Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

We will work closely with all schools in Eastbourne and Willingdon (see section 19) to ensure there are sufficient places to meet demand and agree strategies for dealing with any shortfalls that arise at the appropriate time.

The Eastbourne area sees outflows of Catholic pupils to St Richard’s Catholic College in Bexhill (section 12) and some inflows from Bexhill and Hailsham (section 17).  There are also significant inflows from and outflows to Willingdon Community School.

 


6. Hastings

6.1 Schools in Hastings

There are 18 primary schools in Hastings and three secondary schools.  Of the 18 primary schools, one is an infant school, and one is a junior school.  Nine of the primary schools have nursery provision.  One secondary school has sixth form provision.

6.2 Births in Hastings

Data shows that births in Hastings have been falling since 2012/13, with the estimated figure of 985 for 2019/20 approximately 20% lower.

Hastings Births from 2008/2009 to 2019/2020
Academic year Number of births
2008/9 1134
2009/10 1117
2010/11 1238
2011/12 1180
2012/13 1237
2013/14 1123
2014/15 1089
2015/16 1085
2016/17 1067
2017/18 1062
2019/20 985
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hastings Births (chart view)

6.3 Housing plans in Hastings

As at January 2021 Hastings Borough Council planned for approximately 3400 to 4100 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027/28, of which an estimated 2300 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

6.4 Primary places in Hastings

Based on birth and GP registration data, we can be confident that reception (Year R) intake numbers in Hastings will remain well below the current PAN until at least the middle of the decade.

Hastings Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 945
2014/15 975
2015/16 1038
2016/17 996
2017/18 1040
2018/19 967
2019/20 930
2020/21 922
2021/22 880
2022/23 901
2023/24 907
2024/25 836
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hastings Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Lower intakes are predicted to result in higher numbers of surplus places in the town, which are expected to rise from their current level of 6% to 11% by 2024/25.

Hastings Total Primary Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 6543
2014/15 6655
2015/16 6802
2016/17 6866
2017/18 6918
2018/19 6925
2019/20 6860
2020/21 6810
2021/22 6735
2022/23 6611
2023/24 6510
2024/25 6337
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hastings Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

The local authority met with the Hastings schools, academy trusts and dioceses in 2020 to discuss the increasing number of surplus places in the area.  Although no action was taken at the time, we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Many Hastings pupils attend surrounding primary schools including Battle and Langton CE Primary School, Brede Primary School, Crowhurst CE Primary School, Guestling Bradshaw CE Primary School, Icklesham CE Primary School, Netherfield CE Primary School, Sedlescombe CE Primary School and Westfield School.  Nearly all these schools are full or close to full.  However, going forward, lower levels of demand from Hastings may see numbers in some of these surrounding schools falling.

6.5 Secondary places in Hastings

Demand for Year 7 places is rising, linked to higher numbers coming through primary schools.  The decision by Bexhill Academy (section 12) to reduce its PAN from 330 to 300 from 2021/22, is likely to lead to fewer children from Hastings gaining admission to the school in certain years, with a knock-on increase in demand for places in Hastings schools.

As a result, Year 7 numbers are likely to be tight in the period 2022/23 to 2024/25.  The PAN of 840 is currently forecast to be sufficient.  However, this will depend on continued high outflows of Hastings children to schools in surrounding areas.

Hastings Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 748
2014/15 692
2015/16 771
2016/17 712
2017/18 715
2018/19 761
2019/20 781
2020/21 755
2021/22 780
2022/23 836
2023/24 824
2024/25 823
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hastings Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

With high Year 7 intakes forecast over the next few years, surplus places in the area could fall from 16% in 2020/21 to under 8% by 2024/25.

Hastings Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 4220
2014/15 4022
2015/16 3884
2016/17 3718
2017/18 3611
2018/19 3573
2019/20 3696
2020/21 3737
2021/22 3836
2022/23 3948
2023/24 4032
2024/25 4111
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hastings Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Significant numbers of Hastings pupils seek places in the surrounding schools including Bexhill Academy and St Richard’s Catholic College (section 12), Claverham Community College (section 13), Rye College (section 14) and Robertsbridge Community College (section 15).  The forecasts assume that many Hastings children will continue to take up places in these schools


7. Lewes

7.1 Schools in Lewes

There are five primary schools in Lewes and one secondary school.  Two of the primary schools have nursery provision.

7.2 Births in Lewes

Data shows that births in Lewes have been falling since the peak in 2009/10.  Since 2013/14 births in the town have been particularly low.

Lewes Births from 2008/2009 to 2019/2020
Academic year Number of births
2008/9 164
2009/10 199
2010/11 195
2011/12 193
2012/13 177
2013/14 137
2014/15 136
2015/16 143
2016/17 134
2017/18 133
2018/19 125
2019/20 147
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Lewes Births (chart view)

7.3 Housing plans in Lewes

As at January 2021 Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority planned for approximately 1200 new dwellings in the town over the Lewes District local plan period to 2029/30, of which an estimated 900 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

7.4 Primary places in Lewes

Based on birth and GP registration data, we expect reception (Year R) numbers in the town to remain very low until at least 2024/25.

Lewes Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 177
2014/15 212
2015/16 197
2016/17 190
2017/18 169
2018/19 136
2019/20 131
2020/21 148
2021/22 147
2022/23 131
2023/24 121
2024/25 127
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Lewes Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Lower intakes are predicted to result in higher numbers of surplus places in the town, which are predicted to rise to 32% by 2024/25.

Lewes Total Primary Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1400
2014/15 1438
2015/16 1443
2016/17 1425
2017/18 1402
2018/19 1292
2019/20 1205
2020/21 1171
2021/22 1105
2022/23 1051
2023/24 983
2024/25 951
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Lewes Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

In light of falling Year R numbers in Lewes and reduced demand for places at both schools, the local authority has approved a reduction in PAN at Southover CE Primary School (from 60 to 45) and Wallands Community Primary School (from 60 to 30).  The changes will take effect from the 2022/23 academic year.  Accommodation will not be removed and can be brought back into use if and when pupil numbers start to rise again.

In the longer term, despite 900 new homes being planned for the period to 2029/30, the demographic based projections of future births are indicating there will be sufficient Year R places available to meet demand.  However, it is possible that, if there is a general upswing in births in the early part of the decade, the added impact of the new housing could lead to Year R numbers in Lewes being significantly higher in the latter half of the decade than the 150-160 the forecasting model is currently showing.

Some children from Lewes take up places in surrounding rural schools, notably Iford and Kingston CE Primary School and Hamsey Community Primary School.

7.5 Secondary places in Lewes

Relatively high in-area numbers means that Priory School will fill to PAN in 2021/22. A combination of in-area numbers and demand from out of area, may result in Year 7 numbers at or close to PAN in 2022/23 and 2023/24.

Beyond this, significantly smaller cohorts are coming through primary schools in Lewes.  There is unlikely to be high enough demand coming out of Brighton and Hove to bridge the gap between the demand from East Sussex children and Priory’s PAN.  In consequence much lower Year 7 intakes at Priory School are forecast in the middle and latter parts of the next decade.

Lewes Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 231
2014/15 233
2015/16 229
2016/17 231
2017/18 230
2018/19 232
2019/20 237
2020/21 217
2021/22 232
2022/23 232
2023/24 232
2024/25 208
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Lewes Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

Currently, Priory School is close to capacity with very few surplus places.  As lower Year 7 intakes work their way through the school from the middle of the decade, so surplus places will begin to increase.

Lewes Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1158
2014/15 1160
2015/16 1151
2016/17 1154
2017/18 1147
2018/19 1128
2019/20 1132
2020/21 1127
2021/22 1132
2022/23 1138
2023/24 1138
2024/25 1111
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Lewes Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

In 2020/21 the local authority established a new specialist facility at Priory School for up to 12 pupils with specific learning difficulties and associated special educational needs.  Pupils within the facility are on the roll of the school and are in addition to the published admission number.

Part of Priory’s School’s admissions area is a joint admissions area with that of Kings Academy Ringmer.  In recent years the school has taken around 50 children from out of area, notably Ringmer, Chailey, Newhaven and Brighton and Hove, while substantial numbers of in-area children have taken up places at other schools, notably Kings Academy Ringmer, Chailey School and out of county Catholic schools.  Although the village of Ditchling is in a joint admissions area served by Priory School and Chailey School, traditionally children from that village have attended Downlands Community School in Hassocks, as part of long-standing admissions agreement with West Sussex County Council.


8. Newhaven

8.1 Schools in Newhaven

There are four primary schools in Newhaven and one secondary school.  Three of the four primary schools have nursery provision.

8.2 Births in Newhaven

Births in Newhaven have been relatively steady, however, in 2018/19 births were much lower than at any time in recent years.  The estimated figure for 2019/20 suggests 2018/19 might have been a blip rather than the start of a trend of lower births in the town, but we will know more as new ONS data is released.

Newhaven Births from 2008/2009 to 2019/2020
Academic year Number of births
2008/9 167
2009/10 166
2010/11 173
2011/12 182
2012/13 155
2013/14 152
2014/15 171
2015/16 172
2016/17 168
2017/18 172
2018/19 130
2019/20 152
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Newhaven Births (chart view)

8.3 Housing plans in Newhaven

As at January 2021 Lewes District Council planned for approximately 2000 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2029/30, of which an estimated 1600 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

8.4 Primary places in Newhaven

Live birth and GP registration data indicate that numbers of in-area children coming into primary schools are likely to remain relatively high in most years to 2024/25, with only 2023/24 likely to be a lower reception (Year R) intake year.

Newhaven Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 127
2014/15 134
2015/16 138
2016/17 164
2017/18 143
2018/19 148
2019/20 148
2020/21 148
2021/22 138
2022/23 150
2023/24 136
2024/25 150
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Newhaven Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Currently, most primary schools in Newhaven are full or nearly full, meaning there is very little surplus capacity in the town.

Newhaven Total Primary Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 846
2014/15 877
2015/16 901
2016/17 971
2017/18 1001
2018/19 1048
2019/20 1037
2020/21 1040
2021/22 1056
2022/23 1062
2023/24 1041
2024/25 1057
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Newhaven Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

A number of Newhaven pupils attend Iford and Kingston CE Primary School and primary schools in Seaford.  If Newhaven schools are to keep to their PAN, it may require the utilisation of spare capacity in Seaford, Iford and Kingston and Peacehaven schools and this may entail, in some cases, the school admissions system directing Newhaven children to these schools.

With 1600 units of new housing planned for the town in the period to 2029/30, pressures at Year R and on overall primary school places are likely to continue.  It is possible that a shortfall of up to one form of entry could emerge in the second half of the decade.

8.5 Secondary places in Newhaven

Numbers coming through Newhaven primary schools are rising and as mentioned above, new housing development is planned in the town.  Both these factors are reflected in the forecast intakes for 2021/22 onwards.

Newhaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 90
2014/15 94
2015/16 130
2016/17 120
2017/18 147
2018/19 149
2019/20 151
2020/21 178
2021/22 180
2022/23 180
2023/24 180
2024/25 180
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Newhaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

As Year 7 intakes grow, so total numbers on roll at Seahaven Academy will increase.  By the end of the plan period, the school could be close to capacity.

Newhaven Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/2014 to 2024/2025
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 538
2014/15 528
2015/16 582
2016/17 656
2017/18 690
2018/19 692
2019/20 659
2020/21 704
2021/22 763
2022/23 810
2023/24 850
2024/25 876
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Newhaven Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

A project to expand Seahaven Academy completed in summer 2020, increasing capacity from 750 places to 900.  Reflecting the new capacity available, Seahaven Academy increased its PAN from 150 to 180.

As Seahaven Academy’s school admissions area also includes the neighbouring town of Peacehaven (section 9) it is useful to look at pressures across the two towns.  For 2021/22 both schools will fill to their combined PAN of 360.  The latest forecasts point to an overall shortage of places of up to one form of entry in 2023/24 (the shortfall is nominally being shown against Peacehaven Community School).  However, numbers are tight, and shortfalls could emerge in any of the years going forward to 2024/25.

Whether shortfalls emerge, and the extent of these shortfalls, will partly depend on actual levels of outflows from both schools to Priory School (section 7) and Longhill High School in Brighton and Hove.


9. Peacehaven

9.1 Schools in Peacehaven

There are three primary schools in Peacehaven, all of which have nursery provision.  There is one secondary school.

9.2 Births in Peacehaven

Data shows that births in Peacehaven have been falling steadily in the last three years.

Peacehaven Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 203
2009/10 249
2010/11 211
2011/12 269
2012/13 218
2013/14 246
2014/15 234
2015/16 239
2016/17 250
2017/18 230
2018/19 224
2019/20 216
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Peacehaven Births (chart view)

9.3 Housing plans in Peacehaven

As at January 2021 Lewes District Council planned for approximately 1400 new dwellings in the Peacehaven and Telscombe area over the local plan period to 2029/30, of which an estimated 800 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

9.4 Primary places in Peacehaven

Live birth and GP data and, for the longer term, demographic projections indicate that reception (Year R) intake numbers in Peacehaven are likely to be well below the PAN of 210 for the foreseeable future.

Peacehaven Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 201
2014/15 219
2015/16 193
2016/17 229
2017/18 206
2018/19 210
2019/20 198
2020/21 203
2021/22 186
2022/23 188
2023/24 185
2024/25 178
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Peacehaven Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Pupil numbers overall have been declining in recent years.  By 2024/25 surplus places in the town could be nearly 11%.

Peacehaven Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1323
2014/15 1359
2015/16 1375
2016/17 1424
2017/18 1452
2018/19 1457
2019/20 1420
2020/21 1391
2021/22 1358
2022/23 1355
2023/24 1326
2024/25 1311
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Peacehaven Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Saltdean Primary School in neighbouring Brighton and Hove is traditionally the school of preference for pupils in the Peacehaven primary school planning area who live in East Saltdean which is on the East Sussex side of the border.  Traditionally around 20 to 30 East Sussex children per year group obtain a place at Saltdean Primary.  The school recently expanded by a form of entry, meaning that East Sussex children who require a place at the school generally get in.  Additionally, a few Peacehaven area children normally attend St Margaret’s CE Primary School and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School in nearby Rottingdean (again both in Brighton and Hove) and Annecy Catholic Primary School in Seaford (section 10).

9.5 Secondary places in Peacehaven

Numbers coming through Peacehaven primary schools are currently high, putting pressure on Year 7 places at Peacehaven Community School. 

Peacehaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 178
2014/15 177
2015/16 181
2016/17 169
2017/18 161
2018/19 154
2019/20 189
2020/21 178
2021/22 180
2022/23 170
2023/24 191
2024/25 177
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Peacehaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

Peacehaven Community School is close to capacity, with little or no surplus places expected by the end of the plan period.

Peacehaven Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 879
2014/15 889
2015/16 884
2016/17 854
2017/18 850
2018/19 841
2019/20 873
2020/21 867
2021/22 873
2022/23 868
2023/24 912
2024/25 901
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Peacehaven Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

As Peacehaven Community School’s admissions area also includes the neighbouring town of Newhaven (section 8) it is useful to look at pressures across the two towns.  For 2021/22 both schools will fill to their combined PAN of 360.  The latest forecasts point to an overall shortage of places of up to one form of entry in 2023/24.  However, numbers are tight, and shortfalls could emerge in any of the years going forward to 2024/25.

Whether shortfalls emerge, and the extent of these shortfalls, will partly depend on actual levels of outflows from both schools to Priory School in Lewes (section 7) and Longhill High School in Brighton and Hove.


10. Seaford

10.1 Schools in Seaford

There are four primary schools in Seaford and one secondary school with a sixth form.

10.2 Births in Seaford

Data from the ONS and GP registration data shows that births in Seaford have remained largely fairly steady in recent years.

Seaford Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number on births
2008/09 199
2009/10 201
2010/11 215
2011/12 200
2012/13 217
2013/14 194
2014/15 194
2015/16 196
2016/17 184
2017/18 200
2018/19 186
2019/20 190
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Seaford Births (chart view)

10.3 Housing plans in Seaford

As at January 2021 Lewes District Council planned for approximately 800 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2029/30, of which an estimated 400 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

10.4 Primary places in Seaford

School admissions, birth and GP data suggest reception (Year R) intake numbers for 2021/22, 2023/24 and 2024/25 are all likely to be below 200. The 2022/23 intake is predicted to be around 220.

Seaford Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 236
2014/15 234
2015/16 237
2016/17 231
2017/18 227
2018/19 211
2019/20 215
2020/21 229
2021/22 194
2022/23 220
2023/24 197
2024/25 189
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Seaford Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

By 2024/25 surplus places in the town may sit at around 11% of capacity.

Seaford Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1476
2014/15 1536
2015/16 1556
2016/17 1569
2017/18 1575
2018/19 1591
2019/20 1606
2020/21 1604
2021/22 1563
2022/23 1556
2023/24 1540
2024/25 1501
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Seaford Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

The local authority met with the Seaford schools in 2021 to consider the increasing number of surplus places in the area.  No action was taken at the time, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely.

10.5 Secondary places in Seaford

Although Seaford Head School continues to be heavily oversubscribed, the school is forecast to be able to keep to its PAN of 240. This will continue to entail the school admissions system redirecting non-priority out of area applicants to Seahaven Academy (section 8) and Peacehaven Community School (section 9), thereby increasing pupil number pressures in those areas.

Seaford Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 214
2014/15 225
2015/16 241
2016/17 237
2017/18 239
2018/19 221
2019/20 241
2020/21 240
2021/22 240
2022/23 240
2023/24 240
2024/25 240
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Seaford Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

The school is expected to remain full in the coming years with little or no surplus capacity.

Seaford Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1078
2014/15 1177
2015/16 1238
2016/17 1247
2017/18 1292
2018/19 1297
2019/20 1333
2020/21 1400
2021/22 1400
2022/23 1383
2023/24 1389
2024/25 1391
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Seaford Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

11. Rural Lewes

11.1 Schools in Rural Lewes

There are ten primary schools in Rural Lewes and two secondary schools.  Two of the ten primary schools have nursery provision.

11.2 Births in Rural Lewes

Births have remained fairly steady in rural Lewes since the peak year in 2014/15.

Rural Lewes Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 160
2009/10 174
2010/11 169
2011/12 167
2012/13 160
2013/14 162
2014/15 180
2015/16 147
2016/17 150
2017/18 160
2018/19 152
2019/20 155
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Lewes Births (chart view)

11.3 Housing plans in Rural Lewes

As at January 2021 Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority planned for approximately 1700 new dwellings across the rural areas of the district over the Lewes District local plan period to 2029/30.  Of this, an estimated 800 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period of which approximately 300 are in Ringmer Parish and around 100 each are in Chailey and Plumpton Parishes.

11.4 Primary places in Rural Lewes

Reception (Year R) intake numbers in individual rural schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year and normally schools can organise to accommodate any temporary bulges.

Rural Lewes Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 231
2014/15 244
2015/16 227
2016/17 220
2017/18 216
2018/19 210
2019/20 208
2020/21 210
2021/22 207
2022/23 191
2023/24 195
2024/25 197
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Lewes Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Surplus places in the area are expected to double during the plan period, from 7% in 2020/21 to 14% by 2024/25.

Rural Lewes Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1505
2014/15 1508
2015/16 1564
2016/17 1575
2017/18 1576
2018/19 1599
2019/20 1623
2020/21 1623
2021/22 1601
2022/23 1561
2023/24 1528
2024/25 1494
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Lewes Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Despite its expansion in 2017/18, Wivelsfield Primary School is already full, and recent and planned new housing at Wivelsfield Green and either side of the East Sussex / West Sussex Border in Hayward’s Heath and Burgess Hill is likely to place additional pressure on places at the school going forward.

Even with the school admissions restricting inflows of pupils from out of area it will be a challenge to keep the school within PAN over the next few years.  In 2022/23, a shortfall of up to 10 Year R places may be unavoidable given the likely delays in the opening of the new Hurst Farm Primary School across the border in Haywards Heath.

11.5 Secondary places in Rural Lewes (Chailey School)

The local authority has approved an increase in Chailey School’s PAN from 164 to 174 with effect from 2022/23. The school is already accepting up to 174 admissions.

Chailey School Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 133
2014/15 143
2015/16 128
2016/17 156
2017/18 138
2018/19 161
2019/20 157
2020/21 171
2021/22 174
2022/23 174
2023/24 174
2024/25 174
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Chailey School Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

The school is expected to fill to its new capacity of 870 by the end of the plan period.

Chailey School Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 701
2014/15 709
2015/16 679
2016/17 728
2017/18 731
2018/19 756
2019/20 759
2020/21 787
2021/22 801
2022/23 834
2023/24 854
2024/25 872
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Chailey School Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Although the village of Ditchling is in a Priory School/Chailey School joint admissions area, it is also in the admissions area of Downlands Community School in Hassocks, West Sussex. Traditionally children from the village have attended Downlands, which is their nearest school.

11.6 Secondary places in Rural Lewes (Kings Academy Ringmer)

With the exception of the joint school admissions area with Priory School, the secondary school planning area for Kings Academy Ringmer does not include a town.  Traditionally the school has relied on attracting significant numbers of applicants from other areas, notably Priory School and Hailsham Community College.  The low in-area student population has made it particularly challenging for the school to achieve adequate numbers.

The last couple of years has seen as recovery in Year 7 numbers following a period of very low intakes.

King's Academy Ringmer Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 121
2014/15 129
2015/16 106
2016/17 80
2017/18 80
2018/19 86
2019/20 102
2020/21 110
2021/22 133
2022/23 145
2023/24 142
2024/25 134
Shows the data which appears in the table above
King's Academy Ringmer Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

As numbers begin to recover, so the level of surplus places in the school is beginning to fall, from a high of 60% in 2018/19 to perhaps 36% by 2024/25.

King's Academy Ringmer Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 697
2014/15 677
2015/16 608
2016/17 497
2017/18 434
2018/19 417
2019/20 446
2020/21 462
2021/22 524
2022/23 583
2023/24 634
2024/25 675
Shows the data which appears in the table above
King's Academy Ringmer Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

Longer term numbers for the area are currently uncertain and may depend on the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council and Lewes District Council publishes as part of their Local Plans.


12. Bexhill

12.1 Schools in Bexhill

There are eight primary schools in Bexhill and two secondary schools.  Two of the primary schools have nursery provision.

12.2 Births in Bexhill

Data shows that since 2015/16 births in Bexhill have been relatively steady.

Bexhill Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number on births
2008/09 365
2009/10 370
2010/11 411
2011/12 378
2012/13 361
2013/14 341
2014/15 332
2015/16 408
2016/17 343
2017/18 358
2018/19 319
2019/20 356
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Bexhill Births (chart view)

12.3 Housing plans in Bexhill

As at January 2021 Rother District Council planned for approximately 3500 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027/28, of which an estimated 2400 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

12.4 Primary places in Bexhill

Births and GP registrations indicate that the revised PAN of 390 for the town should not be exceeded for the foreseeable future.

However, a general upswing in future births, coupled with the high volume of new housing planned for the town, including a significant amount on land north of Pebsham, could mean rising reception (Year R) intake pressures in the second half of the decade.

Bexhill Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 363
2014/15 374
2015/16 413
2016/17 384
2017/18 366
2018/19 366
2019/20 344
2020/21 387
2021/22 353
2022/23 369
2023/24 345
2024/25 350
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Bexhill Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

By 2024/25 surplus places in Bexhill are predicted to be at 9% of capacity.

Bexhill Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 2366
2014/15 2450
2015/16 2566
2016/17 2638
2017/18 2689
2018/19 2741
2019/20 2693
2020/21 2655
2021/22 2646
2022/23 2624
2023/24 2581
2024/25 2585
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Bexhill Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

The local authority has an option agreement on land for a new school within the development site north of Pebsham and will bring forward proposals to establish provision to serve the development at the appropriate time.  To a large extent the timing of this will be dependent upon when the school site is transferred by the developer to the local authority and the demand for places in the area at that time.

A number of pupils from Bexhill attend Catsfield CE Primary School and Ninfield CE Primary School and both schools are at, or close to, capacity.  A number of Bexhill primary schools experience some inflows of children from Hastings.

12.5 Secondary places in Bexhill

Bexhill Academy has decided to reduce its PAN from 330 to 300 from 2021/22.  St Richard’s Catholic College has a formal PAN of 200, giving a new combined formal PAN of 500 for the town.  It is forecast that both schools will be at, or close to, PAN in the period to 2024/25.

Bexhill Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 389
2014/15 429
2015/16 427
2016/17 410
2017/18 512
2018/19 492
2019/20 538
2020/21 539
2021/22 500
2022/23 500
2023/24 500
2024/25 500
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Bexhill Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

As Bexhill Academy fills to its PAN so the percentage of surplus places in the town will reduce, from 6% in 2020/21 to 4% by 2024/25.

Bexhill Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 2260
2014/15 2155
2015/16 2117
2016/17 2075
2017/18 2129
2018/19 2264
2019/20 2385
2020/21 2490
2021/22 2574
2022/23 2558
2023/24 2573
2024/25 2551
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Bexhill Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

In the second half of the decade and into the next decade, partly linked to the volume of house building in the town, there may come a point where the combined PAN of 500 is insufficient to meet demand.  If this is the case, the local authority will work with Bexhill Academy, St Richard’s Catholic College and the Catholic Diocese to address any shortfalls in provision.


13. Battle

13.1 Schools in Battle

There is one primary school in Battle and one secondary school.

13.2 Births in Battle

Births in the area have tended to fluctuate year-on-year.

Battle Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 40
2009/10 66
2010/11 51
2011/12 53
2012/13 64
2013/14 44
2014/15 61
2015/16 45
2016/17 55
2017/18 55
2018/19 50
2019/20 44
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Battle Births (chart view)

13.3 Housing plans in Battle

As at January 2021 Rother District Council planned for approximately 500 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027/28, over 400 of which remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

13.4 Primary places in Battle

Despite over 400 units of new housing being planned in the period to 2027/28, Battle and Langton CE Primary School is forecast to remain within its PAN of 60 for the foreseeable future.

Future increases in in-area demand should be able to be offset by the school admission system restricting inflows of children from other areas, notably Hastings, where necessary.

Battle Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 57
2014/15 59
2015/16 65
2016/17 56
2017/18 61
2018/19 48
2019/20 51
2020/21 53
2021/22 58
2022/23 55
2023/24 51
2024/25 52
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Battle Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Overall numbers at the school are forecast to remain fairly static in the coming years, with surplus places reaching 5% by the end of the plan period.

Battle Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 436
2014/15 450
2015/16 455
2016/17 465
2017/18 466
2018/19 418
2019/20 410
2020/21 408
2021/22 407
2022/23 405
2023/24 405
2024/25 397
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Battle Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

The school takes significant numbers of pupils from Hastings.  A number of Battle area children occupy places at Netherfield CE Primary School and Sedlescombe CE Primary School in rural Rother.

13.5 Secondary places in Battle

Claverham Community College takes significant numbers of pupils from Hastings and Bexhill. 

Battle Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 227
2014/15 230
2015/16 236
2016/17 228
2017/18 229
2018/19 234
2019/20 233
2020/21 228
2021/22 230
2022/23 230
2023/24 230
2024/25 230
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Battle Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

The school has sufficient capacity to meet in-area demand, and provided it continues to be popular with out of area children it is likely to continue to be full.

Battle Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1154
2014/15 1153
2015/16 1171
2016/17 1140
2017/18 1132
2018/19 1142
2019/20 1138
2020/21 1132
2021/22 1141
2022/23 1147
2023/24 1145
2024/25 1141
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Battle Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

The school forms part of the government’s Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP2) in East Sussex which will see a large part of the school’s premises rebuilt or refurbished.  There is no requirement to expand the school as part of the project.


14. Rye

14.1 Schools in Rye

There is one primary school in Rye which includes nursery provision, and one secondary school.

14.2 Births in Rye

Data illustrates that births in Rye tend to fluctuate from year to year without showing any real trend.

Rye Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 64
2009/10 65
2010/11 78
2011/12 64
2012/13 70
2013/14 73
2014/15 59
2015/16 69
2016/17 60
2017/18 47
2018/19 68
2019/20 53
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rye Births (chart view)

14.3 Housing plans in Rye

As at January 2021 Rother District Council planned for approximately 400 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027/28, of which an estimated 200 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.

14.4 Primary places in Rye

For the foreseeable future, reception (Year R) intake numbers at Rye Community Primary School are likely to be well within the school’s PAN. 

Rye Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 50
2014/15 54
2015/16 55
2016/17 50
2017/18 50
2018/19 48
2019/20 38
2020/21 39
2021/22 25
2022/23 28
2023/24 39
2024/25 35
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rye Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Reflecting the lower demand for places at Rye Community Primary School, Aquinas Academy Trust has taken the decision to reduce the PAN at the school from 60 to 45 with effect from the 2022/23 academic year.  Accommodation will not be removed and can be brought back into use if and when pupil numbers start to rise again.

If intake numbers turn out to be as low as forecast, by 2024/25 surplus places could exceed 40%.

Rye Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 335
2014/15 361
2015/16 361
2016/17 374
2017/18 379
2018/19 349
2019/20 317
2020/21 282
2021/22 261
2022/23 246
2023/24 248
2024/25 246
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rye Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

There is movement out of Rye to the surrounding school admissions areas – all in rural Rother (section 15): St Thomas’ CE Primary School in Winchelsea, Peasmarsh CE Primary School and St Michael’s CE Primary School in Playden.  If pupil numbers at Rye Community Primary School begin to recover in the coming years, this could impact on numbers at some of the surrounding schools, all of which rely on families living in Rye choosing them to remain viable.

14.5 Secondary places in Rye

Rye College traditionally has in-area numbers well below its PAN and has relied on attracting children from out of area and joint admissions areas with other schools.  The school experienced a very sharp downturn in its Year 7 intakes in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 admissions rounds. The school saw lower numbers coming in from Hastings and Kent and much larger outflows to Homewood School in Kent.

Rye Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 138
2014/15 115
2015/16 127
2016/17 121
2017/18 141
2018/19 129
2019/20 86
2020/21 96
2021/22 117
2022/23 137
2023/24 135
2024/25 139
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rye Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

It is assumed that the school will make a gradual recovery, aided by the potential for increased demand from Hastings owing to rising numbers there.  The 2021/22 admissions round suggests that inflows from Hastings are starting to rise again, and that Year 7 numbers will be significantly up on the previous two years.

The following three years are forecast to see intakes in the region of 130 – 140, but much will hinge on parental preference patterns and how these affect inflows from and outflows to surrounding schools.

The school currently has marginally over 25% surplus places, but with higher Year 7 intakes forecast, the level of surplus places should stabilise and then begin to fall.

Rye Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 778
2014/15 785
2015/16 757
2016/17 759
2017/18 690
2018/19 583
2019/20 561
2020/21 561
2021/22 560
2022/23 572
2023/24 581
2024/25 624
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rye Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

15. Rural Rother

15.1 Schools in Rural Rother

There are 22 primary schools in Rural Rother and one secondary school.  One primary school has nursery provision.

15.2 Births in Rural Rother

Following a rise in births in 2017/18 and 2018/19, projections for 2019/20 suggest numbers will fall back to levels more normally seen in the rural areas of Rother.

Rural Rother Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 239
2009/10 258
2010/11 241
2011/12 243
2012/13 233
2013/14 235
2014/15 264
2015/16 238
2016/17 240
2017/18 261
2018/19 280
2019/20 241
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Rother Births (chart view)

15.3 Housing plans in Rural Rother

As at January 2021 Rother District Council planned for approximately 2000 new dwellings over the local plan period to 2027/28, of which an estimated 1200 remain to be built between 2021/22 and the end of the local plan period.  Approximately 200 of these are in Robertsbridge and 100 in Westfield Parish.

15.4 Primary places in Rural Rother

All schools in the rural areas of Rother are forecast to stay within their PAN for the foreseeable future.  Intake numbers in individual rural schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year due to parent choice, normally schools can organise to accommodate any temporary bulges.

Rural Rother Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 407
2014/15 407
2015/16 419
2016/17 406
2017/18 401
2018/19 368
2019/20 394
2020/21 369
2021/22 376
2022/23 370
2023/24 386
2024/25 380
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Rother Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Falling outflows from Hastings (section 6), as a result of lower numbers there, may result in some surrounding schools not filling as they normally do. 

Continued significant net outflows of children to surrounding schools, notably Stonegate CE Primary School, could see Year R numbers at Ticehurst and Flimwell CE Primary School, with a PAN of 30, consistently being in the region of 15 to 20 over the plan period.

Rural Rother Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 2748
2014/15 2790
2015/16 2851
2016/17 2900
2017/18 2921
2018/19 2860
2019/20 2846
2020/21 2820
2021/22 2787
2022/23 2753
2023/24 2742
2024/25 2732
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Rother Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

All of the following primary schools take significant numbers of children from the Hastings place planning area: Crowhurst CE Primary School, Guestling Bradshaw CE Primary School, Icklesham CE Primary School, Netherfield CE Primary School, Sedlescombe CE Primary School and Westfield School.  Catsfield CE Primary School takes a significant number of pupils from the Bexhill place planning area.

15.5 Secondary places in Rural Rother (Robertsbridge Community College)

Robertsbridge Community College has more than sufficient places to meet in-area demand.  It is forecast that Year 7 intakes will be at, or close to, PAN for the foreseeable future, but this depends on the school remaining popular with out of area applicants, notably from Hastings.

Robertsbridge Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 127
2014/15 129
2015/16 138
2016/17 140
2017/18 130
2018/19 146
2019/20 148
2020/21 155
2021/22 145
2022/23 145
2023/24 145
2024/25 145
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Robertsbridge Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

The school is expected to remain full to its capacity during the plan period.

Robertsbridge Community College Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 638
2014/15 634
2015/16 648
2016/17 679
2017/18 686
2018/19 723
2019/20 721
2020/21 733
2021/22 734
2022/23 738
2023/24 737
2024/25 735
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Robertsbridge Community College Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

In 2020/21 the local authority established a new specialist facility at Robertsbridge Community College for up to 12 pupils with specific learning difficulties and associated special educational needs.  Pupils within the facility are on the roll of the school and are in addition to the published admission number.


16. Crowborough

16.1 Schools in Crowborough

There are five primary schools in Crowborough and one secondary school.  One primary school has nursery provision.  The secondary school has a sixth form.

16.2 Births in Crowborough

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that births in Crowborough have been fairly consistent in recent years.

Crowborough Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 189
2009/10 196
2010/11 225
2011/12 192
2012/13 211
2013/14 197
2014/15 191
2015/16 211
2016/17 188
2017/18 178
2018/19 187
2019/20 186
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Crowborough Births (chart view)

16.3 Housing plans in Crowborough

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

16.4 Primary places in Crowborough

Based on birth and GP registration data, for the foreseeable future, reception (Year R) intake numbers in Crowborough are likely to fall well below the PAN of 210 during the plan period. 

Crowborough Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 188
2014/15 203
2015/16 196
2016/17 196
2017/18 192
2018/19 180
2019/20 179
2020/21 187
2021/22 164
2022/23 158
2023/24 172
2024/25 145
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Crowborough Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Surplus places in Crowborough currently stand at 7% and are forecast to rise to 16% by 2024/25.

Crowborough Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1372
2014/15 1391
2015/16 1390
2016/17 1408
2017/18 1389
2018/19 1402
2019/20 1371
2020/21 1372
2021/22 1339
2022/23 1297
2023/24 1269
2024/25 1233
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Crowborough Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

A number of pupils from Crowborough currently attend surrounding schools, most notably Rotherfield Primary School and High Hurstwood CE Primary School (section 22).

16.5 Secondary places in Crowborough

Forecasts for pupil numbers at Beacon Academy take account of the considerable amount of cross-border movement to and from Kent (and its grammar school system) and West Sussex.  Kent and West Sussex County Councils both report rising pressures on places on their side of the border, in Tunbridge Wells and, to a lesser degree, East Grinstead respectively where, in both cases, Year 7 intakes are forecast to peak around 2023/24.

Beacon is also currently seeing high numbers of pupils coming through primary schools in its school admissions area.

As a consequence, Year 7 numbers at Beacon are forecast to be high, at least to 2024/25.  How high will depend on the ability of the school admissions system to redirect out of area applicants to other schools.

Beacon’s new formal PAN of 250 is likely to be exceeded until at least 2024/25, with the intakes in 2021/22 and 2022/23 potentially reaching 270 or above.

Crowborough Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 202
2014/15 205
2015/16 191
2016/17 203
2017/18 219
2018/19 254
2019/20 270
2020/21 264
2021/22 270
2022/23 277
2023/24 260
2024/25 260
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Crowborough Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

From 2025/26 we expect Year 7 numbers to stay within the PAN of 250.  Longer term Year 7 numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

Crowborough Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1412
2014/15 1366
2015/16 1295
2016/17 1258
2017/18 1265
2018/19 1297
2019/20 1381
2020/21 1453
2021/22 1509
2022/23 1581
2023/24 1616
2024/25 1635
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Crowborough Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Many children from the village of Forest Row, in the joint admissions area for Beacon Academy and Chailey School (section 11), traditionally receive offers of places at Sackville School in East Grinstead, West Sussex.  Rising pressure for places at Sackville and/or numbers of pupils coming through Year 6 at Forest Row CE Primary could mean more unsuccessful Sackville applicants requiring a place at Beacon or at Chailey School.  However, numbers coming through Forest Row CE Primary are declining, with most of the cohorts leaving Year 6 in future predicted to be under 30.


17. Hailsham

17.1 Schools in Hailsham

There are six primary schools in Hailsham and one all through school (primary and secondary).  Three schools have nursery provision, and the all-through school has a sixth form.

17.2 Births in Hailsham

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that births in Hailsham rose significantly in 2014/15.  Although numbers since then have been lower, there is a general upward trajectory of births linked to recent house building in the town.

Hailsham Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 228
2009/10 233
2010/11 255
2011/12 248
2012/13 258
2013/14 258
2014/15 334
2015/16 295
2016/17 260
2017/18 304
2018/19 268
2019/20 266
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hailsham Births (chart view)

17.3 Housing plans in Hailsham

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues

17.4 Primary places in Hailsham

Around 2300 units of new housing have been completed in Hailsham over the past 10 years, and this has significantly boosted pupil numbers in the town.  However, the current general downward trend in births has partly offset the impact of new housing.  Also, high numbers of Hailsham families continue to opt for places in surrounding schools, most notably Herstmonceux CE Primary School, Park Mead Primary School and Chiddingly Primary School.  An analysis of the January 2021 school census revealed that the numbers of Hailsham children in surrounding schools ranges from 53 to 98 per primary year group cohort.

For the above reasons, reception (Year R) intakes in Hailsham have not been as high as originally predicted and that, at least to 2024/25, numbers are unlikely to exceed 300 and, in most years, may stay within 270.

Hailsham Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 241
2014/15 268
2015/16 256
2016/17 260
2017/18 255
2018/19 242
2019/20 283
2020/21 274
2021/22 248
2022/23 283
2023/24 265
2024/25 270
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hailsham Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Once the general demographic trend for births turns upward again, we are likely to see a follow-on upward trend in Year R numbers in Hailsham in the second half of the decade with intakes rising toward and possibly exceeding the current PAN of 330.  Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

As at 2020/2021, surplus places in the town stood at 21%.  However, this figure is inflated by the primary phase of Hailsham Community College which opened in 2019.  The school currently only has three year groups (Year R, 1 and 2).  It will be 2025/2026 before the school has a cohort in each year group.

Hailsham Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1577
2014/15 1640
2015/16 1657
2016/17 1683
2017/18 1707
2018/19 1713
2019/20 1782
2020/21 1844
2021/22 1838
2022/23 1867
2023/24 1890
2024/25 1920
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hailsham Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

17.5 Secondary places in Hailsham

As a result of rising numbers coming through primary schools and additional pupils generated by the substantial volume of new housing being built in the town, Hailsham Community College is likely to experience rising pupil numbers in the coming years with the current PAN of 240 being exceeded.

The exact magnitude of Year 7 intakes will be heavily dependent on future patterns of parental preference and the availability of places in surrounding schools.  Many parents living in Hailsham opt to send their children to primary schools outside the town.  Numbers range from 50 to 100 per academic year group.  It is these children who are most likely to express a preference for other secondary schools, notably Heathfield Community College (section 18), Kings Academy Ringmer (section 11) and schools in Eastbourne and Willingdon (sections 5 and 19).

Hailsham Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 178
2014/15 195
2015/16 200
2016/17 203
2017/18 231
2018/19 240
2019/20 218
2020/21 235
2021/22 240
2022/23 290
2023/24 270
2024/25 270
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hailsham Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

To address the predicted demand for places at the school, the local authority is working with Hailsham Community College to enlarge the premises by 2022/23.  A project to provide 400 new places (300 11-16 and 100 post-16) is on site with completion expected by September 2022.  As a result, the school’s PAN will increase from 240 to 300.

Hailsham Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1150
2014/15 1120
2015/16 1149
2016/17 1116
2017/18 1218
2018/19 1275
2019/20 1284
2020/21 1302
2021/22 1343
2022/23 1433
2023/24 1494
2024/25 1546
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Hailsham Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

18. Heathfield

18.1 Schools in Heathfield

There are three primary schools in Heathfield and one secondary school.  One primary school has nursery provision.  The secondary school has a sixth form.

18.2 Births in Heathfield

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that from 2016/17 to 2018/19 births in Heathfield were significantly below the 2015/16 peak.  The projection for 2019/20 is up on the previous three years.

Heathfield Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 84
2009/10 72
2010/11 88
2011/12 88
2012/13 92
2013/14 88
2014/15 82
2015/16 108
2016/17 79
2017/18 84
2018/19 83
2019/20 91
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Heathfield Births (chart view)

18.3 Housing plans in Heathfield

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

18.4 Primary places in Heathfield

Reception (Year R) intake numbers in Heathfield schools have been boosted by the closure of Broad Oak Community Primary School at the end of the 2019/20 academic year, pressures at nearby Maynards Green Community Primary School (section 22) and recent new house building in the town.

Intakes are forecast to be 100 or more until 2022/33 but to remain within the PAN of 110.  For 2023/24 and 2024/25, birth and GP data are suggesting Year R numbers should be lower.

Heathfield Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 70
2014/15 72
2015/16 88
2016/17 74
2017/18 84
2018/19 81
2019/20 102
2020/21 108
2021/22 101
2022/23 100
2023/24 82
2024/25 92
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Heathfield Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Currently, surplus places in Heathfield stand at 13%.  However, surplus places are predicted to fall as a result of recent and forthcoming high Year R intakes.

Heathfield Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 575
2014/15 584
2015/16 567
2016/17 572
2017/18 581
2018/19 590
2019/20 629
2020/21 673
2021/22 694
2022/23 688
2023/24 685
2024/25 694
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Heathfield Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

There is movement of pupils between Heathfield and Maynard’s Green Community Primary School and Punnetts Town Community Primary School.  There are also inflows of pupils from Hailsham.

18.5 Secondary places in Heathfield

With inflows of pupils from surrounding areas, it is forecast that for the foreseeable future Heathfield Community College will fill to its PAN of 240.

Heathfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 200
2014/15 206
2015/16 209
2016/17 245
2017/18 235
2018/19 244
2019/20 245
2020/21 240
2021/22 240
2022/23 240
2023/24 240
2024/25 240
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Heathfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

The potential for the school admissions system to redirect out of area applicants back to Hailsham and other areas means that Heathfield Community College is unlikely to have to exceed its PAN for the foreseeable future and will remain at, or close to, capacity.

Heathfield Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1395
2014/15 1411
2015/16 1428
2016/17 1444
2017/18 1440
2018/19 1439
2019/20 1480
2020/21 1477
2021/22 1504
2022/23 1543
2023/24 1537
2024/25 1541
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Heathfield Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year 7 numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.


19. Polegate and Willingdon

19.1 Schools in Polegate and Willingdon

There are two primary schools in Polegate and Willingdon and one secondary school.  One primary school has nursery provision.

19.2 Births in Polegate and Willingdon

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that births in Polegate and Willingdon have been generally higher in recent years in line with recent house building in the area.

Polegate and Willingdon Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 108
2009/10 118
2010/11 142
2011/12 114
2012/13 112
2013/14 130
2014/15 123
2015/16 154
2016/17 152
2017/18 138
2018/19 156
2019/20 136
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Polegate and Willingdon Births (chart view)

19.3 Housing plans in Polegate and Willingdon

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

19.4 Primary places in Polegate and Willingdon

In the last five years high in-area numbers of children linked to recent housing development has resulted in reception (Year R) intakes of around 150.  Birth and GP registration data points to similar Year R numbers going forward to 2024/25.

Polegate and Willingdon Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 120
2014/15 121
2015/16 149
2016/17 149
2017/18 149
2018/19 149
2019/20 145
2020/21 150
2021/22 150
2022/23 150
2023/24 150
2024/25 150
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Polegate and Willingdon Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

Polegate and Willingdon Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 849
2014/15 847
2015/16 881
2016/17 915
2017/18 936
2018/19 971
2019/20 989
2020/21 1020
2021/22 1051
2022/23 1055
2023/24 1063
2024/25 1078
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Polegate and Willingdon Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

There are significant flows of children to and from Polegate School and Willingdon Primary School and schools in Eastbourne.

19.5 Secondary places in Polegate and Willingdon

Linked to numbers coming through primary schools and the volume of recent housing development in the Polegate and Stone Cross areas, Willingdon Community School is likely to find it increasingly difficult to meet demand from all children within its admissions community area who wish to go there.

The Willingdon school admissions area has a number of shared areas with two Eastbourne schools, The Turing School (formerly The Causeway School) and The Eastbourne Academy.  In certain years, notably 2023/24, 2025/26 and 2027/28, for Willingdon to keep to its current PAN of 200, the school admissions system may have to direct a significant number of local applicants from the Wealden District part of Willingdon’s catchment area to schools in Eastbourne.

Willingdon Community School Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 195
2014/15 199
2015/16 181
2016/17 202
2017/18 202
2018/19 204
2019/20 198
2020/21 204
2021/22 200
2022/23 200
2023/24 200
2024/25 200
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Willingdon Community School Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

The school is likely will remain at, or close to, capacity during the plan period.

Willingdon Community School Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 995
2014/15 997
2015/16 979
2016/17 995
2017/18 997
2018/19 992
2019/20 984
2020/21 1006
2021/22 1001
2022/23 1000
2023/24 999
2024/25 1006
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Willingdon Community School Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year 7 numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.


20. Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham

20.1 Schools in Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham

There are three primary schools in Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham.

20.2 Births in Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that births in Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham tend to fluctuate year-on-year, although numbers in the last few years have been higher, possibly linked to the volume of new housing in the area.  2018/19 was a particularly high birth year.

Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 74
2009/10 77
2010/11 71
2011/12 79
2012/13 63
2013/14 89
2014/15 66
2015/16 74
2016/17 69
2017/18 89
2018/19 116
2019/20 90
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Births (chart view)

20.3 Housing plans in Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

20.4 Primary places in Stone Cross, Hankham, Pevensey and Westham from 2013/14 to 2024/25

Westham CE are expected to remain at, or close to, the combined PAN of 140

Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 128
2014/15 135
2015/16 143
2016/17 140
2017/18 140
2018/19 141
2019/20 140
2020/21 141
2021/22 135
2022/23 140
2023/24 140
2024/25 136
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

The three schools are largely full.  700 units of new housing have been built in the area in the past five years and more is planned in the short term.  The schools take significant numbers of children from Eastbourne and the school admissions system should be able to redirect some of this demand back to Eastbourne, where future intake numbers are predicted to decline as a result of falling births.  Therefore, provided historical outflow levels to other schools are also maintained, there should be sufficient capacity in the three schools to meet local demand for the foreseeable future.

Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 955
2014/15 970
2015/16 981
2016/17 982
2017/18 979
2018/19 993
2019/20 988
2020/21 978
2021/22 966
2022/23 961
2023/24 963
2024/25 971
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.


21. Uckfield

21.1 Schools in Uckfield

There are five primary schools in Uckfield and one secondary school.  One primary school has nursery provision, and the secondary school has a sixth form.

21.2 Births in Uckfield

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that births have fallen significantly in the last few years.

Uckfield Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 156
2009/10 175
2010/11 169
2011/12 189
2012/13 166
2013/14 180
2014/15 161
2015/16 180
2016/17 148
2017/18 141
2018/19 137
2019/20 144
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uckfield Births (chart view)

21.3 Housing plans in Uckfield

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

21.4 Primary places in Uckfield

Live birth and GP registration data are currently suggesting reception (Year R) intake numbers falling until at least 2024/25.

Uckfield Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 164
2014/15 163
2015/16 159
2016/17 158
2017/18 133
2018/19 166
2019/20 155
2020/21 158
2021/22 143
2022/23 133
2023/24 126
2024/25 120
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uckfield Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Surplus places currently stand at 15% and this figure is likely to rise in the short term.

Uckfield Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1150
2014/15 1147
2015/16 1148
2016/17 1135
2017/18 1111
2018/19 1117
2019/20 1077
2020/21 1065
2021/22 1058
2022/23 1040
2023/24 1008
2024/25 1001
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uckfield Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

The development of 1000 new homes at Ridgewood Farm, in the south west of Uckfield, is underway and this is likely to generate a significant number of additional pupils.  The local authority has an option agreement on land for a new school within the development site and will bring forward proposals to create provision to serve the site at the appropriate time.  To a large extent the timing of this will be dependent upon when the school site is transferred by the developer to the local authority and the demand for places in the area at that time.

Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

A number of Uckfield pupils attend surrounding schools, notably Bonners CE Primary School, Buxted CE Primary School, Framfield CE Primary School and Little Horsted CE Primary School.

21.5 Secondary places in Uckfield

In some of the coming years, in-area numbers coming through primary schools are lower than they have been recently.  Actual Year 7 intake numbers each year will also depend on the relative popularity of Uckfield College and other schools, particularly Chailey School and King's Academy, Ringmer (section 11).  In consequence, with the possible exception of 2022/23, there are a number of years where the school is predicted to have Year 7 numbers significantly below its PAN of 270.

Uckfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 272
2014/15 272
2015/16 279
2016/17 272
2017/18 270
2018/19 261
2019/20 284
2020/21 230
2021/22 260
2022/23 265
2023/24 253
2024/25 234
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uckfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

In 2020/21 there were 7% surplus places at Uckfield College.  By the end of the plan period this figure is likely to have increased to 10%.

Uckfield Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 1694
2014/15 1714
2015/16 1732
2016/17 1678
2017/18 1674
2018/19 1677
2019/20 1677
2020/21 1632
2021/22 1625
2022/23 1623
2023/24 1614
2024/25 1579
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uckfield Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year 7 numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.


22. Rural Wealden

22.1 Schools in Rural Wealden

There are 32 primary schools in Rural Wealden and one secondary school.  Three primary schools have nursery provision, and the secondary school has a sixth form.

22.2 Births in rural Wealden

Data from the ONS and GP registrations show that births in rural Wealden fell in 2017/18 and 2018/19.  The projection for 2019/20 shows a return to previous levels, but actual live birth data is not currently available.

Rural Wealden Births from 2008/09 to 2019/20
Academic year Number of births
2008/09 377
2009/10 379
2010/11 392
2011/12 372
2012/13 372
2013/14 379
2014/15 393
2015/16 384
2016/17 378
2017/18 336
2018/19 329
2019/20 377
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Wealden Births (chart view)

22.3 Housing plans in rural Wealden

Wealden District Council has embarked on the process of developing a new Local Plan.  This will lead to a period of uncertainty while the district council reviews its position and begins to form an opinion on the likely quantum and location of future housing development it must plan for in the district.  What is almost certain is that this will lead to a greater number of new homes being built in the district in future years.  What is less certain at this stage is how much more and where in the district this might happen.  Therefore, future projections for school planning areas in Wealden may change, particularly forecasts beyond the immediate School Organisation Plan timescale to 2024/25, as it is levels of housing development in the medium to longer term that are most uncertain.  Future versions of the School Organisation Plan will provide more clarity on these issues.

22.4 Primary places in rural Wealden

Reception (Year R) intake numbers in individual rural schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year and normally schools can organise to accommodate any temporary bulges.

Lower numbers coming out of some of the big towns may mean that some rural schools that have habitually filled to PAN in the past may not do so in some of the coming years.

Rural Wealden Primary Year R Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 551
2014/15 545
2015/16 565
2016/17 528
2017/18 537
2018/19 518
2019/20 535
2020/21 497
2021/22 484
2022/23 464
2023/24 466
2024/25 453
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Wealden Primary Year R Numbers (chart view)

Currently, surplus places across the rural Wealden schools stand at 8%.  By 2024/25 surplus places are predicted to increase to 14% in the area.

Rural Wealden Total Primary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 3832
2014/15 3839
2015/16 3889
2016/17 3867
2017/18 3864
2018/19 3832
2019/20 3755
2020/21 3708
2021/22 3666
2022/23 3585
2023/24 3540
2024/25 3463
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Rural Wealden Total Primary Numbers (chart view)

Linked to new housing, in-area numbers requiring a mainstream state funded school place in the Maynards Green Community Primary School area in 2021/22, 2022/23 and 2024/25 are forecast to be over 30.  However, as long as recent outflow patterns to other schools are maintained and the school admissions system pushes back some demand to Heathfield, we do not anticipate the school’s PAN of 30 normally being exceeded.  It is possible that to keep the school to PAN, the school admissions system may also have to direct some in-area applicants to surrounding schools.

Birth and GP registration data point to high in-area numbers requiring mainstream state funded school places at Maresfield in both 2021/22 and 2022/23. This has led to 18 Year R places being allocated for 2021/22 at Bonners CE Primary School with a PAN of 15.  If typical outflows to other areas are maintained and the school admissions system restricts inflows, the school may just be able to keep to its PAN of 15 in 2022/23.

Longer term Year R numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.

22.5 Secondary places in rural Wealden (Uplands Community College)

It is difficult to be precise regarding the forecast for Uplands Community College because numbers will to some extent be determined by the demand for and supply of school places generally and grammar school places in particular on the Kent side of the border.  

For 2021/22 there were around 170 admissions allocations to Uplands Community College, compared to its PAN of 150.  However, allocation numbers traditionally fall back with successful appeals to Kent Grammars, so the PAN is not forecast to be exceeded.

Uplands Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 128
2014/15 141
2015/16 145
2016/17 144
2017/18 141
2018/19 150
2019/20 135
2020/21 122
2021/22 150
2022/23 145
2023/24 144
2024/25 134
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uplands Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers (chart view)

Intake numbers are also forecast to remain within PAN in the coming years. However, as always, actual numbers will be determined to a large extent by parental preference and factors beyond Uplands Community College’s admissions area borders.

Uplands Community College Total Secondary Numbers from 2013/14 to 2024/25
Academic year Number on roll
2013/14 916
2014/15 908
2015/16 897
2016/17 875
2017/18 851
2018/19 840
2019/20 796
2020/21 774
2021/22 781
2022/23 793
2023/24 796
2024/25 795
Shows the data which appears in the table above
Uplands Community College Total Secondary Numbers (chart view)

Longer term Year 7 numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council publishes.


23. School Planning Areas

Primary schools

Eastbourne Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2021*
Bourne Primary School Primary 3-11 Community
Heron Park Primary Academy Primary 4-11 Academy
Langney Primary Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
Motcombe Infants School Infant 5-7 Community
Oakwood Primary Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
Ocklynge Junior School Junior 7-11 Academy
Parkland Infant School Infant 5-7 Academy
Parkland Junior School Junior 7-11 Academy
Pashley Down Infant School Infant 4-7 Community
Roselands Infants' School Infant 4-7 Academy
Shinewater Primary School Primary 3-11 Academy
St Andrew's Church of England Infants School Infant 4-7 Voluntary Controlled
St John's Meads Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Academy
St Thomas A Beckett Catholic Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
Stafford Junior School Junior 7-11 Academy
The Haven Voluntary Aided CofE/Methodist Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
Tollgate Community Junior School Junior 7-11 Community
West Rise Community Infant School Infant 4-7 Community
West Rise Junior School Junior 7-11 Community
Hastings Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2021*
All Saints CofE Junior School Junior 7-11 Academy
ARK Blacklands Primary Academy Primary 4-11 Academy
ARK Castledown Primary 2-11 Academy
ARK Little Ridge Primary Academy Primary 4-11 Academy
Christ Church CofE Primary & Nursery Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
Churchwood Primary Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
Dudley Infant Academy Infant 5-7 Academy
Hollington Primary Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
Ore Village Primary Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
Robsack Wood Primary Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Aided Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
Sandown Primary School and Nursery Primary 2-11 Community
Silverdale Primary Academy Primary 5-11 Academy
St Leonard’s Church of England Primary Academy Primary 5-11 Academy
St Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School Aided Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
St Paul's Church of England Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
The Baird Primary Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
West St Leonards Primary Academy Primary 5-11 Academy
Lewes Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2021*
St Pancras Catholic Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
South Malling CofE Primary School Primary 3-11 Voluntary Controlled
Southover CofE Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Wallands Community Primary and Nursery School Primary 3-11 Community
Western Road Community Primary School Primary 4-11 Foundation
Newhaven Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2021*
Breakwater Academy Primary 4-11 Academy
Denton Community Primary School and Nursery Primary 3-11 Community
Harbour Primary and Nursery School Primary 2-11 Community
High Cliff Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
Peacehaven Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2021*
Meridian Community Primary School and Nursery Primary 2-11 Community
Peacehaven Heights Primary School Primary 3-11 Community
Telscombe Cliffs Primary School and Nursery Primary 2-11 Community
Seaford Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2021*
Annecy Catholic Primary School Primary 4-11 Academy
Chyngton School Primary 4-11 Community
Cradle Hill Community Primary School Primary 4-11 Community
Seaford Primary School Primary