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School Organisation Plan 2022 to 2026

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1. Executive Summary

The School Organisation Plan, which covers the period 2022 to 2026, 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 primary, secondary and special school places in the right locations to meet demand.

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 and the rising number of children and young people with an Education, Health and Care Plan. 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.

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 providing a high quality and inclusive education for all children and young people 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.

On 23 March 2022, the government published its Education White Paper ‘Opportunity for All’.  The White Paper sets out the government’s aim that ‘by 2030 all children will be taught in a family of schools that are in a strong MAT or plan to join one’.

Since the introduction of the Academies Act in 2010 which enabled all maintained schools to apply to become academies, the local authority has supported 69 schools to academise.  All new schools to have been established in East Sussex have opened as free schools under the Academies Act 2010.

Together, the local authority and schools in East Sussex have been successful in creating an effective, school-led partnership system in the county which creates a strong foundation for this next set of developments. We recognise that each school and academy is autonomous, accountable to different governance, and occupying a particular geographical and social context.  Equally, our shared priority is to champion together the wellbeing and achievements of all our children and young people.

The White Paper presents an opportunity for the local authority, schools, and partners to develop the education landscape further in East Sussex in a way that will deliver improved outcomes for children and young people. It brings greater clarity to the role of the local authority in education and a sharper focus on our role as champion for vulnerable children.  We believe that the local authority has three key roles moving forwards:

  • To champion and advocate for every child and young person, especially those who are most vulnerable
  • A facilitator of strong partnerships with and between individual schools
  • A key player in the partnership work of shaping and leading wider system development

In the exercise of these roles, the local authority is taking forward discussions with schools about how we collectively shape the education landscape in East Sussex to improve outcomes for children and young people.


2. Policies and Strategies

The School Organisation Plan is one of several policies and strategies that relate to wider education provision in East Sussex. Others include:

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 3 preferences when applying for a school place for their child.

For September 2022, the local authority was able to offer a place at a preferred school to 98.3% of primary reception (Year R) applicants, 98.3% of junior Year 3 applicants and 97.1% of secondary Year 7 applicants. There is more information about applying for a school place on the local authority website.

2.2 Childcare Sufficiency Duty

The Childcare Sufficiency Duty 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.

A new Childcare Sufficiency Duty report for 2023-24 will be published in early 2023.

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. Excellence for All sets out our vision to improve outcomes for all children and young people in East Sussex.  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 2022-25

In November 2022, following a ten month consultation period, we will launch a new ambitious East Sussex 2022-2025 SEND strategy.  This will set out the strategic direction for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and their families in East Sussex.

Although we are in the early stages of our co-production journey, the process to develop the strategy reflects the need for shared leadership on these priorities, and for co-production to become business as usual.  A multi-agency strategy steering group has driven the development of the strategy. 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 underpinned by the outcomes we all want for all children and young people and reflect the key themes from consultation engagement strands.  It will also be informed by recommendations identified in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment published in August 2021.

Our new strategy builds upon our last strategy, but there are some changes to our approach.

  • This strategy has been co-produced with and embeds the views and perspectives of young people at its very heart. This includes the vision that young people have developed to headline our strategy.  We set out how we will listen and respond more effectively and consistently, and how we will include young people in planning and delivery.         
  • This strategy is shorter and more focused than our last. We want to convey our strategic vision clearly, to make it easy for our partners and stakeholders to understand and engage with it. 
  • Schools and educational settings are key partners. This strategy builds on the priorities and the work of the East Sussex Primary and Secondary Boards. 

At the point of the launch of the new strategy, the work will transfer to the new, invigorated East Sussex SEND Strategy Governance Board, which will oversee delivery, and assess impact. 

2.5 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 duties 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 an EHCP, 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 Department for Education.

2.6 National Framework

For more information about the national framework within which local authorities must work in relation to education provision and school 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 492,000 in 2001 to 546,000 in 2021 (Source: 2001 and 2021 Census).

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 2022).

Births in East Sussex peaked at 5,503 in academic year 2010-11. Since then, countywide births fell to around 4,600 in 2019-20 and are likely to continue to fall until at least 2021-22.

East Sussex Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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 4617
2020-21 4427
East Sussex Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
East Sussex Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

3.2 Pupil numbers

The fall in countywide births is reflected in falling primary reception (Year R) intake numbers, which are forecast to continue reducing, until at least 2025-26.  The local authority’s pupil forecasts show numbers recovering beyond this point.  However, intake forecasts beyond 2025-26 are based on demographic projections of future births rather than actual live birth or GP registration data.  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 across the county generally until the 2030s.

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 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Year R number on roll
2014-15 5509
2015-16 5623
2016-17 5578
2017-18 5476
2018-19 5262
2019-20 5253
2020-21 5201
2021-22 4949
2022-23 5041
2023-24 4858
2024-25 4697
2025-26 4676
East Sussex Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
East Sussex Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Total numbers on roll in primary schools peaked in 2018-19 and are now in decline.  In 2021-22 there was 9% surplus capacity overall, although this margin varies from area to area.  By 2025-26, pupil numbers are forecast to fall to around 35,150 with surplus places increasing to 14% of capacity.

East Sussex Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Total number on roll
2014-15 36854
2015-16 37594
2016-17 38264
2017-18 38594
2018-19 38648
2019-20 38406
2020-21 38080
2021-22 37581
2022-23 37000
2023-24 36290
2024-25 35593
2025-26 35151
East Sussex Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
East Sussex Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Previous high numbers in primary schools are being reflected in rising Year 7 secondary school intakes.  Year 7 numbers are predicted to peak in either 2022-23 or 2023-24.

East Sussex Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Year 7 number on roll
2014-15 4741
2015-16 4882
2016-17 4814
2017-18 5078
2018-19 5158
2019-20 5275
2020-21 5263
2021-22 5390
2022-23 5649
2023-24 5581
2024-25 5446
2025-26 5213
East Sussex Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
East Sussex Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Total numbers on roll in secondary schools are forecast to peak around 2024-25 or 2025-26.  As a result of rising numbers, surplus places in secondary schools are predicted to reduce from 10% of capacity in 2021-22 to 7% by 2025-26.

East Sussex Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Total number on roll
2014-15 26067
2015-16 25919
2016-17 25684
2017-18 25735
2018-19 25955
2019-20 26455
2020-21 26920
2021-22 27265
2022-23 27896
2023-24 28479
2024-25 28739
2025-26 28713
East Sussex Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
East Sussex Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The numbers of school aged children and young people aged 4-19 in East Sussex with an EHCP have been rising steeply in recent years, from 3,126 in 2018-19 to 3,494 in 2021-22, an increase of 12%. In 2021-22, there were also 400 young people aged 19-25 in East Sussex with an EHCP.

In the next four years, the local authority forecasts that overall numbers of school-aged children and young people aged 4-19 with EHCPs will grow by around 15%, to approximately 4,000.

Education Health and Care Plans in East Sussex from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHC Plans
2014-15 2640
2015-16 2714
2016-17 2909
2017-18 3022
2018-19 3126
2019-20 3170
2020-21 3297
2021-22 3494
2022-23 3674
2023-24 3789
2024-25 3910
2025-26 4021
Overall Numbers Of Children And Young People Aged 4 25 With Ehcps
Education Health and Care Plans from 2014-15 to 2025-26

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 800 children from the neighbouring authorities of Kent, West Sussex and Brighton and Hove and exports approximately 1,500 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 2022 there were 174 state funded mainstream schools and 15 special schools and alternative provisions in East Sussex.  These range from local authority-maintained schools to academies and free schools.  The following table provides a breakdown of the different types of school.

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 35
Voluntary Controlled 40
Voluntary Aided 21
Foundation 2
Academy 37
Total 135

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

All-through
School Type Number
Academy (4-16) 1
Academy (4-18) 2
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 2
Academy 4
Total 6
Special and Alternative Provision
School Type Number
Community 1
Academy 14
Total 15
Summary Total
School Type (all schools) Number
Community 47
Voluntary Controlled 41
Voluntary Aided 22
Foundation 3
Academy 76
Total number of schools in East Sussex 189
  • There are 110 local authority maintained schools in East Sussex, three foundation schools and 76 academies and free schools. Of the maintained schools, 63 are church schools.
  • Of the 63 church schools, 41 are voluntary controlled and 22 are voluntary aided. Of these, 13 are Church of England, one is Church of England / Methodist and eight are Catholic.
  • Of the 76 academies, 71 are part of a multi-academy trust (MAT) while five are single academy trusts (SATs).
  • There are 13 federations in East Sussex made up of 31 primary schools.
  • According to the Designation of Rural Primary Schools (England) Order 2021, 64 of the 135 primary schools in the county (47%) are classified as rural. The 13 linked infant and junior schools are all located in urban areas, mainly Eastbourne.
  • There are specialist facilities at 19 mainstream schools in East Sussex (eight 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).

For more information on where schools are located in the county please refer to about schools in East Sussex on the local authority website. 


4. School organisation in East Sussex

4.1 Introduction

This chapter sets out the local authority’s approach to school organisation, to ensure there are sufficient mainstream and special school places to meet demand.

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 communities and makes best use of public funding
  • To support the amalgamation of linked infant and junior schools that delivers the benefit of continuous provision from early years to the end of Key Stage 2
  • To ensure any change to school organisation impacts positively on school performance and on the life chances of children and young people
  • To ensure any review of school organisation enables stakeholders to engage fully and effectively in the process

4.2 School planning areas

For school planning purposes, East Sussex is split into:

  • 18 primary school 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 school 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 planning purposes.  Three secondary schools make up the Hastings planning area.  The Bexhill planning area contains two schools, one of which (a Catholic school) has a much wider catchment area than the town.

We work closely with local planning authorities in East Sussex 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) and Section 106 agreements, new housing development will contribute to the cost of providing additional school places to serve the development and, where necessary, provide land on which to build new schools.

4.3 Pupil forecasting

In producing forecasts of future demand for primary and secondary places, we consider factors such as:

  • Current numbers on roll in each academic year group
  • Births
  • Trend data
  • Parental preference
  • School admissions policies
  • Housing growth
  • Existing and planned capacity
  • 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 to manage the risk of under/over-supply of school places.

Based on the January 2022 actual numbers on roll our primary pupil forecasts are accurate to

-0.1% 1 year ahead and 1.6% 3 years ahead. Our secondary pupil forecasts are accurate to 1.0% 1 year ahead and 2.1% 3 years ahead.  We have a track record of accurate forecasting, derived from sound methodology and our forecasts generally compare well to other local authorities.

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 each 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 school 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.

The local authority’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) forecasting model predicts future numbers of children with Education, Health, and Care Plans (EHCPs) and numbers in maintained and independent non-maintained special schools.  The forecasts take account of the following factors:

  • Demographic trends
  • The prevalence of different types of SEND (as defined by primary need) in the population
  • Recent trends in prevalence rates
  • Professional judgement from SEND practitioners as to whether these trends are likely to continue in the future

4.4 Academisation

On 23 March 2022, the government published its Education White Paper ‘Opportunity for All’.  The White Paper sets out the government’s aim that ‘by 2030 all children will be taught in a family of schools that are in a strong MAT or plan to join one’.

Since the introduction of the Academies Act in 2010 which enabled all maintained schools to apply to become academies, the local authority has supported 69 schools to convert to an academy.  All new schools to have been established in East Sussex have opened as free schools under the Academies Act 2010.

As of 1 September 2022, 76 schools in East Sussex (40%) are academies:

  • 44 primary schools (30%)
  • Three all-through schools (100%)
  • 15 secondary schools (65%)
  • 14 special schools and alternative provision (93%).

Of these, 71 schools (93%) are part of a multi academy trust (MAT), with 5 (7%) belonging to a single academy trust (SAT).

At the May 2022 school census, 51% of pupils in East Sussex were on roll in an academy or free school:

  • 14,080 primary school pupils (38%)
  • 4,094 all-through school pupils (100%)
  • 14,540 secondary school pupils (60%)
  • 1,084 special school (excluding alternative provision) pupils (89%).

Together, the local authority and schools in East Sussex have been successful in creating an effective, school-led partnership system in the county and this creates a strong foundation for this next set of developments.  We recognise that each school / academy is autonomous, accountable to different governance, and occupying a particular geographical and social context.  Equally, our shared priority is to champion together the wellbeing and achievements of all our children and young people.

The White Paper presents an opportunity for the local authority, schools, and partners to develop the education landscape further in East Sussex in a way that will deliver improved outcomes for children and young people.  It brings greater clarity to the role of the local authority in education and a sharper focus on our role as champion for vulnerable children.  We believe that the local authority has 3 key roles moving forwards:

  • To champion and advocate for every child and young person, especially those who are most vulnerable
  • A facilitator of strong partnerships with and between individual schools
  • A key player in the partnership work of shaping and leading wider system development

In the exercise of these roles, the local authority is taking forward discussions with schools about how we collectively shape the education landscape in East Sussex to improve outcomes for children and young people.

4.5 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 keen to establish new provision to relieve pressure on places.

The local authority will consult with key stakeholders when developing proposals to provide new places.  When considering proposals to add 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 free schools where their location will help relieve pressure on places and increase parental preference
  • Where possible, only enlarge schools where it creates or sustains round forms of entry as the preferred model of organisation
  • Ensure value for money

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.

4.6 Capital funding

The local authority receives Basic Need capital funding from the government to support the creation of primary and secondary school places. This funding is provided on a formulaic basis using information provided by the local authority to the Department for Education in the annual School Capacity return. The local authority also receives High Needs Provision capital funding to support the delivery of new provision for children and young people with SEND.

The capital funding that the local authority receives from the government is insufficient to cover the entire capital costs of new build and expansion projects and the local authority must supplement the funding provided from other sources, including its own capital programme.

In areas where pressure on school places comes from new housing developments, the local authority works closely with local planning authorities to secure financial contributions towards the cost of providing additional school places through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).  The CIL is a charge which can be levied by local planning authorities on new development in their area. It is an important tool for local authorities to use to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area. 

In some instances, the local authority can also secure development contributions through the negotiation of Section 106 agreements. Section 106 agreements are legal agreements between local authorities and developers; these are linked to planning permissions and can also be known as planning obligations. In recent years, the local authority has been successful in securing approximately £17 million from Section 106 agreements and the CIL towards the provision of school places.

4.7 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 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 school 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 five 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 1 form of entry of surplus capacity (30 intake places) is considered the minimum requirement, 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.

At the May 2022 school census, 12 primary schools in East Sussex had 25% or more surplus places.  This reflects the falling reception (Year R) intake numbers being seen across the county.  Low pupil numbers can lead to a school facing financial challenges.  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.  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.

In undertaking its statutory duty, the local authority has a responsibility to consider the organisation of school places to create a sustainable network of schools across the county. In certain circumstances, rationalisation of provision can benefit 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 monitors pupil numbers in each of its school planning areas to ensure the current arrangement for the organisation of schools is appropriate.

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

  • The position of a headteacher becomes unexpectedly vacant
  • A school is placed in an Ofsted category of inadequate
  • A school has remained in an Ofsted category of requires improvement for the last 2 inspections
  • A school becomes eligible for intervention by the local authority
  • A school faces significant financial challenges and is unable to create a viable recovery plan

Any reviews of education provision the local authority undertakes and any recommendations for school re-organisation will, in part, be based on information contained in this document. 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 key partners in any review alongside a school’s governing board.

Academy trusts (MATs and SATs) may wish to consider the information in this document when considering the organisation of school places within their trust.  If any trust is contemplating a change to their current organisation (expansion or reduction in provision) we would encourage them to contact the local authority at the outset to discuss their proposals. This will ensure that any plans align with the local authority’s wider statutory duty around school places.

The following chapters describe the current circumstances in each school 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 local planning authorities’ housing targets and trajectories are amended.

The capacity information provided in the ‘total primary number’ charts in each chapter is based on each local authority maintained school’s net capacity assessment 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

Births in Eastbourne continue to fall, from a peak of 1,195 in 2011-12 to 931 in 2019-20, a fall of 264 or 22%.  The provisional estimate for 2020-21 is also low.

Eastbourne Births from 2009-2010 to 2020-2021
Academic year Number of births
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
2019/20 931
2020/21 895
Eastbourne Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Eastbourne Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

5.3 Housing plans in Eastbourne

As of January 2022, Eastbourne Borough Council planned for approximately 5,000 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2026-27, of which an estimated 1,500 remain to be built between 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period.

5.4 Primary places in Eastbourne

In line with the falling births in Eastbourne, the local authority anticipates that Reception (Year R) intakes in the town will generally fall away until at least the latter part of the decade.

Many Eastbourne children attend schools in the surrounding area including Polegate Primary School and Willingdon Primary School (chapter 19), Stone Cross School, Hankham Primary School and Pevensey and Westham CE Primary School (chapter 20). All five schools are currently full or close to full. High levels of new housing (recent and planned) will put additional pressure on places at these schools.  The permanent expansion of Polegate Primary School from 420 places to 630 places from 2019-20 has helped to alleviate these pressures.  Nevertheless, rising in-area numbers are likely to result in some demand from Eastbourne children being redirected by the school admissions system into the town.

Eastbourne Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Year R number on roll
2014-15 1096
2015-16 1087
2016-17 1147
2017-18 1107
2018-19 1073
2019-20 1057
2020-21 988
2021-22 935
2022-23 947
2023-24 875
2024-25 858
2025-26 850
Eastbourne Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Eastbourne Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Falling intakes will have a knock-on effect on total numbers on roll. Surplus places, which stood at 4% of capacity in 2021-22, are predicted to rise rapidly to around 15% by 2025-26.  Two schools in the area have 25% or more surplus places.

Eastbourne Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Total number on roll
2014-15 7012
2015-16 7207
2016-17 7495
2017-18 7648
2018-19 7750
2019-20 7616
2020-21 7616
2021-22 7432
2022-23 7244
2023-24 6968
2024-25 6705
2025-26 6494
Eastbourne Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Eastbourne Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

As a result of falling Year R numbers in the town and reduced demand for places at the school, the local authority approved a reduction in the Published Admission Number (PAN) at Motcombe Infants School from 120 to 90, effective from the 2022-23 academic year.  Accommodation will not be removed and can be brought back into use if pupil numbers start to rise again.

The local authority will continue to monitor the situation in the town and surrounding area and will work with schools and academy trusts to bring forward proposals to reduce the level of surplus places where appropriate.

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.  Although not currently forecast, small shortfalls against PAN are possible in 2023-24 and 2024-25.  From 2025-26, Year 7 numbers are likely to start to fall away.

The Eastbourne area sees outflows of Catholic children to St Richard’s Catholic College in Bexhill (chapter 12) and some inflows from Bexhill and Hailsham (chapter 17).  There are also significant inflows from and outflows to Willingdon Community School (chapter 19).

Eastbourne Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Year 7 number on roll
2014-15 927
2015-16 963
2016-17 941
2017-18 1058
2018-19 1040
2019-20 1062
2020-21 1101
2021-22 1091
2022-23 1127
2023-24 1112
2024-25 1120
2025-26 1082
Eastbourne Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Eastbourne Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In line with larger Year 7 intakes, total secondary numbers in the Eastbourne schools have been rising and are expected to reach around 5,600 by 2024-25, a rise of nearly 4% on 2021-22 figures.

Eastbourne Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Total number on roll
2014-15 4662
2015-16 4720
2016-17 4811
2017-18 4898
2018-19 5019
2019-20 5150
2020-21 5276
2021-22 5382
2022-23 5471
2023-24 5531
2024-25 5591
2025-26 5577
Eastbourne Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Eastbourne Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The local authority has been working closely with Willingdon Community School on a strategy to ensure there is sufficient capacity in the wider Eastbourne and Willingdon area to accommodate the high Year 7 numbers.  Please refer to chapter 19 for more details.


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

Births in Hastings continue to fall, from a peak of 1,238 in 2010-11 to 975 in 2019-20, a fall of 263 or 21%.  The provisional estimate for 2020-21 is also very low.

Hastings Births from 2009-2010 to 2020-2021
Academic year Number of births
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 1047
2018-19 1062
2019-20 975
2020-21 871
Hastings Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Hastings Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

6.3 Housing plans in Hastings

As of January 2022, Hastings Borough Council planned for a minimum of 3,400 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027-28, with an estimated 1,900 remaining to be built between 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period.

6.4 Primary places in Hastings

Reception (Year R) intakes in Hastings are forecast to remain well below the current Published Admission Number (PAN) of schools in the town until at least the middle of the decade and probably beyond.

Many Hastings children attend surrounding primary schools including Battle and Langton CE 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.  Most of these schools are full or close to full.  However, going forward, lower levels of demand from Hastings Borough may see numbers in some of these surrounding schools falling.

Hastings Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 975
2015-16 1038
2016-17 996
2017-18 1040
2018-19 967
2019-20 930
2020-21 922
2021-22 891
2022-23 896
2023-24 921
2024-25 872
2025-26 781
Hastings Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hastings Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Lower intakes are predicted to result in higher numbers of surplus places in the town, which are forecast to rise from of 7% of capacity in 2021-22 to 13% by 2025-26.

Hastings Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 6655
2015-16 6802
2016-17 6866
2017-18 6918
2018-19 6925
2019-20 6860
2020-21 6810
2021-22 6758
2022-23 6631
2023-24 6543
2024-25 6394
2025-26 6230
Hastings Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hastings Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The surplus places are mainly in the academies in the town; the three maintained schools are largely full.  Any decisions to reduce PAN at an academy would be taken by the relevant academy trust.  The local authority will continue to monitor the situation in the town and surrounding areas and will work with schools and academy trusts to bring forward proposals to reduce the level of surplus places where appropriate.

6.5 Secondary places in Hastings

Significant numbers of Hastings children seek places in surrounding schools such as Bexhill High Academy and St Richard’s Catholic College (both chapter 12), Claverham Community College (chapter 13), Rye College (chapter 14) and Robertsbridge Community College (chapter 15).  The decision by Bexhill High Academy 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.

In addition, in-area demand for Year 7 places is rising, linked to higher numbers coming through primary schools.

As a result, Year 7 numbers are likely to be tight in the period 2022-23 to 2024-25.  Although not currently forecast, shortfalls against PAN are possible in any of these years and will depend to a large extent on continued high outflows of Hastings children to other surrounding schools.  From 2025-26, Year 7 intakes are forecast to begin falling away.

Hastings Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 692
2015-16 771
2016-17 712
2017-18 715
2018-19 761
2019-20 781
2020-21 755
2021-22 760
2022-23 840
2023-24 831
2024-25 818
2025-26 736
Hastings Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hastings Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Surplus places in the area are forecast to fall from 16% in 2021-22 to 10% by 2025-26.

Hastings Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 4022
2015-16 3884
2016-17 3718
2017-18 3611
2018-19 3573
2019-20 3696
2020-21 3737
2021-22 3773
2022-23 3919
2023-24 4004
2024-25 4064
2025-26 4059
Hastings Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hastings Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

For 2022-23, Bexhill High Academy, St Richard’s Catholic College and Robertsbridge Community College have all agreed to admit numbers over their PAN, which is likely to result in greater numbers of Hastings children being accommodated in these schools, thereby helping to alleviate pressures in Hastings 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

Births in Lewes have been falling since their peak in 2009-10.  Since 2013-14 births in the town have been particularly low, falling to 122 in 2019-20.  The provisional estimate for 2020-21 is also very low.

Lewes Births from 2009/2010 to 2020/2021
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 122
2020-21 115
Lewes Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Lewes Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

7.3 Housing plans in Lewes

As of January 2022, Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority planned for approximately 1,100 new dwellings in the town over the Lewes District local plan period to 2029-30, of which an estimated 800 remain to be built between 2022-23 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) intakes in the town to remain low until at least 2025-26.

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

Lewes Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 212
2015-16 197
2016-17 190
2017-18 169
2018-19 136
2019-20 131
2020-21 148
2021-22 146
2022-23 138
2023-24 122
2024-25 127
2025-26 126
Lewes Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Lewes Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Lower intakes are leading to higher numbers of surplus places in the town, rising from 22% in 2021-22 to potentially 32% by 2025-26.

Lewes Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1438
2015-16 1443
2016-17 1425
2017-18 1402
2018-19 1292
2019-20 1205
2020-21 1171
2021-22 1115
2022-23 1063
2023-24 990
2024-25 956
2025-26 953
Lewes Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Lewes Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

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

In the longer term, despite 800 new homes being planned for the period to 2029-30, the demographic based projections of future births are currently 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 over the next few years, 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 forecasts currently show.

7.5 Secondary places in Lewes

Part of Priory School’s admissions area is a joint admissions area with that of Kings Academy Ringmer (chapter 11).

The school routinely admits 50 or more children from out of area each year, notably Kings Academy Ringmer, Chailey School (chapter 11), Seahaven Academy (chapter 8) and Brighton and Hove.  In 2022-23 this number is closer to 80.  Conversely, substantial numbers of Priory area children take up places at 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 the village have attended Downlands Community School in Hassocks, as part of a long-standing admissions arrangement with West Sussex County Council.

Priory School is forecast to fill to its PAN of 232 in 2022-23 and 2023-24.  Beyond this, numbers of in-area children coming into Year 7 fall away significantly.  Based on current preference patterns, demand from out of area, particularly from Brighton and Hove, should at least bridge some of the gap between the demand from local children and Priory’s PAN.

Lewes Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
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
2024-25 222
2025-26 200
Lewes Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Lewes Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (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 emerge.

Lewes Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1160
2015-16 1151
2016-17 1154
2017-18 1147
2018-19 1128
2019-20 1132
2020-21 1127
2021-22 1134
2022-23 1141
2023-24 1140
2024-25 1130
2025-26 1112
Lewes Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Lewes Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.


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 in recent years.

Newhaven Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 167
2020-21 142
Newhaven Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Newhaven Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

8.3 Housing plans in Newhaven

As of January 2021, Lewes District Council planned for approximately 1,900 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2029-30, of which an estimated 1,500 remain to be built between 2022-23 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 high in most of the coming years.  If reception (Year R) numbers are to keep to the Published Admission Number (PAN), in some years there will need to be relatively high outflows of children to other areas.  In some cases, this may require the school admissions system directing some Newhaven children to surrounding schools.

Newhaven Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 134
2015-16 138
2016-17 164
2017-18 143
2018-19 148
2019-20 148
2020-21 138
2021-22 140
2022-23 150
2023-24 145
2024-25 150
2025-26 150
Newhaven Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Newhaven Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (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 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 877
2015-16 901
2016-17 971
2017-18 1001
2018-19 1048
2019-20 1037
2020-21 1040
2021-22 1027
2022-23 1028
2023-24 1006
2024-25 1014
2025-26 1024
Newhaven Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Newhaven Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Although the situation in Newhaven is very tight with very few spare places, pupil forecasts do not currently justify creating extra permanent capacity in the town, particularly as there are surplus places in neighbouring Seaford (chapter 10) to the east, Peacehaven (chapter 9) to the west and at Iford and Kingston CE Primary School (chapter 11) to the north.

With 1,500 new homes 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 (30 Year R places) could emerge in the second half of the decade.  The local authority will monitor the situation closely and work with local schools to address any shortfalls that might emerge.

8.5 Secondary places in Newhaven

Numbers coming through Newhaven primary schools are currently high, however, from 2024-25 Year 7 intakes to Seahaven Academy are forecast to begin falling away.

Newhaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 94
2015-16 130
2016-17 120
2017-18 147
2018-19 149
2019-20 151
2020-21 178
2021-22 179
2022-23 180
2023-24 180
2024-25 157
2025-26 160
Newhaven Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Newhaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In line with larger Year 7 intakes, total secondary numbers in Newhaven have been rising.  Surplus places, which were at 16% in 2021-22, are expected to have fallen to 8% by the end of the plan period.

Newhaven Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 528
2015-16 582
2016-17 656
2017-18 690
2018-19 692
2019-20 659
2020-21 704
2021-22 755
2022-23 804
2023-24 845
2024-25 844
2025-26 826
Newhaven Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Newhaven Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

As Seahaven Academy’s school admissions area also includes the neighbouring town of Peacehaven (chapter 9) it is useful to look at pressures across both towns.  For 2022-23 the schools will fill to their combined PAN of 360.  The latest pupil forecasts point to an overall shortfall of places of one form of entry (30 Year 7 places) in 2023-24.  The shortfall is nominally being shown against Peacehaven Community School.  Whether a shortfall emerges in practice and the size of the shortfall will partly depend on outflows of children from Newhaven and Peacehaven to Priory School, in Lewes (chapter 7) and to Longhill High School, in Brighton and Hove.

The local authority will work with Seahaven Academy and Peacehaven Community School to ensure there are sufficient places to address any shortfalls that emerge in 2023-24.  Numbers may be less tight in the years from 2024-25.


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

Births in Peacehaven have been falling since 2016-17, with numbers in 2019-20 particularly low.  The provisional estimate for 2020-21 is also very low.

Peacehaven Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 201
2020-21 185
Peacehaven Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Peacehaven Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

9.3 Housing plans in Peacehaven

As of January 2022, Lewes District Council planned for approximately 1,400 new dwellings in the Peacehaven and Telscombe area over the local plan period to 2029-30, of which an estimated 500 remain to be built between 2022-23 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 Year R numbers in Peacehaven are likely to be well below the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 210 for the foreseeable future.

Saltdean Primary School in neighbouring Brighton and Hove is traditionally the school of preference for children 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 School.  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, both in Brighton and Hove, and Annecy Catholic Primary School, in Seaford (chapter 10).

Peacehaven Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 219
2015-16 193
2016-17 229
2017-18 206
2018-19 210
2019-20 198
2020-21 203
2021-22 189
2022-23 186
2023-24 185
2024-25 181
2025-26 159
Peacehaven Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Peacehaven Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

By 2025-26, surplus places in Peacehaven could be at 14%, up from 9% in 2021-22.

Peacehaven Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1359
2015-16 1375
2016-17 1424
2017-18 1452
2018-19 1457
2019-20 1420
2020-21 1391
2021-22 1361
2022-23 1353
2023-24 1320
2024-25 1304
2025-26 1257
Peacehaven Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Peacehaven Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The local authority will continue to monitor the situation in the town and will work with schools and academy trusts to bring forward proposals to reduce the level of surplus places where appropriate.

9.5 Secondary places in Peacehaven

Numbers coming through Peacehaven primary schools are currently generally high, putting pressure on Year 7 places at the school. 

Peacehaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 177
2015-16 181
2016-17 169
2017-18 161
2018-19 154
2019-20 189
2020-21 178
2021-22 190
2022-23 180
2023-24 207
2024-25 180
2025-26 180
Peacehaven Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Peacehaven Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Peacehaven Community School is close to capacity, with only 3% surplus places in 2021-22.

Peacehaven Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 889
2015-16 884
2016-17 854
2017-18 850
2018-19 841
2019-20 873
2020-21 867
2021-22 874
2022-23 879
2023-24 944
2024-25 937
2025-26 939
Peacehaven Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Peacehaven Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

As Peacehaven Community School’s admissions area also includes the neighbouring town of Newhaven (chapter 8) it is useful to look at pressures across both towns.  For 2022-23 both schools will fill to their combined PAN of 360.  The latest forecasts point to an overall shortage of places of one form of entry (30 Year 7 places) in 2023-24.  The shortfall is nominally being shown against Peacehaven Community School.  Whether a shortfall emerges in practice and the size of the shortfall will partly depend on outflows of children from Newhaven and Peacehaven to Priory School in Lewes (chapter 7) and Longhill High School, in Brighton and Hove.

The local authority will work with Seahaven Academy and Peacehaven Community School to ensure there are sufficient places to address any shortfalls that emerge in 2023-24.  Numbers may be less tight in the years from 2024-25.


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

Births in Seaford have fallen in recent years, with 2019-20 being a particularly low year.

Seaford Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number on births
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
2019-20 168
2020-21 147
Seaford Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Seaford Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

10.3 Housing plans in Seaford

As of January 2022, Lewes District Council planned for approximately 900 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2029-30, of which an estimated 500 remain to be built between 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period.

10.4 Primary places in Seaford

The 2022-23 intake is predicted to be around 220 but birth and GP data suggest reception (Year R) numbers for the following three years at least will be considerably lower.

Seaford Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 234
2015-16 237
2016-17 231
2017-18 227
2018-19 211
2019-20 215
2020-21 229
2021-22 200
2022-23 223
2023-24 192
2024-25 181
2025-26 162
Seaford Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Seaford Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

By 2025-26, the overall level of surplus places in the town may reach around 13%.

Seaford Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1536
2015-16 1556
2016-17 1569
2017-18 1575
2018-19 1591
2019-20 1606
2020-21 1604
2021-22 1590
2022-23 1586
2023-24 1564
2024-25 1525
2025-26 1470
Seaford Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Seaford Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The local authority met with primary schools in Seaford in 2021 to discuss falling rolls in the area.  No action was taken at that time, but we will continue to monitor the situation in the area and will work with schools and academy trusts to bring forward proposals to reduce the level of surplus places where appropriate.

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 Published Admission Number (PAN) of 240.  This will continue to involve the school admissions system redirecting non-priority out of area applicants to Seahaven Academy (chapter 8) and Peacehaven Community School (chapter 9), thereby increasing pupil number pressures in those areas.

Seaford Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
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
2025-26 240
Seaford Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Seaford Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

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

Seaford Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1177
2015-16 1238
2016-17 1247
2017-18 1292
2018-19 1297
2019-20 1333
2020-21 1400
2021-22 1387
2022-23 1381
2023-24 1396
2024-25 1403
2025-26 1409
Seaford Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Seaford Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.


11. Rural Lewes

11.1 Schools in Rural Lewes

There are ten primary schools in rural Lewes and two secondary schools. Two 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 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 158
2020-21 172
Rural Lewes Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Rural Lewes Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

11.3 Housing plans in Rural Lewes

As of January 2022, Lewes District Council and the South Downs National Park Authority planned for approximately 1,800 new dwellings across the rural areas of the district over the Lewes District local plan period to 2029-30.  Of this, an estimated 700 remain to be built between 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period, of which approximately 200 are in Ringmer Parish.

11.4 Primary places in Rural Lewes

The 249 reception (Year R) places in primary schools across rural Lewes are forecast to be sufficient to meet demand for the foreseeable future.

However, the picture will vary between individual school areas.  Intake numbers in rural schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year, since the size of the cohorts of children living in small geographical areas sometimes differs markedly from one age group to the next.  Normally schools can organise to accommodate any temporary bulges.

Rural Lewes Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 244
2015-16 227
2016-17 220
2017-18 216
2018-19 210
2019-20 208
2020-21 210
2021-22 209
2022-23 210
2023-24 188
2024-25 186
2025-26 203
Rural Lewes Year R Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rural Lewes Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Surplus places in the area are expected to double during the plan period, from 7% in 2021-22 to 14% by 2025-26.  One school in the area has more than 25% surplus places.

Rural Lewes Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1508
2015-16 1564
2016-17 1575
2017-18 1576
2018-19 1599
2019-20 1623
2020-21 1623
2021-22 1624
2022-23 1600
2023-24 1563
2024-25 1516
2025-26 1520
Rural Lewes Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rural Lewes Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The local authority will continue to monitor the situation in the area and will work with schools and academy trusts to bring forward proposals to reduce the level of surplus places where appropriate.

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 system restricting inflows of children from out of area, it will be a challenge to keep Wivelsfield Primary School within its Published Admission Number (PAN) of 30 over the next few years. This has already been seen in 2022-23 with the school admitting over its PAN.  The local authority has supported the school to establish a bulge Year R class from September 2022 to facilitate this.  Delays in the opening of the new Hurst Farm Primary School across the border in Haywards Heath may result in further shortfalls going forward.

11.5 Secondary places in Rural Lewes (Chailey School)

The local authority approved an increase in Chailey School’s PAN to 174 with effect from the 2022-23 academic year.  Demand from West Sussex, particularly with the large volume of housing being built in Burgess Hill, should enable Chailey School to generally fill to its new PAN in the coming years, with 2025-26 perhaps an exception.

Although the village of Ditchling is in a joint admissions area between Priory School in Lewes and Chailey School, 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.

Chailey School Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 143
2015-16 128
2016-17 156
2017-18 138
2018-19 161
2019-20 157
2020-21 171
2021-22 171
2022-23 174
2023-24 174
2024-25 174
2025-26 155
Chailey School Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Chailey School Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Total numbers on roll are expected to be close to Chailey School’s new capacity of 870 by the end of the plan period.

Chailey School Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 709
2015-16 679
2016-17 728
2017-18 731
2018-19 756
2019-20 759
2020-21 787
2021-22 788
2022-23 819
2023-24 837
2024-25 845
2025-26 832
Chailey School Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Chailey School Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.

11.6 Secondary places in Rural Lewes (Kings Academy Ringmer)

Except for the joint school admissions area with Priory School (chapter 7), Kings Academy Ringmer’s community area does not include a town.  Traditionally the school has relied on attracting significant numbers of applicants from other areas, notably from the joint area with Priory School and Hailsham Community College (chapter 17).  

The low in-area pupil population has made it particularly challenging for Kings Academy Ringmer to achieve adequate numbers in the past.  However, the last couple of years has seen a recovery in Year 7 numbers, with the school forecast to fill to its PAN of 150 in 2022-23.  Depending on parental preference patterns in relation to surrounding schools, notably Hailsham Community College and Uckfield College (chapter 21), Year 7 could be close to full again in 2023-24.

King's Academy Ringmer Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 129
2015-16 106
2016-17 80
2017-18 80
2018-19 86
2019-20 102
2020-21 110
2021-22 131
2022-23 150
2023-24 142
2024-25 131
2025-26 124
Kings Academy Ringmer Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
King's Academy Ringmer Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In 2021-22, Kings Academy Ringmer had 52% surplus places.  This figure is expected to fall to 36% by 2025-26.  The high level of spare capacity reflects that accommodation remains on site from when the school previously had a sixth form.

King's Academy Ringmer Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 677
2015-16 608
2016-17 497
2017-18 434
2018-19 417
2019-20 446
2020-21 462
2021-22 519
2022-23 583
2023-24 638
2024-25 676
2025-26 689
Kings Academy Ringmer Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
King's Academy Ringmer Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Longer term Year 7 numbers for the area are currently uncertain and may depend on the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council and Lewes District Council publish 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 primary schools have nursery provision.

12.2 Births in Bexhill

Births in Bexhill have remained relatively steady for a number of years, barring the peaks in 2010-11 and 2015-16.

Bexhill Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number on births
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
2019-20 348
2020-21 303
Bexhill Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Bexhill Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

12.3 Housing plans in Bexhill

As of January 2022, Rother District Council planned for approximately 3,300 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027-28, of which an estimated 2,100 remain to be built between 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period.

12.4 Primary places in Bexhill

Births and GP registration data indicate that the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 390 for the town should not be exceeded for the foreseeable future.

However, should there be a general upswing in future births, this, coupled with the high volume of new homes planned for the town, could result in reception (Year R) shortfalls in the second half of the decade.

Some children from Bexhill attend schools in the surrounding area, namely, Catsfield CE Primary School and Ninfield CE Primary School.  Both schools are currently at, or close to, capacity.  There is also an inflow of children from Hastings to schools in Bexhill.

Bexhill Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 374
2015-16 413
2016-17 384
2017-18 366
2018-19 366
2019-20 344
2020-21 387
2021-22 360
2022-23 372
2023-24 343
2024-25 345
2025-26 373
Bexhill Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Bexhill Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

By 2025-26, surplus places in Bexhill are predicted to be at 9% of capacity.

Bexhill Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 2450
2015-16 2566
2016-17 2638
2017-18 2689
2018-19 2741
2019-20 2693
2020-21 2655
2021-22 2639
2022-23 2612
2023-24 2567
2024-25 2551
2025-26 2572
Bexhill Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Bexhill Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The development of 1,000+ homes north of Pebsham is underway and this is likely to generate a significant number of school age children.  The local authority has an option agreement on land for new school provision to serve the development site and will bring forward proposals 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.

12.5 Secondary places in Bexhill

Bexhill High Academy reduced its PAN from 330 to 300 in 2021-22.  St Richard’s Catholic College has a formal PAN of 200, giving a combined formal PAN of 500 for the town.  Both schools have agreed to take 10 over PAN for 2022-23 to help alleviate pressures locally and in nearby Hastings.

Both schools are forecast to be full to PAN in 2023-24 and 2024-25.  In any of these years one or both schools may have to take slightly over their PAN to meet local demand.

St Richard’s Catholic College takes significant numbers of children from Hastings (chapter 6), Eastbourne (chapter 5), and Willingdon (chapter 19).  Bexhill High Academy takes significant numbers of children from Hastings.  There are also outflows of children from Bexhill to Claverham Community College (chapter 13) and Hastings.

Bexhill Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 429
2015-16 427
2016-17 410
2017-18 512
2018-19 492
2019-20 538
2020-21 539
2021-22 514
2022-23 520
2023-24 500
2024-25 500
2025-26 484
Bexhill Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Bexhill Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Surplus places in the town have reduced in recent years and now sit at 4% of capacity.

Bexhill Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 2155
2015-16 2117
2016-17 2075
2017-18 2129
2018-19 2264
2019-20 2385
2020-21 2490
2021-22 2541
2022-23 2533
2023-24 2548
2024-25 2525
2025-26 2482
Bexhill Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Bexhill Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Longer term, the large volume of planned new housing, makes it unclear whether a combined PAN of 500 in the town will be sufficient to meet local demand.  If this is the case, the local authority will work with Bexhill High 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 been declining in recent years, falling as low as 42 in 2019-20.

Battle Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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 42
2020-21 37
Battle Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Battle Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

13.3 Housing plans in Battle

As of January 2022, Rother District Council planned for approximately 500 new dwellings in the town over the local plan period to 2027/28, nearly 500 of which remain to be built between 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period.

13.4 Primary places in Battle

Despite the new homes being planned in the period to 2027-28, Battle and Langton CE Primary School is forecast to remain within its Published Admission Number (PAN) of 60 for the foreseeable future.

The school takes significant numbers of children from Hastings (chapter 6).  Some Battle area children occupy places at Netherfield CE Primary School and Sedlescombe CE Primary School in rural Rother (chapter 15).

Any future increases in local 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 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 59
2015-16 65
2016-17 56
2017-18 61
2018-19 48
2019-20 51
2020-21 53
2021-22 61
2022-23 60
2023-24 53
2024-25 50
2025-26 45
Battle Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Battle Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Overall numbers at Battle and Langton CE Primary School are forecast to remain fairly static during the plan period, with little, if any, spare capacity.

Battle Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 450
2015-16 455
2016-17 465
2017-18 466
2018-19 418
2019-20 410
2020-21 408
2021-22 408
2022-23 414
2023-24 421
2024-25 417
2025-26 417
Battle Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Battle Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.

13.5 Secondary places in Battle

Claverham Community College is forecast to continue to fill to its PAN of 230 each year.

The school takes significant numbers of children from Hastings (chapter 6) and Bexhill (chapter 12).  There are outflows of children from Battle to Robertsbridge Community College (chapter 15).

Battle Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
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
2025-26 230
Battle Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Battle Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The school has sufficient capacity to meet in-area demand.  Provided it continues to be popular with out of area children, notably from Hastings, it is likely to continue to be full in most years.

Battle Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1153
2015-16 1171
2016-17 1140
2017-18 1132
2018-19 1142
2019-20 1138
2020-21 1132
2021-22 1143
2022-23 1145
2023-24 1142
2024-25 1144
2025-26 1144
Battle Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Battle Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.


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

Births in Rye tend to fluctuate from year to year although the general trend is downward with the provisional figure for 2020-21 being particularly low.

Rye Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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 56
2020-21 35
Rye Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Rye Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

14.3 Housing plans in Rye

As of January 2022, 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 2022-23 and the end of the local plan period.

14.4 Primary places in Rye

Lower births in the area have resulted in intakes well below Rye Community Primary School’s Published Admission Number (PAN).  There were 24 reception (Year R) children on roll in 2021-22 against a PAN of 60.  Similar numbers are expected in 2022-23.  Intakes of under 40 are likely for the foreseeable future.

There is movement out of Rye to schools in the surrounding rural Rother area (chapter 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.

Rye Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 54
2015-16 55
2016-17 50
2017-18 50
2018-19 48
2019-20 38
2020-21 39
2021-22 24
2022-23 27
2023-24 34
2024-25 32
2025-26 28
Rye Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rye Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

If intake numbers turn out to be as low as forecast, by 2025-26 surplus places at the school could be close to 50% of capacity.

Rye Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 361
2015-16 361
2016-17 374
2017-18 379
2018-19 349
2019-20 317
2020-21 282
2021-22 244
2022-23 229
2023-24 232
2024-25 233
2025-26 217
Rye Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rye Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Reflecting the lower demand for places at Rye Community Primary School, Aquinas Academy Trust took the decision to reduce the school’s PAN 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 pupil numbers start to rise again.

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 from joint admissions areas with other schools.

The school experienced a very sharp downturn in Year 7 intakes in 2019-20 and 2020-21, with lower numbers of children coming in from Hastings (chapter 6) and Kent, and much larger outflows to Homewood School in Kent.

Intake numbers picked up in 2021-22 and are forecast to be over 120 for 2022-23.  A reduction in PAN at Homewood School, coupled with the knock-on impact of the closure of High Weald Academy in Kent, may help to boost numbers at Rye College further in coming years.

Rye Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 115
2015-16 127
2016-17 121
2017-18 141
2018-19 129
2019-20 86
2020-21 96
2021-22 111
2022-23 126
2023-24 140
2024-25 145
2025-26 123
Rye Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rye Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

With higher Year 7 intakes forecast, the level of surplus places at Rye College should stabilise and then begin to fall, from 24% in 2021-22 to 14% by the end of the plan period.

Rye Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 785
2015-16 757
2016-17 759
2017-18 690
2018-19 583
2019-20 561
2020-21 561
2021-22 568
2022-23 566
2023-24 577
2024-25 622
2025-26 645
Rye Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rye Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.


15. Rural Rother

15.1 Schools in Rural Rother

There are 22 primary schools in Rural Rother and one secondary school. Four primary schools have nursery provision.

15.2 Births in Rural Rother

Following a rise in births in 2018-19, numbers in 2019-20 fell back to levels more normally seen in rural Rother.

Rural Rother Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 252
2020-21 239
Rural Rother Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Rural Rother Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

15.3 Housing plans in Rural Rother

As of January 2022, Rother District Council planned for approximately 1,900 new dwellings over the local plan period to 2027-28, of which an estimated 1,000 remain to be built between 2022-23 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

The 435 reception (Year R) places in primary schools across rural Rother are forecast to be sufficient to meet demand for the foreseeable future.

However, the picture will vary between individual school areas.  Intake numbers in rural schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year, since the size of the cohorts of children living in small geographical areas sometimes differs markedly from one age group to the next.  Normally schools can organise to accommodate any temporary bulges.

The following primary schools in rural Rother take significant numbers of children from Hastings (chapter 6): 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 children from Bexhill (chapter 12).

Falling outflows from Hastings, because of lower numbers there, may result in some surrounding schools not filling as they normally do.

Rural Rother Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 407
2015-16 419
2016-17 406
2017-18 401
2018-19 368
2019-20 394
2020-21 369
2021-22 381
2022-23 372
2023-24 378
2024-25 352
2025-26 337
Rural Rother Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rural Rother Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Overall, surplus places in rural Rother schools are forecast to increase from 9% in 2021-22 to 15% in 2025-26.  One school in the area has more than 25% surplus places.

Rural Rother Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 2790
2015-16 2851
2016-17 2900
2017-18 2921
2018-19 2860
2019-20 2846
2020-21 2820
2021-22 2766
2022-23 2724
2023-24 2686
2024-25 2627
2025-26 2599
Rural Rother Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rural Rother Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The local authority will continue to monitor the situation in the area and will work with schools and academy trusts to bring forward proposals to reduce the level of surplus places where appropriate.

15.5 Secondary places in Rural Rother (Robertsbridge Community College)

Robertsbridge Community College takes significant numbers of children from Hastings (chapter 6).  There are usually net inflows of children from Battle area (chapter 13) to the school and net outflows to Uplands Academy (chapter 22).

The school is forecast to continue to fill to its PAN of 145 each year.  In 2022-23 the school agreed to go over the Published Admission Number (PAN) to meet demand from other areas, notably Hastings, and alleviate pressures there.

Robertsbridge Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 129
2015-16 138
2016-17 140
2017-18 130
2018-19 146
2019-20 148
2020-21 155
2021-22 152
2022-23 160
2023-24 145
2024-25 145
2025-26 145
Robertsbridge Community College Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Robertsbridge Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The school has sufficient capacity to meet in-area demand.  Provided it continues to be popular with out of area children, notably from Hastings, it is likely to continue to be full in most years.

Robertsbridge Community College Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 634
2015-16 648
2016-17 679
2017-18 686
2018-19 723
2019-20 721
2020-21 733
2021-22 740
2022-23 756
2023-24 757
2024-25 754
2025-26 745
Robertsbridge Community College Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Robertsbridge Community College Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.


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

Births in Crowborough have fallen in recent years, with 2019-20 being particularly low at 149.

Crowborough Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 149
2020-21 172
Crowborough Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Crowborough Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

16.3 Housing plans in Crowborough

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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) numbers in Crowborough are likely to fall well below the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 210.

Several children from Crowborough attend schools in the surrounding area, most notably Rotherfield Primary School and High Hurstwood CE Primary School (chapter 22).

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

Crowborough Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 203
2015-16 196
2016-17 196
2017-18 192
2018-19 180
2019-20 179
2020-21 187
2021-22 166
2022-23 186
2023-24 176
2024-25 158
2025-26 170
Crowborough Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Crowborough Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In 2021-22 there were 7% surplus places in Crowborough.  This figure is forecast to rise to 11% by 2025-26.  One school in the area has 25% surplus places.

Crowborough Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1391
2015-16 1390
2016-17 1408
2017-18 1389
2018-19 1402
2019-20 1371
2020-21 1372
2021-22 1361
2022-23 1345
2023-24 1327
2024-25 1303
2025-26 1312
Crowborough Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Crowborough Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage, but the local authority will monitor the increasing number of surplus places in the area.

16.5 Secondary places in Crowborough

Beacon Academy takes significant numbers of children from Kent.  Conversely, significant numbers of children from the school’s area obtain places at Kent Grammar schools.

Many children from the village of Forest Row, in the joint admissions area for Beacon Academy and Chailey School (chapter 11), traditionally receive offers of places at Sackville School and Imberhorne School in East Grinstead, West Sussex.  Rising pressure for places at those schools and/or numbers of children coming through Year 6 at Forest Row CE Primary could mean more applicants requiring a place at Beacon Academy 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.

Beacon Academy increased its PAN to 250 in 2021-22.  Even so, Year 7 numbers continue to exceed the PAN, the intake for 2022-23 was just under 300.

The school’s changes to its admissions policy in 2023/24 will give priority only to siblings of children at the school who live ‘in-area’ rather than all siblings, as is the case at present.  This may limit the numbers the school has to accommodate to some extent.  However, there will continue to be high numbers of children coming through primary schools in Beacon’s admissions area in several of the coming years.

In some recent years, even when having numbers over PAN, the school has also ended up admitting additional late in-area applicants or applicants who were successful on appeal.  This is largely owing to all surrounding schools being full too, leaving the school admissions system with no viable alternative option for accommodating this additional demand.

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

Crowborough Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 205
2015-16 191
2016-17 203
2017-18 219
2018-19 254
2019-20 270
2020-21 264
2021-22 285
2022-23 297
2023-24 275
2024-25 260
2025-26 250
Crowborough Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Crowborough Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Overall pupil numbers at Beacon Academy are forecast to grow by 8% between 2021-22 and 2025-26, with surplus places reducing accordingly (from 17% of capacity to 10%).

Crowborough Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1366
2015-16 1295
2016-17 1258
2017-18 1265
2018-19 1297
2019-20 1381
2020-21 1453
2021-22 1513
2022-23 1605
2023-24 1660
2024-25 1684
2025-26 1681
Crowborough Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Crowborough Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The local authority will continue to work with Beacon Academy to ensure it can accommodate all in-area children requiring a place at the school.


17. Hailsham

17.1 Schools in Hailsham

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

17.2 Births in Hailsham

Although fluctuating year-on-year, births in Hailsham have generally been higher in recent years, reflecting the significant number of new homes that have been built in the town.

Hailsham Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 272
2020-21 314
Hailsham Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Hailsham Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

17.3 Housing plans in Hailsham

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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 2,200 new homes have been built in Hailsham over the past 10 years, and this has significantly boosted pupil numbers in the town.  However, and as referred to above, 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, notably Herstmonceux CE Primary School, Park Mead Primary School, Chiddingly Primary School (all chapter 22) and the Heathfield primary schools (chapter 18).

For the reasons above, reception (Year R) intakes in Hailsham have not been as high as originally predicted.  However, an intake of just over 300 is forecast for 2022-23 and 2025-26 may see another relatively high intake.

Hailsham Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 268
2015-16 256
2016-17 260
2017-18 255
2018-19 242
2019-20 283
2020-21 274
2021-22 256
2022-23 305
2023-24 276
2024-25 270
2025-26 300
Hailsham Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hailsham Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (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 Published Admission Number (PAN) of 330.  

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

In 2021-22, surplus places in the town stood at 20%.  However, this figure is inflated by the primary phase of Hailsham Community College which opened in 2019.  The school currently only has four year groups (Years R, 1, 2 and 3).  It will be 2025-2026 before the school has a cohort in each year group.  One school in the area has more than 25% surplus places.

Hailsham Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1640
2015-16 1657
2016-17 1683
2017-18 1707
2018-19 1713
2019-20 1782
2020-21 1844
2021-22 1845
2022-23 1895
2023-24 1921
2024-25 1951
2025-26 2031
Hailsham Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hailsham Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.

17.5 Secondary places in Hailsham

As a result of rising numbers coming through primary schools and additional children generated by the substantial volume of new housing being built in the town, Hailsham Community College is likely to experience higher Year 7 intakes.  The school is forecast to be close to its new PAN of 300 in 2022-23.

A substantial number of children from the Hailsham Community College area take up places at surrounding schools, notably Heathfield Community College (chapter 18), Kings Academy Ringmer (chapter 11), Willingdon Community School (chapter 19) and schools in Eastbourne (chapter 5).

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

Hailsham Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 195
2015-16 200
2016-17 203
2017-18 231
2018-19 240
2019-20 218
2020-21 235
2021-22 249
2022-23 295
2023-24 273
2024-25 274
2025-26 253
Hailsham Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hailsham Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Overall pupil numbers at Hailsham Community College are forecast to grow by 18% between 2021-22 and 2025-26.

Hailsham Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1120
2015-16 1149
2016-17 1116
2017-18 1218
2018-19 1275
2019-20 1284
2020-21 1302
2021-22 1317
2022-23 1400
2023-24 1474
2024-25 1529
2025-26 1558
Hailsham Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Hailsham Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In response to the rising demand for places, the local authority recently completed a project to enlarge Hailsham Community College by 420 places with effect from the 2022-23 academic year.  As a result, the school’s PAN has increased from 240 to 300 and its capacity has grown to 1800.


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

In recent years, births in Heathfield have largely been consistent with levels normally seen in the area.

Heathfield Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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 87
2020-21 93
Heathfield Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Heathfield Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

18.3 Housing plans in Heathfield

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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

There is movement of children between Heathfield and Maynard’s Green Community Primary School and Punnetts Town Community Primary School (both chapter 22).  There are also inflows of children from Hailsham (chapter 17).

Reception (Year R) numbers in Heathfield have been boosted by the closure of Broad Oak Community Primary School in 2020, pressures at Maynards Green Community Primary School and recent new housebuilding in the town.  Nevertheless, intakes are forecast to remain within the Published Admission Number (PAN) of 110 for the foreseeable future.

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

Heathfield Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 72
2015-16 88
2016-17 74
2017-18 84
2018-19 81
2019-20 102
2020-21 108
2021-22 99
2022-23 104
2023-24 85
2024-25 85
2025-26 91
Heathfield Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Heathfield Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Surplus places in Heathfield are predicted to be between 9% and 10% of capacity for the duration of the plan period.

Heathfield Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 584
2015-16 567
2016-17 572
2017-18 581
2018-19 590
2019-20 629
2020-21 673
2021-22 701
2022-23 702
2023-24 697
2024-25 695
2025-26 701
Heathfield Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Heathfield Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

No action is required at this stage to increase or reduce the number of places in the area.

18.5 Secondary places in Heathfield

With inflows of children from surrounding areas, it is forecast that for the foreseeable future Heathfield Community College will continue to fill to its PAN of 240.  For 2022-23, the school voluntarily agreed to marginally exceed its PAN.

Heathfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 206
2015-16 209
2016-17 245
2017-18 235
2018-19 244
2019-20 245
2020-21 240
2021-22 241
2022-23 248
2023-24 240
2024-25 240
2025-26 240
Heathfield Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Heathfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Heathfield Community College has sufficient capacity to meet in-area demand.  The potential for the school admissions system to redirect out of area applicants back to Hailsham and other areas means that the school 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 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1411
2015-16 1428
2016-17 1444
2017-18 1440
2018-19 1439
2019-20 1480
2020-21 1477
2021-22 1478
2022-23 1511
2023-24 1512
2024-25 1514
2025-26 1515
Heathfield Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Heathfield Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (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

Births in Polegate and Willingdon have been generally higher since 2015-16, reflecting recent house building in the area.

Polegate and Willingdon Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 143
2020-21 134
Polegate And Willingdon Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Polegate and Willingdon Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

19.3 Housing plans in Polegate and Willingdon

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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 recent years, high in-area numbers of young children linked to recent housing development has resulted in reception (Year R) totals at or around 150.  Birth and GP registration data points to similar Year R numbers going forward to 2025-26.

There are significant flows of children to and from Polegate Primary School and Willingdon Primary School and schools in Eastbourne (chapter 5).

Polegate and Willingdon Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
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
2025-26 148
Polegate And Willingdon Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Polegate and Willingdon Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Both Polegate Primary School and Willingdon Primary School are forecast to be at, or close to, capacity for the duration of the plan period.

Polegate and Willingdon Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
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 1050
2023-24 1054
2024-25 1054
2025-26 1052
Polegate And Willingdon Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Polegate and Willingdon Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

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

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 area who wish to go there.  This is especially likely to be the case in 2023-24.

The Willingdon Community School admissions area has shared areas with the following Eastbourne schools: The Turing School and The Eastbourne Academy.

Willingdon Community School Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 199
2015-16 181
2016-17 202
2017-18 202
2018-19 204
2019-20 198
2020-21 204
2021-22 206
2022-23 210
2023-24 240
2024-25 210
2025-26 210
Willingdon Community School Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Willingdon Community School Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

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

Willingdon Community School Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 997
2015-16 979
2016-17 995
2017-18 997
2018-19 992
2019-20 984
2020-21 1006
2021-22 1006
2022-23 1017
2023-24 1059
2024-25 1069
2025-26 1077
Willingdon Community School Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Willingdon Community School Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

To address the increasing pressure on places at Willingdon Community School, the local authority approved an increase to its Published Admission Number (PAN) from 200 to 210, effective from 2023-24.  In addition, the local authority has agreed with the school that it will admit up to 240 children in 2023-24 as a bulge intake, to provide some additional temporary capacity in the wider Eastbourne and Willingdon area where numbers are expected to be tight (see chapter 5).

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

Births in the area tend to fluctuate year-on-year, although numbers in recent years have been generally higher, possibly linked to the volume of new housing in the area.

Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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 93
2020-21 80
Stone Cross, Hankham And Pevensey And Westham Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

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

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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

Reception (Year R) intakes to Stone Cross School, Hankham Primary School and Pevensey and Westham CE Primary School have reduced in the last couple of years and are likely to remain just below the combined Published Admission Number (PAN) of 140 for the remainder of the plan period.

Many children from Eastbourne (chapter 5) attend the three schools.

Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 135
2015-16 143
2016-17 140
2017-18 140
2018-19 141
2019-20 140
2020-21 141
2021-22 126
2022-23 131
2023-24 138
2024-25 132
2025-26 127
Stone Cross, Hankham And Pevensey And Westham Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The three schools, which have largely been full to now, are forecast to have a small number of spare places (4% of capacity) by 2025-26.

Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 970
2015-16 981
2016-17 982
2017-18 979
2018-19 993
2019-20 988
2020-21 978
2021-22 966
2022-23 957
2023-24 951
2024-25 951
2025-26 939
Stone Cross, Hankham And Pevensey And Westham Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Stone Cross, Hankham and Pevensey and Westham Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Approximately 600 new homes have been built in the area in the past 6 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 the town, where future intake numbers are predicted to decline because 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.

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

Births in Uckfield have fallen significantly in recent years, with 2019-20 being particularly low.

Uckfield Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 125
2020-21 137
Uckfield Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Uckfield Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

21.3 Housing plans in Uckfield

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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) numbers remaining low until at least 2025-26.

Several Uckfield children attend surrounding schools, notably Bonners CE Primary School, Buxted CE Primary School, Framfield CE Primary School, and Little Horsted CE Primary School.

Uckfield Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 163
2015-16 159
2016-17 158
2017-18 133
2018-19 166
2019-20 155
2020-21 158
2021-22 141
2022-23 129
2023-24 134
2024-25 130
2025-26 141
Uckfield Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Uckfield Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Surplus places stood at 17% in 2021-22.  This figure is forecast to rise to 21% by 2025-26.  One school in the area has more than 25% surplus places.

Uckfield Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1147
2015-16 1148
2016-17 1135
2017-18 1111
2018-19 1117
2019-20 1077
2020-21 1065
2021-22 1052
2022-23 1023
2023-24 996
2024-25 999
2025-26 990
Uckfield Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Uckfield Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

The development of 1,000 new homes at Ridgewood Farm, in the southwest of Uckfield, is underway and this is likely to generate a significant number of school age children.  The local authority has an option agreement on land for new school provision to serve the development site and will bring forward proposals 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.

21.5 Secondary places in Uckfield

Uckfield College traditionally takes children from the following school planning areas: Chailey School, King’s Academy Ringmer (both chapter 11), Beacon Academy (chapter 16) and Heathfield Community College (chapter 18).  Conversely, children from the Uckfield College area access places in all these schools as well as St Paul’s Catholic College in West Sussex.

In the coming years, in-area numbers coming through primary schools in the Uckfield College admissions area will fluctuate.  Actual Year 7 intake numbers will also depend on the movement of children to the above mentioned schools.  Consequently, it is possible that Uckfield College will not always fill to its Published Admission Number (PAN) of 270.

Uckfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 272
2015-16 279
2016-17 272
2017-18 270
2018-19 261
2019-20 284
2020-21 230
2021-22 251
2022-23 270
2023-24 270
2024-25 250
2025-26 255
Uckfield Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Uckfield Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Overall numbers on roll at Uckfield College are forecast to remain fairly steady over the period to 2025-26, with surplus capacity of between 10 and 11%.

Uckfield Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 1714
2015-16 1732
2016-17 1678
2017-18 1674
2018-19 1677
2019-20 1677
2020-21 1632
2021-22 1557
2022-23 1548
2023-24 1581
2024-25 1559
2025-26 1568
Uckfield Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Uckfield Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (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 29 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

Births across rural Wealden have been lower in recent years than levels previously seen in the area.

Rural Wealden Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21
Academic year Number of births
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
2019-20 328
2020-21 356
Rural Wealden Births From 2009 10 To 2020 21 (Chart View)
Rural Wealden Births from 2009-10 to 2020-21 (chart view)

22.3 Housing plans in rural Wealden

Wealden District Council is in 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 2025-26, 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

The 575 reception (Year R) places in primary schools across rural Wealden are forecast to be sufficient to meet demand for the foreseeable future.

However, the picture will vary between individual rural areas.  Intake numbers in rural schools can fluctuate significantly from year to year, because the size of the cohorts of children living in small geographical areas sometimes differs markedly from one age group to the next.  Normally schools can organise to accommodate any temporary bulges.

Herstmonceux CE Primary School, Park Mead Primary School and Chiddingly Primary School all take significant numbers of children from Hailsham (chapter 17).  Punnetts Town Community Primary School takes significant numbers of children from Heathfield.  Bonners CE Primary School, Buxted CE Primary School, Framfield CE Primary School and Little Horsted CE Primary all take significant numbers of children from Uckfield (chapter 21).  Ninfield CE Primary School takes a number of children from Bexhill (chapter 12).

Lower numbers coming out of some of these towns may mean that some rural schools that have habitually filled to their Published Admission Number (PAN) in the past may not do so in some of the coming years.

Rural Wealden Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 545
2015-16 565
2016-17 528
2017-18 537
2018-19 518
2019-20 535
2020-21 497
2021-22 475
2022-23 455
2023-24 463
2024-25 438
2025-26 485
Rural Wealden Primary Year R Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rural Wealden Primary Year R Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In 2021-22, surplus places across the rural Wealden schools stood at 9% of capacity.  By 2025-26 it is forecast that the figure will have risen to 16%.  One school in the area has 25% surplus places.

Rural Wealden Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 3839
2015-16 3889
2016-17 3867
2017-18 3864
2018-19 3832
2019-20 3755
2020-21 3708
2021-22 3641
2022-23 3542
2023-24 3483
2024-25 3397
2025-26 3372
Rural Wealden Total Primary Numbers 2014 15 To 2025 26
Rural Wealden Total Primary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

Linked to new house building in Horam, in-area children requiring a school place in the Maynards Green Community Primary School area in the years to 2025-26 are forecast to be over 30.  To keep the school to its PAN of 30, it is possible that the school admissions system may have to direct some in-area applicants to surrounding schools, notably in Heathfield (chapter 18).

Frant CE Primary School has a high in-area cohort of children reaching Year R in 2025-26.  It is likely that the high numbers are linked to new housing on the Tunbridge Wells fringes, so the additional demand may be met by schools in Kent.  However, it is possible that the school’s PAN of 15 could be exceeded.

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

22.5 Secondary places in rural Wealden (Uplands Community College)

Uplands Academy has sufficient places to accommodate in-area numbers, with a large part of demand coming from out of area children, including from neighbouring Kent and the Robertsbridge Community College area (chapter 15).

The closure of High Weald Academy in Kent has resulted in a large increase in demand from Kent children for Uplands Academy in 2022-23, which the school agreed to go over PAN to accommodate.  It is assumed that these higher inflows will continue, resulting in the school being forecast to be full or close to its PAN for the duration of the plan period.  For school admissions purposes most of this out of area demand is non-priority, therefore, it is not expected that the school will need to go over PAN.

Uplands Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 141
2015-16 145
2016-17 144
2017-18 141
2018-19 150
2019-20 135
2020-21 122
2021-22 157
2022-23 170
2023-24 150
2024-25 150
2025-26 146
Uplands Academy Total Secondary Year 7 Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Uplands Community College Secondary Year 7 Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

In 2021-22, surplus places stood at 17% of capacity.  By the end of the plan period this figure is likely to have reduced to 10%.

Uplands Community College Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number on roll
2014-15 908
2015-16 897
2016-17 875
2017-18 851
2018-19 840
2019-20 796
2020-21 774
2021-22 790
2022-23 820
2023-24 834
2024-25 847
2025-26 854
Uplands Academy Total Secondary Numbers From 2014 15 To 2025 26
Uplands Community College Total Secondary Numbers from 2014-15 to 2025-26 (chart view)

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


23. Special Educational Needs and Disability

23.1 Schools, alternative provision and specialist facilities

There are 14 special schools in East Sussex and two alternative provisions. Eight primary schools have specialist facilities, as do 11 secondary schools. There are 14 independent non-maintained special schools in the county.

23.2 Education, Health and Care Plans

The local authority has a statutory duty to identify, assess and provide for children and young people with special educational needs.  An assessment may lead to an Education, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) being issued for a child.  An EHCP sets out the additional support a child or young person needs and the type of school (mainstream or special) or other provision they will attend in order to meet their needs. 

Children and young people with an EHCP will be recorded under one of the following primary need categories:

  • Cognition and Learning Needs
    • Severe Learning Difficulty (SLD)
    • Moderate Learning Difficulty (MLD)
    • Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)
    • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty (PMLD).
  • Communication and Interaction Needs
    • Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    • Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).
  • Sensory and/or Physical Needs
    • Hearing Impairment (HI)
    • Visual Impairment (VI)
    • Physical Disability (PD)
    • Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI).
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health
    • Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH).

23.3 Demand for SEND provision

The numbers of school aged children and young people aged 4-19 in East Sussex with an EHCP have been rising steeply in recent years, from 3,126 in 2018-19 to 3,494 in 2021-22, an increase of 12%. In 2021-22, there were also 400 young people aged 19-25 in East Sussex with an EHCP.

In the next four years, the local authority forecasts that overall numbers of school-aged children and young people aged 4-19 with EHCPs will grow by around 15%, to approximately 4,000.

Education Health and Care Plans in East Sussex from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHC Plans
2014-15 2640
2015-16 2714
2016-17 2909
2017-18 3022
2018-19 3126
2019-20 3170
2020-21 3297
2021-22 3494
2022-23 3674
2023-24 3789
2024-25 3910
2025-26 4021
Overall Numbers Of Children And Young People Aged 4 25 With Ehcps
Education Health and Care Plans from 2014-15 to 2025-26

There are a variety of reasons for the increase, including parental demand, changes in diagnostic practice and the changes in SEND legislation which have greatly increased the number of young people aged 16+ with EHCPs following the 2014 education reforms.

Education Health and Care Plans in Primary phase from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 1143
2015-16 1097
2016-17 1050
2017-18 1020
2018-19 1078
2019-20 1097
2020-21 1113
2021-22 1160
2022-23 1177
2023-24 1207
2024-25 1234
2025-26 1274
Education Health and Care Plans in Secondary phase from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 1297
2015-16 1320
2016-17 1324
2017-18 1302
2018-19 1320
2019-20 1318
2020-21 1381
2021-22 1515
2022-23 1634
2023-24 1699
2024-25 1756
2025-26 1771
Education Health and Care Plans in Post-16 phase from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 200
2015-16 297
2016-17 535
2017-18 700
2018-19 728
2019-20 755
2020-21 803
2021-22 819
2022-23 863
2023-24 883
2024-25 919
2025-26 976
Ehcps By Phase Of Education
Education Health and Care Plans by phase of education

The rise is also due to increasing numbers of children in particular primary need categories.  The three primary need groups that have had, and are predicted to continue to have, the biggest increases are ASD and, to a lesser extent, SEMH and PMLD.  The significant rise in ASD numbers reflects increases in diagnosis, an increase in the number of schools with ASD provision and an increase in parental and professional awareness.  Numbers in other need groups are relatively stable.

Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Autism Spectrum Disorder) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 646
2015-16 704
2016-17 784
2017-18 827
2018-19 889
2019-20 955
2020-21 1091
2021-22 1211
2022-23 1344
2023-24 1448
2024-25 1570
2025-26 1695
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Hearing Impairment) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 45
2015-16 46
2016-17 50
2017-18 51
2018-19 52
2019-20 57
2020-21 63
2021-22 63
2022-23 65
2023-24 65
2024-25 65
2025-26 65
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Moderate Learning Difficulty) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 373
2015-16 369
2016-17 378
2017-18 376
2018-19 397
2019-20 380
2020-21 388
2021-22 417
2022-23 412
2023-24 414
2024-25 418
2025-26 427
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Multi-Sensory Impairment) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 4
2015-16 4
2016-17 6
2017-18 6
2018-19 6
2019-20 4
2020-21 4
2021-22 5
2022-23 5
2023-24 5
2024-25 5
2025-26 4
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Physical Disability) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 171
2015-16 163
2016-17 175
2017-18 181
2018-19 184
2019-20 178
2020-21 170
2021-22 165
2022-23 164
2023-24 159
2024-25 152
2025-26 143
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 48
2015-16 62
2016-17 70
2017-18 80
2018-19 86
2019-20 96
2020-21 105
2021-22 102
2022-23 102
2023-24 101
2024-25 98
2025-26 93
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Severe Learning Difficulty) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 126
2015-16 123
2016-17 127
2017-18 121
2018-19 117
2019-20 101
2020-21 91
2021-22 93
2022-23 86
2023-24 79
2024-25 76
2025-26 72
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 400
2015-16 418
2016-17 471
2017-18 527
2018-19 582
2019-20 587
2020-21 600
2021-22 648
2022-23 696
2023-24 733
2024-25 760
2025-26 765
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Specific Learning Difficulty) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 188
2015-16 173
2016-17 183
2017-18 180
2018-19 160
2019-20 144
2020-21 128
2021-22 115
2022-23 114
2023-24 120
2024-25 117
2025-26 119
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Speech, Language and Communication Needs) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 610
2015-16 622
2016-17 640
2017-18 646
2018-19 627
2019-20 642
2020-21 633
2021-22 653
2022-23 660
2023-24 641
2024-25 627
2025-26 613
Education Health and Care Plans by Primary Need (Visual Impairment) from 2014-15 to 2025-26
Academic year Number of EHCPs
2014-15 29
2015-16 30
2016-17 25
2017-18 27
2018-19 26
2019-20 26
2020-21 24
2021-22 22
2022-23 26
2023-24 23
2024-25 22
2025-26 24
Summary total
Academic year Number
2014-15 2640
2015-16 2714
2016-17 2909
2017-18 3022
2018-19 3126
2019-20 3170
2020-21 3297
2021-22 3494
2022-23 3674
2023-24 3789
2024-25 3910
2025-26 4021
Ehcps By Primary Need Group
Education Health and Care Plan by primary need group

In January 2022, there were 1,622 East Sussex residents on roll in special schools, of which 1,480 were in schools in East Sussex and 142 were in schools in other authorities. 1,251 were in maintained and academy provision and 371 were in non-maintained independent special schools

The numbers assessed as requiring a special school place have risen by 424 (34%) over the past four years.  The need for maintained and academy special school places has risen by 259 (25%).  The number of pupils accessing non-maintained independent special school places has risen by 165, a 77% increase on the 2017-18 total.

We are likely to see a further increase in demand of around 250 or 15% for special school places over the period to 2025/26.  This projection assumes that the distribution of EHCPs between mainstream schools, specialist facilities in mainstream schools, maintained and academy special schools and independent non-maintained special schools, will remain at its current levels.  However, over the last four years, 90% of the entire growth in EHCPs has been accounted for by a rise in the numbers placed in special schools.  If this trend continues, we could see a rise in the need for special school places of around 470 (28%) by 2025-26.

23.4 SEND place planning strategy

In recent years, the local authority has taken action to address the increasing demand for special school and specialist facility places and manage the high cost of placements in non-maintained independent schools.  Working closely with the DfE and academy trusts in East Sussex we have seen the following special free schools and alternative provision open since 2020:

  • The Workplace, Bexhill

Alternative Provision for 94 children and young people aged 11-16 with behavioural issues and children at risk of exclusion.  Opened in September 2020.

  • The Ropemaker’s Academy, Hailsham

A special school for 80 children and young people aged 4-16 with SEMH needs.  Opened in September 2020.

  • The Flagship School, Hastings

A special school for 72 children and young people aged 7-16 with high functioning ASD and social, behavioural and communication difficulties.  Opened in September 2021.

  • Summerdown School, Eastbourne

A special school for 84 children and young people aged 4-16 with ASD, and 51 children and young people aged 3-16 with PMLD.  Opened in September 2022.

In addition to the establishment of these four free schools, the local authority is currently considering options for creating additional special school places at Grove Park School in Crowborough.

Longer term, numbers could be impacted by the new strategic housing plans that Wealden District Council and other local planning authorities publish.  Increasing demand for SEND places as a result of new housing developments could lead to the need for expanded or new special school provision.  The local authority will work with existing special schools to consider opportunities for expansion and, where necessary, with local planning authorities to secure land on which to establish new special schools.

Where appropriate, the local authority is keen to see more children and young people with EHCPs supported in their local mainstream schools where a child’s needs could be met in a specialist facility that includes suitable access to mainstream provision.  Specialist facilities provide specific support to a limited number of pupils with an EHCP naming a specific primary special educational need.  Pupils within the facility are on the roll of the mainstream school and are in addition to the Published Admission Number (PAN).

Working closely with mainstream schools we have established the following new specialist facilities since 2019.

  • Grovelands Community Primary School, Hailsham

Specialist facility for eight children with a primary need of ASD.  Opened in April 2019.

  • Churchwood Primary Academy, Hastings

Specialist facility for eight children with a primary need of ASD.  Opened in September 2019.

  • Priory School, Lewes

Specialist facility for 12 children with SpLD and associated educational needs.  Opened in September 2020.

  • Robertsbridge Community College

Specialist facility for 12 children with SpLD and associated educational needs.  Opened in September 2020.

  • All Saints CE Primary School, Bexhill

Specialist facility for 12 children with ASD and associated SEMH and SLCN.  Opened in September 2022.

In addition, we have worked with the following schools to extend the designation of their existing specialist facilities.

  • Peacehaven Community School

Specialist facility for 20 children with SLCN.  Designation extended to include pupils with ASD from January 2022.

  • Wallands Community Primary School, Lewes

Specialist facility for 16 children with SLCN.  Designation extended to include pupils with ASD from September 2022.

The local authority plans to create more capacity in specialist facilities during the plan period and is currently working with a number of mainstream schools to either establish new facilities on site or to enlarge existing facilities.  We are also exploring the model of satellite classes, which are classes run by a special school on the site of a mainstream school, enabling specialist provision within a pupil’s local community area and alongside their mainstream peers.  More detail about these plans will be provided in future versions of the School Organisation Plan.


24. School Planning Areas

Primary schools

Eastbourne Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
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 5-7 Community
West Rise Junior School Junior 7-11 Community
Hastings Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
All Saints CofE Junior School Junior 7-11 Academy
ARK Blacklands Primary Academy Primary 4-11 Academy
ARK Castledown Primary Academy 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 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 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 2022*
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 2022*
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 2022*
Meridian Community Primary School and Nursery Primary 2-11 Community
Peacehaven Heights Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
Telscombe Cliffs Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
Seaford Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
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 4-11 Community
Rural Lewes Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
Barcombe Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Chailey St Peter’s Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Ditchling St Margaret’s Church of England Primary School Primary 2-11 Academy
Firle Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Hamsey Community Primary School Primary 5-11 Community
Iford and Kingston Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Newick Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Plumpton Primary School Primary 4-11 Community
Ringmer Primary and Nursery School Primary 2-11 Community
Wivelsfield Primary School Primary 4-11 Community
Bexhill Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
All Saints Church of England Primary School Primary 2-11 Voluntary Controlled
Chantry Community Primary School Primary 4-11 Community
Glenleigh Park Primary Academy Primary 2-11 Academy
King Offa Primary Academy Primary 5-11 Academy
Little Common School Primary 4-11 Community
Pebsham Primary Academy Primary 4-11 Academy
St Mary Magdalene Catholic Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
St Peter and St Paul CofE Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Aided
Battle Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
Battle and Langton Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Rye Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
Rye Community Primary School Primary 2-11 Academy
Rural Rother Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
Beckley Church of England Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Controlled
Bodiam Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Brede Primary School Primary 4-11 Community
Burwash CofE School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Catsfield Church of England Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Controlled
Crowhurst CofE Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Controlled
Dallington Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Etchingham Church of England Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Controlled
Guestling Bradshaw Church of England Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Aided
Hurst Green Church of England Primary School and Nursery Primary 2-11 Academy
Icklesham Church of England Primary School Primary 2-11 Voluntary Controlled
Netherfield CofE Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Controlled
Northiam Church of England Primary School and Nursery Primary 2-11 Academy
Peasmarsh Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Salehurst Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Sedlescombe CofE Primary School Primary 4-11 Academy
St Michael's Church of England Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Controlled
St Thomas' Church of England Aided Primary School Primary 5-11 Voluntary Aided
Staplecross Methodist Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Stonegate Church of England Primary School Primary 2-11 Voluntary Controlled
Ticehurst and Flimwell Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Controlled
Westfield School Primary 4-11 Community
Crowborough Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
Ashdown Primary School Primary 4-11 Community
Jarvis Brook Primary School Primary 2-11 Academy
Sir Henry Fermor Church of England Primary School Primary 5-11 Academy
St John's Church of England Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
St Marys Catholic Primary School Primary 4-11 Voluntary Aided
Hailsham Planning Area
School name Type Age
range
School type on
1 September 2022*
Burfield Academy Primary 3-11 Academy
Grovelands Community Primary School