Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
Demand for places at single-sex boys’ schools in West Sussex has been declining in recent years and this is evidenced by a reduction in the overall number of families applying for boys schools as first preferences. Reduced pupil numbers impacts upon the finances available to schools and thereby on how the school can deliver the opportunities required to both staff and pupils.
To address these issues the governing bodies of The Forest School, Horsham and St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys, Worthing feel that conversion to become co-educational schools will not only enable increased pupil numbers but also increase opportunities for girls and provide a wider range of curriculum benefits for boys through co-educational subjects.
The Director of Education & Skills agreed to consult on the proposed significant change of character to alter The Forest School, Horsham from a single sex boys’ school to a co-educational school from September 2021 entry. At the same time, the Governing Body of St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys, Worthing consulted on changing from a single sex boys’ school to a co-educational school from September 2021 entry. As St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys is a voluntary aided Church school, different regulations regarding who initiates the consultation apply.
The proposed changes would mean the schools will no longer admit only boys as Year 7 pupils from September 2021 and each year of entry thereafter would be co-educational. There are no changes proposed to have co-educational provision for any of the existing year groups on roll at both schools. There are also no proposals to alter the single sex girls’ provision at either Millais School, Horsham or Davison CE High School for Girls, Worthing.
The consultations took place during June 2020 and the outcome is set out in section 3 of the report.
The Cabinet Member for Education and Skills has agreed:-
1. To approve the conversion of The Forest School, Horsham to become a co-educational school with effect from September 2021
2. To support the Governing body’s decision to convert St Andrew’s CE High School for Boys, Worthing to become a co-educational school with effect from September 2021.
3. The publication of statutory notices to implement both changes with effect from September 2021
Publication date: 24/07/2020
Date of decision: 24/07/2020
Effective from: 05/08/2020