Monthly Archives: September 2013

Brighton and Hove pupils to get free school meals for an afternoon


Thousands of pupils would be given a free lunch as portion of a plan to get more youngsters eating school meals.

As element of National School Meals Week (NSMW), every primary school pupil in Brighton and Hove could have the £2.10 fee waived for in the future only.

Town hall bosses hope the complimentary scheme will bring about more youngsters eating school meal daily, which in turn may lead to wider health benefits.


Green councillor Sue Shanks, chairman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s children and teens committee, said: “Some pupils may never have had a college lunch, so we’re interested in with the ability to offer them the prospect to attempt one.

“We want as a lot of people as possible to understand in regards to the quality of the food we provide.

“We use Red Tractor meats, MSC fish, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, and native free range eggs.

“We hope this mass sampling will mean more children can be tempted to have a faculty lunch in future.

“Not all children get a nutritious, healthy meal day-to-day so increasing uptake of our college meals may have wider health benefits.”

The scheme, that may be run in partnership with Eden Foodservice, will start on November 4.

A seven-day timetable was drawn up, with every school year around the city being given a free meal at the same day.

The last to profit may be Year 3 pupils on November 13.

Some of the food on offer could be cheese and leek whirl, sweet potato and lentil curry and roast chicken.

A NSMW spokesman said: “There hasn’t ever been a higher time to celebrate everything that’s great a few school lunch.”

Hove school pupils rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties after chemical exposure

Hove school pupils rushed to hospital with breathing difficulties after chemical exposure

Dozens of youngsters were taken ill after a suspected chemical spill in a university science lab this morning.

Emergency services were called to Hove’s Cardinal Newman School shortly before 10am with students complaining of “stinging eyes and sore throats”.

Paramedics have already taken one pupil to hospital and are said to be treating 31 others.

An ambulance spokesman said six others were suffering breathing problems.

Fire fighters have cordoned off the world and are within the means of “ventilating” the varsity.


Component to the college have been evacuated with other classes told to remain inside until further notice.

An ambulance spokesman added: “Nobody is known to be seriously injured but we now have several children complaining of itchy eyes and sore throats.

“Around six others have also reported breathing difficulties.

“One pupil has already been taken to hospital and we’re inside the technique of taking others now.”

The scholars affected are regarded as 11 and 12 year-olds.


A spokesman for the college confirmed the incdent occurred in a science lab.

He added: “The reason for the incident is being investigated together with the council’s health and safety team. First indications are that it will probably were because of a chemical spillage.

“Ambulances have attended and feature seen 32 children. The indicators are very low level and the ambulance service has not reported any serious concerns.

“Text messages were sent to all parents to notify them of the incident and how it’s being handled.”

a university statement on their website reads: “There was a minor incident on the school this morning.

“The emergency services are supporting the varsity in managing the location.  We wish to verify that every one students and staff are safe and well.

“We might ask parents to not attend the college unless specifically asked to take action.”

Varndean impresses Ofsted inspectors

Varndean School has impressed inspectors again during its latest Ofsted report.

The Balfour Road school was graded good overall, after being awarded good in all four categories following the inspection in July.

It comes after their last inspection in 2009, when the varsity was also rated good around the board.


Head teacher William Deighan, who was also on the helm in 2009, has put the implications right down to teachers developing an amazing working relationship within the classroom and having high expectations in their students.

Mr Deighan added: “I’m also very proud to be a member of this staff, but most of all I’m extremely happy with our students.

“On top of our greatest-ever GCSE results – including the ideal English results for 11 to 16-year-olds inside the city – this Ofsted report represents an incredible begin to the hot school year.

“Varndean is a ‘good’ school – and we’re at the verge of being great.”

The inspectors commented favourably at the introduction of the school’s innovative schools-within-schools approach, as did parents.

The college was separated into four sections last September, each with its own head of faculty, a deputy head and a college leader.

Similar in size to small primary schools, the change aimed to construct at the personal approach that folks told teachers their children miss when moving from primary school.

One parent was quoted within the report as saying: “We’ve really seen the advantage of moving to four schools where our child have been given great support.”

The inspector’s report highlighted the high standards of educating on the school.

It said: “Teachers ask questions skilfully to make students think hard and consolidate their understanding.”

It also paid compliment to the behaviour of the scholars, and said: “Students conduct themselves well in and round the school.”

Chairman of governors Jon Dee said: “The good Ofsted assessment reflects well-deserved recognition of the considerable improvement that Varndean has made because the current head joined the college and reflects your complete exertions and energy of the employees and governors.

“We have set ourselves challenging targets for the arriving year in order that we continue to enhance the standard of training and support to our students, challenging them to try high, to attain their full potential and to show pride within the school.”

Special bullying report: Children with physical and learning disabilities ‘expect’ to be bullied at school

Children with disabilities and learning difficulties inside the city “expect” to be bullied during their school life.

The claim, though distressing, comes as new bullying statistics reveal disabled children living within the poorest parts of Brighton and Hove – particularly people with autism and learning difficulties – suffer most with bullying.

The figures, gathered by Brighton-based children’s disability charity Amaze, quizzed nearly 750 families of kids on Brighton and Hove City Council’s disability register about their experiences bullying.

Children living within the council wards of Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, and East Brighton – two of probably the most deprived areas of Brighton and Hove – accounted for 23.2% of bullied children between them.


Children in affluent Central Hove, Regency and Brunswick and Adelaide covered just 1.7% between them.

Rachel Travers, CEO of Amaze, said a link between poverty and child disability increased the possibility of a disabled child living in East Brighton or Moulsecoomb and Bevendean.

She added: “You then ought to add within the increased likelihood of a disabled child experiencing bullying.

“From a stats perspective, East Brighton and Moulsecoomb and Bevendean have two important factors in play.

“The first is that there are more children in those areas generally.

Consistent with the most recent Census, these two wards account for 14.3% of the city’s young population.

“Then there’s more family housing, more social housing and less houses of multiple occupancy.”

The national problem of childhood bullying – and never just involving people with disabilities – was discussed last week by councillors at a bullying scrutiny panel at Hove Town Hall.

Cllr Ruth Buckley, who chaired the panel, described bullying as a “national problem of serious concern to the council,” but stressed she felt the authority was “ahead of the sport in tackling it locally,” though admitted there has been more to do.


Janet Pool, Amaze’s representative on the scrutiny panel, said when it came to children with disabilities, they and their families expected bullying.

Speaking on the meeting last Wednesday she said: “For them, it’s kind of only a section of life, that’s very distressing.

“But it’s a deal almost. You visit secondary school, you’re at the autistic spectrum, you will have a physical difference – it’s almost an expectation within families that your child can be targeted more. It could be done in very subtle ways.

“For example when everyone else has scarpered and made sure whatever they’ve done isn’t at the CCTV in their secondary school, that’s when children with additional needs and social communication problems could be the last man standing.

“They’re fairly often installation because they’re not very subtle.

The figures really speak for themselves.”

The effects of not being “subtle” can stretch far beyond the thought of a kid being the “last one standing,” however.


Paul Goodwin, of Brighton’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), told councillors last week that bullying could contribute to poor mental health and mental health disorders in all children – and never just people with a disability.

He said: “Being bullied isn’t a mental health condition – it’s a sequence of events that could result in increased chance of a mental sickness or disorder developing.

“Initially we’d viewbeing bullied as causing acute emotional distress.

“We all wade through a period of acute emotional distress at sometime in our lives, like through bereavement for instance, but a number of us, if we’ve a running series of events of stress, can develop a mental illness from it.

“And if that continues – a mental health disorder can develop.

“That said, it’s hard to equate direct connection.”

When asked by councillors what had to be done to avoid bullying, Mr Goodwin said: “I think working with the perpetrators is a key thing.

“Working with victims is solely half the difficulty or a 3rd of the issue.

“My experience of working with perpetrators of domestic violence is it is best to stop that behaviour to stop more victims.

“It’s a protracted-term problem take a long time but i feel working with the perpetrators is prime.”

Alison Nuttall, Children and Young People’s Strategic Commissioner at CAMHS, suggested children were reluctant to report bullying at college as they might feel “stigmatised” being seen coming out and in of a “certain room” – comparable to a school’s counselling room.

She said: “They won’t desire to be seen going into that area as it could incorrectly mean there’s something wrong with them. There’s sensitivity around it with children.”

Red tape

Children’s bullying charity Safety Net, who also sent representatives to the council’s scrutiny panel, has worked with schools and community groups across Brighton and Hove, helping out for the last 17 years.

In a report published for the council, the charity revealed schools were struggling in finding the time to fill in forms to offer feedback to the charity on their antibullying measures.

This, consistent with Den McCartney from Safety Net, meant the charity’s work may be installed jeopardy because the information was utilized in ongoing funding applications.

She said: “It isn’t something i believe schools deliberately block.

“We provide the services free of charge after which say give us information and it involves a great number of chasing and requests within the first place.

“If they do, it helps secure funding for projects similar to playground services.

“Short term work akin to the Playground Buddies system needs very specific evaluation and it really is a further thing to invite of them.

“They may have moved onto other parts in their strategy by then.

“As component of the report we got really positive quotes at the impact on schools.

“For us because we’re currently at the look-out to sustain our work, that kind of feedback is like gold dust.

“If people still want this service at no cost to be able to keep that going, we need to have information from schools.

“It is actually a challenge for us.”

Extra help

Despite the obvious doom and gloom, recommendations to enhance the degrees of bullying in schools might possibly be outlined as early as November – giving both parents and youngsters peace of mind for the recent school term.

Councillor Buckley, chair of the bullying scrutiny panel, said the council took the initiative of installing a scrutiny investigation to peer what improvements can be made.

She added: “We will publish our report in November.

“Our own survey data shows that kids who need extra help also get more bullying so this can be a vital area to be worked on.

“One of an important lessons parents and schools will ever teach is that such bullying is completely unacceptable. “ A council spokesman added: “The scrutiny panel took advice from a number one expert at the subject, Professor Robin Banerjee, so it’s a subject matter we take extremely seriously.

“It’s also important to indicate that the govt has handed responsibility for tackling bullying to colleges directly.

“However as an education authority we remain supportive on the subject of offering advice and expertise.“ It’s also the case that some schools, BACA and the previous Whitehawk Primary included, in East Brighton, aren’t any longer under council control.”

Special bullying report: What to do in the event that your child is a victim

Brighton and Hove City Council guidelines on what to do in the event that your child is being bullied at school: If, having been in touch with the college, you’re unhappy with the support being given to you and your child and the bullying has not been resolved, these are the stairs to make a proper complaint: Complaints needs to be installed writing and also you should keep copies along side a note of when each complaint was made and to whom. The formal complaints process has three stages.

STAGE ONE Letter of complaint to move teacher of the varsity – parent/carers should want to ask for a proper meeting to talk about what’s being done.

STAGE TWO Write to the Chair of Governors of the college, enclosing a replica of the letter sent to the top teacher.

STAGE THREE Write to the local authority, sending copies of the letters written at stage one and stage two.


Sussex is home to plenty of bullying charities and support groups. If you’re a parent and also you or your child is seeking support, contact one of many following groups for more info.

SAFETY NET Runs SNAP groups (Safety Net Assertiveness Project) to support children aged eight to 13 who’ve been suffering from bullying or need support with building their confidence and self-esteem. They run support and data sessions for folks of kids who attend the SNAP courses. Visit or call 01273 411613 for additional info.

AMAZE Gives information, advice and support to oldsters of disabled children and youngsters with special needs in Brighton and Hove. Its mission is to tell, support and empower parents of youngsters with disabilities and special needs. For more info visit or call 01273 772289.

CYBERSMILE The Cybersmile Foundation is an award-winning cyberbullying charity that offers expert help and advice for cyberbullying victims and their familes.

The charity offers outreach services, workshops, counselling, a supportive website and helpline.

For additional information visit or call 0845 688 7277.


University of Sussex best for an evening out – and politics

University of Sussex best for an evening out – and politics

If politics and an awesome night out is your bag – then the University of Sussex is where for you.

The university, based in Brighton, was voted among the finest within the UK for both politics and a various local nightlife.

The report, conducted through which?, was in response to a survey of greater than 16,000 undergraduates, rates UK universities on sport, creative arts, politics, student union activities and nightlife, in addition asking around 8,000 students for his or her views on their experience of better education.

Former student Samantha Graham, 22, who still lives in Brighton, said: “There’s simply so much to make a choice from. Big dance clubs like Oceana, to classy bars like Pitcher and Piano.


“There are plenty of little pubs dotted around and after four years I still don’t think I’ve visited all of them.

“My favourite night was ‘Poundance’ at Digital – £1 drinks before midnight. And it wouldn’t be an evening out without going for shots at Oxygen.”

Graduate Chris Cox, 24, said: “There’s much happening after dark in Brighton that there’s something for every person, and you’ll probably turn out finding stuff you didn’t even know you desired to find, like somewhere with a ballpit at 2:30am.

“Some of the main fun I had on an evening in Brighton have been stumbling down a sidestreet and finding some quirky club, pub or bar tucked away.”

The coed nightlife within the city is a big boost to the economy, and is widely welcomed by Brighton and Hove’s bars and nightclubs.

In addition to the nightclub life, the town is definitely-renowned for its vibrant music scene.

Former University of Sussex student Alastair Reid, news editor of local music site Brighton Noise, said: “Brighton has one of many busiest and most talented home-grown music scenes inside the country.

“Not only that, but artists from all over the world come here to play, because they knowthey’ll get an excellent reception and feature something to do after the show.

“I’m not surprised our nightlife got rated so highly.”

The University of Chichester featured at the list a number of the top sporting universities within the country, but was also voted one of many worst within the country for nightlife.

Be quick with the intention to join The Hive school in Brighton

Be quick as a way to join The Hive school in Brighton

a brand new school celebrating digital and inventive industries is to open – with potential students warned to “be quick” to sign on .

The Hive Creative and Digital Media Studio School will open in September 2015 with the purpose of preparing 14- to 19- year-olds for the workplace.

With the support of major media partners, including The Argus, school bosses said they need to become the primary port of demand industry training and sourcing new talent.

300 students at a time are expected to wait the college in Preston Road, Brighton.


But those behind it have warned those interested to register their interest soon – as demand is anticipated to outstrip supply.

Lynn Thackway, principal of City College Brighton and Hove, that is behind the scheme, said: “We’ll be working with many of the most dynamic and innovative local businesses to deliver a curriculum so that they can enable talented youth to work on live projects and get handson experience of working in industry.”

In addition to teaching core national curriculum subjects, together with maths and English, studio schools aim to equip students for successful careers inside the digital economy.

The Argus is likely one of the firms to have backed the plans for the college, in an effort to be the primary studio school in Brighton and Hove.

Michael Beard, editor of The Argus, said: “We’re delighted to affix forces with City College Brighton and Hove and hope that we will provide the opportunities for college kids to get real life experience of the creative and digital media world.”

Those interested should register at

An event discussing the plans will appear on Wednesday from 6pm on the college in Pelham Street, Brighton.

Bilingual school’s Hove plans in jeopardy over fears for miniature railway

Bilingual school’s Hove plans in jeopardy over fears for miniature railway

Plans for a brand new school at the fringe of a preferred park is perhaps rejected over claims it might force a miniature railway to shut.

For greater than 50 years a team of volunteers have kept the two,000ft miniature railway in Hove Park running.

But members of the Brighton and Hove Society of Miniature Locomotive Engineers claim Brighton Bilingual School’s plans to create a 3-storey building near the positioning will cause access problems.

The free school claims its multimillion-pound plans for as much as 630 pupils on Hove Park Depot within the Droveway, Hove, could be a “significant investment in education provision in Brighton and Hove”.

But Mike Holland, who’s renovating the British Engineerium, which neighbours the positioning, described the college plans as a “crackpot idea”.

After dozens of complaints, experts at Brighton and Hove City Council have now recommended the plans be turned down by councillors.

If the committee agrees at a gathering on September 18, it’d leave the varsity, that’s currently based in Brighton Aldridge Community Academy in Moulsecoomb, not on time to head to new premises by next year.

A letter to the council on behalf of the Brighton and Hove Society of Miniature Locomotive Engineers said it was granted leasehold possession of the doorway area into the park from the depot’s back door in 1973.

It claimed, if approved, the college would mean it may not access the positioning daily.

Mr Holland added he hoped to make use of the land to deal with the Surrey-based Brooking Architectural Museum Trust, a group of architectural salvage, as a part of an indoor Victorian street scene.

Valerie Paynter, of conservation group Save Hove, said: “The miniature railway and the Engineerium have such a lot in common it is just right the entire area they currently occupy must be seen as complementary and the depot brought into that configuration to form a harmonious major museum/railway attraction asset for town.”

Carolina Gopal, the school’s headteacher, said: “We know that individuals living near the location are worried about extra traffic and pressure on parking and now we have heard their scepticism about travel plans.

“But we have got shown that our parents and staff we will be able to work with these types of issues at our present site and we can manage them properly if the plans for the positioning in Hove are approved.

“We are keen to work with the council and the folks living within the surrounding area in order that we become good neighbours.”

See the most recent news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Daily Echo on Facebook - Like us on Facebook

Google+  Add us for your circles on Google+

First day at two Sussex schools delayed by works

Two schools which had all summer to hold out renovations have needed to postpone the 1st day of term- as the work will not be yet complete.

Parents from both St Peter’s Infant School in Portslade and Heron Way Primary School in Horsham were left frustrated after a final-minute decision to cancel the primary day back.

Both promised the works will be finished by the tip of the six-week summer holiday.

An “urgent” post on St Peter’s website this week informed parents and youngsters of the change of plan.

It read: “Information for years one, two and 3 parents.

“The school will be unable to open on Friday, September 6, as intended as unfortunately the building works may not be completed.

“The first day of faculty for year one, two and 3 will now be Monday, September 9.

“Unfortunately, we shall even have to postpone our open day for fogeys until later inside the term, when all building works are complete.

“Please check the inside track link for more info and photos.”

Phase three of the school’s renovation was because of ensue between July 1 and August 31, the college said before it broke off for the summer holidays.

Alterations were to be made to the nursery, hall and bathroom area.

The faculty promised that “all remaining works might be done in summer holiday”.

Renovation works were also resulting from be completed at Heron Way School in time for the recent term.

A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council, said: “I can confirmthat Heron Way School has not opened today as planned. Here’s because of unfinished drainage works that have been happening on site.

“A decision was taken last Friday that the varsity would have to remain closed for the remainder of this week on safety grounds. The college will now reopen on Monday.”

See the most recent news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Daily Echo on Facebook - Like us on Facebook

Google+  Add us in your circles on Google+

Maps getting used to encourage more pupils to stroll to faculty in Brighton and Hove

Maps showing how long it takes to stroll to college are getting used to aid schoolchildren get more active in Brighton and Hove.

Health promotion teams are working with schools to create colourful maps which show whether individuals are living an estimated five, ten or quarter-hour walk away.

Bosses believe highlighting the length of time rather than just the gap may make it more obvious to families about whether or not they can fit walking to and from school into their day.

Westdene Primary School in Bankside, Brighton, has already been checking out the scheme.

Its map shows how Mill Rise residents can absorb to 5 minutes to achieve the college, those in Hillcrest will take ten minutes and folks in Valley Drive may take in to fifteen minutes.

The maps are getting used as section of Brighton and Hove City Council’s public health team’s work backing a countrywide Smart Restart campaign geared toward encouraging families to get more healthy and active because the new school year starts.

Health promotion specialist David Brindley said: “The aim of making walking zone maps is to encourage parents to park further clear of the varsity gate and to advertise walking to university.

“Walking some or the entire solution to and from school is a straightforward and fun way for youngsters and their families to construct physical activity into the daily routine. It also has the additional benefit of reducing congestion across the school entrance, making it safer for kids to go into their school.”

Around one in six 10- and 11-year-olds in Brighton and Hove is obese, in accordance with the National Child Measurement Programme, which checks children’s weight in Reception class and Year 6.

The newest results available show 15.5% of the 1,979 Year 6 pupils weighed were obese and an additional 14.2% were overweight.

a complete of two,491 Reception class children within the city were weighed, with 7.7% classed as obese and 11.2% overweight.

See the newest news headlines from The Argus:

More news from The Argus

Daily Echo on Facebook - Like us on Facebook

Google+  Add us in your circles on Google+