Greens’ view on Brighton & Hove Labour schools decision

Greens criticise Labour’s rushed decision-making on Brighton & Hove Council’s schools closure

Picture from December 2023: St Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School (central Brighton). Greens call for a change of course, as children are left without school places for September start of the school year.

20 June 2024: The Labour city council administration repeatedly assured parents that all children from St Bartholomew’s (Brighton) and St Peter’s Community Primary School (Hove) would be accommodated in nearby schools in the new academic year.

Greens have hit back at Labour’s decision to force two local primary schools to close after the Office of the Schools Adjudicator released a determination:

[1] Greens suceeded in overturning the Labour-run council’s decision to close St Bartholomew’s Primary School at the end of this school year in July.

The city council decision to close the school in December 2024 has been made after nine pupils – several of whom are understood to have Special Educational Needs – were unable to secure a school place for the upcoming academic year.

Since Labour first proposed the closures last November, Green councillors have consistently stood with parents, carers, and teachers of children at the school, criticising the speed with which the decisions were being made and raising concerns that not enough time was being given for children to transition to new schools.

At a meeting of the Children, Families and Schools Committee in January, Greens also called on Labour to produce a report exploring the feasibility of moving Bright Start Nursery to St Bartholomew’s.

[2] A solution which could have saved both institutions and reflects what is now national Labour Party policy.

[3] All Labour Councillors on the Committee voted against even considering this as an option.

Green councillors are calling on the Labour administration to use this as an opportunity to reconsider the closure of St Bartholomew’s Primary School and to bring a report to the next Full Council meeting, exploring how the school could be saved by relocating Bright Start Nursery to unused classroom space. They reversed the administration’s previous decisions to cut under two’s provision and reduce the overall number of places at Bright Start.

Cllr Sue Shanks, former Opposition Spokesperson on the Children, Families, and Schools Committee said: “Green Councillors welcome this decision by the Schools Adjudicator, which comes closer to reflecting what school staff, governors, and parents have been asking for from the very start.

Labour’s decision was rushed through with little consideration for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, many of whom would have been left without a school to go to this September, had the Schools Adjudicator not stepped in.

“We urge Labour to use this as an opportunity to reconsider their disastrous decision to force this school to close. Now is the time for them to produce a report on our proposal to save both St Bartholomew’s and Bright Start Nursery, which they refused to even consider earlier this year. It’s not too late to correct course and do what is best for local families.”



[1] Office of the Schools Adjudicator Determination:

[2] Green Councillors’ Notice of Motion (p19):

[3] National Labour Party policy on childcare:


To top