New academy will open at half capacity

WORTHING’S new academy will be just half full in its first year – figures its sponsor has defended as ‘excellent’.


Parents found out which high school their children would attend last week, after indicating up to three preferences.

West Sussex County Council revealed the new Bohunt academy, being built in Broadwater Road, was the least popular school, with 186 students from a potential capacity of 360 expected to attend in September (51.6 per cent).

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Bohunt Educational Trust chief executive Neil Strowger said: “These excellent numbers are another huge step to delivering our educational vision in Worthing.

“First of all we negotiated the additional funding to make sure there weren’t compromises on the build and now we have the numbers of students to ensure we have specialist teachers, competitive sports teams and a strong community.”

Bohunt was a first preference for 85 year seven children and 78 year eights, 19 and four less than the final totals, respectively.

Durrington High is at full capacity in both year groups, while St Andrews is full for year seven.

Davison is expected to be at 80 per cent capacity, with Worthing High at 93 per cent, and Chatsmore at 99 per cent.

The figures could change between now and September due to parental preferences.

Commenting on the Bohunt figures, county councillor Bob Smytherman said: “I am quite surprised with the figures. I thought it was going to be more.

“I am more concerned about the site. It’s so constrained and will clog up the streets of Broadwater.”

A Friends of Bohunt School spokesman said the group’s parents were ‘thrilled and excited’ for their children to be accepted.

He said: “We fully expected the new school to be under capacity, being as it is a new school but this will mean our children receiving a more tailored education as well as helping to shape the school as it grows with them.”

The academy is well-advanced in recruiting staff and negotiations continue on the Manor Sports Ground and Queen Street car park issues. Mr Strowger confirmed Bohunt was now totally committed to seeing the project through.

He said: “Everything now looks in place for us to be able to deliver the exceptional education we have always promised, so we therefore remain 100 per cent committed to the project.”