Consultation launched on major change to Horsham school

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A public consultation is being launched today (May 8) on plans for major change at a Horsham school.

West Sussex County Council is considering proposals to switch the status of Millais School from all-girls to co-educational.

A spokesperson said: “Millais has not filled to its Published Admissions Number of 300 for the last three years, which impacts on budgets and resources, and the proposals aim to tackle the issue of falling pupil numbers at the school.

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"Additionally, it is proposed that opening Millais up to boys will partially address pressure for additional secondary school places in the Horsham area.”

Should Millais School in Horsham admit boys? ... A chance for people to have their sayShould Millais School in Horsham admit boys? ... A chance for people to have their say
Should Millais School in Horsham admit boys? ... A chance for people to have their say

Last year dozens of families were devastated on being told that their children would have to travel to school in Burgess Hill before places at more local schools were eventually found for them.

It is proposed that Millais receives its first co-educational cohort of Year 7 admissions only from September 2026, subject to approval from the county council’s cabinet member for children and young people, learning and skills.

If agreed, all subsequent Year 7 admissions would similarly be for boys and girls. Existing year groups of girls would continue to receive their education at the school until they leave at the age of 16.

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Residents now have a chance to share their views via an online consultation, which opened today (May 8) and will run until June 12.

Councillor Jacquie Russell, cabinet member for education said: “The proposals to make Millais school co-educational present an exciting opportunity to build on the current good work of the school and to further improve educational standards across the town.

“By offering boys as well as girls access to this high-quality education offer, we are taking a proactive approach towards addressing challenges around student numbers in the locality, helping ensure that children and young people fulfil their potential.

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“The consultation is a chance for people to express their support for the proposals as well as voice concerns and offer constructive ideas on taking the plans forward. We invite all residents to participate in the consultation and help us shape this project as it moves forward.”