Tideway School in Newhaven will become an academy from April 1, 2014, a school funded by central government but which is independent of the local education authority.
Academies do not have to follow the national curriculum, but must make sure their curriculum is broad and balanced.
The school will be renamed Seahaven Academy and will be part of a network of schools under the umbrella organisation of United Learning.
The charity already oversees dozens of schools across the UK, including Shoreham Academy, and has been involved in education since the late 19th century.
Tideway School head teacher Rob Corbett said: “Students will benefit from the accelerated change that the academy will bring.
“This is not a new direction for Newhaven students, more a recognition of all the positive improvements that have taken place.
“We will build on these and provide the best education for all our students. We are proud of our students and expect the best for them and from them. These are exciting times.”
A new uniform was introduced in September as part of the transition to academy.
The school said the smart blazers, ties and business like clothes were in line with high expectation for all students and a desire to see them take pride in their achievements.
Consultation is taking place with parents, students and staff.
This will include academy newsletters, drop in consultations, surveys and forum groups.
The school said it wanted the academy to be a hub in the local community and serve the area.
Seahaven Academy will be free from the control of the local education authority, East Sussex County Council.
It will work with its sponsor United Learning to provide an education for students.
Academies can choose the best curriculum to suit the needs of the students and local community.