Plans to relocate Chichester school look set to go ahead

Controversial plans to relocate a Chichester school look set to be given the go-ahead.
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West Sussex County Council held a consultation in December and January about proposals to move Jessie Younghusband School to the new Minerva Heights development west of the city.

The move would allow St Anthony’s Special School, which shares the current site in Woodlands Lane, to take over the vacated buildings and enrol 50+ more children.

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The proposals prompted opposition from parents and governors, with the latter stating that they were not in favour of moving to another small site with ‘vague promises of expansion at some undefined point in the future’.

Jessie Younghusband School. Image: GoogleMapsJessie Younghusband School. Image: GoogleMaps
Jessie Younghusband School. Image: GoogleMaps

Some parents branded the proposed move a ‘cost-cutting quick fix’ and raised concerns about the safety of youngsters walking to the new site.

The final decision of the fate of Jessie Younghusband School will fall to Jacquie Russell, cabinet member for children & young people, learning & skills.

But before that, members of the Children & Young People’s Services Scrutiny Committee will examine the proposals during a meeting on Wednesday (February 28).

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A report to the meeting listed the key lines of enquiry, including whether the aim to improve the provision for children with special needs and disabilities was justification for the upheaval heaped on the Jessie Younghusband community.

The consultation saw 624 responses logged via the Your Voice website, with 223 (35.7 per cent) in support of the move, 370 (59.3 per cent) opposed and 31 (five per cent) neither for or against.

An online petition opposing the move attracted 666 signatures – but it was not submitted in a format which allowed the council to verify addresses and names and check for duplication.

A second online petition was submitted via the council’s e-petitions page and asked for a pedestrian crossing on Sherborne Road/Norwich Road.

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This petition received 23 signatures which have all been verified as valid.

If the proposals are approved, the new school is expected to open in September 2025.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “Thank you to everyone who took part in the recent consultation on proposals for Jessie Younghusband Primary School and St Anthony’s Special School, their catchment areas and those of Parklands Community Primary School and Fishbourne C of E Primary School.

“We’ve published a report outlining the outcomes of the consultation, which is available to read in full on our website Chichester Schools Proposal Draft Decision Report (

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“No decision has yet been made and the next step is for the proposals and consultation outcomes to be discussed at a meeting of the Children and Young People’s Services Scrutiny committee, with a final decision due late March.”