Father Robert Easton
+44 1273 704200
Independent day and boarding schoolpublic school
Chairman of the Governors
Professor Lord Robert Skidelsky
William Aldwin Soames (1787-1871)
Eastern Rd, Brighton BN2 0AL, UK
ΤΟ Δ’ΕΥ ΝΙΚΑΤΩ; (Let right prevail)
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Brighton College is a boarding and day school for boys and girls aged 11–18 in Brighton, England. Brighton College Preparatory School, for children aged 8 to 13, is located immediately next to the College itself and shares many of its facilities. The Pre-Prep School, for children ages 3 to 8, has its own site close by.
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- Notable developments
- Victorian school culture
- Charitable tax status
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community
- Lower School
- Franchising the Brighton College Brand Internationally Brighton College Abu Dhabi
- Musical activities
- Art activities
- Design technology activities
- Christian Union
- Principals and headmasters
Brighton College was named UK School of the Year 2013 at the Independent Schools Awards on 14 November 2013. The judges cited "the college's extraordinary academic success (the only school in England to have seen exam results improve every single year for seven years), clear strategic vision, strong social mission and dynamic expansion". It was also named 'England's Independent School of the Year 2011-2012' by The Sunday Times. The school's Head Master, Richard Cairns, was awarded the title England's Public School Headmaster of the Year 2012 by Tatler magazine.
In 2011, Brighton College opened Brighton College Abu Dhabi, the first in a planned chain of international schools. Charging up to £12,880 per term for boarders in 2015/16 makes it the most expensive HMC boarding school in the UK.
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There are 13 houses at Brighton College. The houses are split by gender, although staff of both sexes can be attached to any house. Houses contain between 48 and 85 pupils and are governed by a house master and a team of tutors with boarding houses also having a matron and house keeping staff. The house master is free to appoint members of the Upper Sixth to act as house prefects to look after and supervise younger members of the house. The house master also appoints one member of the Upper Sixth to act as head of house, a role which involves the same duties as a house prefect as well as representing their house at house events and competitions.
Each house has aspects that distinguishing it from other houses, such as its own colours and its location around the college. For example, all of the boys' boarding houses can be found within the front quad whereas the boys' day houses can be found at other locations around the college campus.
The school occupies three sites in the east of the city, facing south onto Eastern Road. It is immediately to the east of the site of the former Kemptown railway station, across Sutherland Road.
The school's principal buildings are in the gothic revival style by Sir George Gilbert Scott RA (flint with Caen stone dressings, 1848–66). Later buildings were designed by his pupil and former student at the college Sir Thomas Graham Jackson RA (brick and flint with cream and pink terracotta dressings, 1883–87; flint with Clipsham stone dressings 1922–23).
In 2012, the school completed a new cricket pavilion on the "Home Ground", the school's main cricket ground which is also used as a rugby pitch in the Michaelmas term. It is situated opposite the site of the old pavilion and the sports hall. The Diamond Jubilee pavilion was opened by the Earl and Countess of Wessex in July 2012.
A new chaplaincy is planned to be created in part of the space which will be left by Durnford House, which is on the end of the Bristol wing, Dawson Building which currently contains both Durnford and Abraham Houses.
The school occupied a significant niche in the development of English secondary education during the 19th century. Notable accomplishments include:
Victorian school culture
The school's evolution also questions the "traditional" account of how the Victorian public schools developed. For example, the school initially had a ban on the use of corporal punishment — until 1851. The school captain was elected by universal suffrage by the boys until 1878, when a prefectorial system was also introduced. Sporting games remained voluntary until 1902 (and team members had chosen their own captain and awarded colours to their outstanding players until 1878).
Charitable tax status
Brighton College led the legal fight to secure the charitable tax status currently enjoyed by all registered charities. A legal case between the school and Inland Revenue from 1916-26 produced a series of changes to tax law in the 1918 Income Tax Act, the 1921 and 1922 Finance Acts and, above all, section 24 of the 1927 Finance Act. The case (Brighton College v Marriott) went to the High Court (June 1924, 40 T.L.R. 763-5), the Court of Appeal (November 1924, 1 KB 312) and ultimately the House of Lords (November 1925, AC 192-204).
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community
Brighton College is located in Brighton's Kemptown area, once described by the College Chaplain, Father Robert Easton, as "a hot-spot of bohemian elegance and [...] a vibrant maze of coffee shops, pubs and clubs. It is the gay district of the gay capital of Britain [...]".
For the 2013-2014 academic year, 17-year-old pupil Will Emery was elected as the first openly gay head boy of an English public school following an "overwhelmingly" positive vote by over 1,000 pupils and staff.
In January 2016, Headmaster Richard Cairns announced that Brighton College would scrap gender-specific uniforms and instead introduce a "trouser uniform" and a "skirt uniform" with both boys and girls under age 16 being free to choose which to wear. According to Cairns, Brighton College is “reacting to a changing society which recognises that some children have gender dysphoria and do not wish to lose their emotional gender identities at school.”
George Bell, Bishop of Chichester created the school grounds as an extra-parochial ecclesiastical district. Placed outside the parish of St. Matthew's, Brighton, the school chapel holds an episcopal licence to perform weddings for its residents, after banns; no archiepiscopal licence is required.
Current fees at 2012/13 stand at circa £31,000 p.a. for full-time boarders and circa £19,500 p.a. for day pupils in sixth form. There are a small number of bursaries and scholarships available to new pupils at school.
In September 2009, the school opened a new "Lower School" for children between the ages of 11 and 13. The site of this new part of the Senior School is on the old Art Block, with that now having moved to above the Woolton Quad. The Lower School means that Brighton College has been open to intake children at the age of 11 into the senior school for the first time in its history, as opposed to its traditional youngest intake of thirteen-year-old boys and girls, since the academic year starting 2009.
Franchising the Brighton College Brand Internationally: Brighton College Abu Dhabi
In 2010, Brighton College announced that it was "helping to set up schools in Abu Dhabi". This venture is a for-profit franchise operation through a company the school has set up, Brighton College International Schools Ltd, in a joint venture with a UAE property development company Bloom Properties. Brendan Law, previously of Westbourne House School in Chichester, West Sussex, was named Headmaster of Brighton College Abu Dhabi in September 2010, and the school opened in September 2011. He was replaced by Ken Grocott, former-Head of Geography at Brighton College, in September 2012.
Design technology activities
Brighton College's major sports are rugby, cricket and netball with 1st teams in all three being some of the strongest in England.
The 1st XV rugby team play in the schools blue and maroon hoops and most home games are played on the Home Ground, a large expanse of ground located to the rear of the college.
A student organisation bringing together Christian students. They run a lunch each Monday where Christians, or other interested persons, can go to discuss the Christian faith.
Principals and headmasters
The title of principal was changed to headmaster in December 1885. The requirement for the headmaster to be an ordained priest of the Church of England was removed in 1909.
Note: Simon Smith returned to his position as Second Master after Richard Cairns took leadership in 2006.