Skip to content ↓

About us, Contact & Access

Main entrance to Varndean School

Varndean School is a co-education state maintained comprehensive school for 11-16 year olds offering a modern and diverse curriculum. We give students the opportunity to explore their interests, achieve academic success and develop well-rounded characters to go forth into the world and make a valuable contribution to all our futures.

Varndean School was built in 1926, on its current site looking out to sea, due to the determination of a forward thinking headmistress. Miss Ethel Ellis worked hard to secure the new site for our school and ensure it was built with the idea of providing academic excellence alongside the development of students' characters, fostering a passion for art, culture, science and sport. At Varndean school we still adhere to those aspirations for our students.
More Varndean School history

We give students the opportunity to explore their interests, achieve academic success and develop well rounded characters to go forth into the world and make a valuable contribution to all our futures.

We have a five school pastoral system that fosters smaller caring communities, who learn and develop together, in the context of a larger school with shared facilities and activities. These schools focus on charity, community and competition and we ask our students to be positive, polite and prepared in all they do. 
More on the five school system

Our school motto is Challenge and Pride, we seek to challenge ourselves and take pride in our achievements.

Contact and Access

Contact our reception team, Jo and Karen who will endeavour to assist you or redirect your enquiry appropriately. Alternatively you can complete the contact form.

Balfour Road, Brighton, BN1 6NP
Telephone: 01273 561 281

SENCO Contact: Judith Ford 


Please provide 24 hours’ notice for specific access support: contact our Site Manager on 07951 072336.

You have not allowed cookies and this content may contain cookies.

If you would like to view this content please

There are three main access routes into school. The main car park entrance (Ditchling Road) which is for staff and visitor parking, the delivery entrance (Ditchling Road) providing access for deliveries and student access in the morning until 9am, and the main entrance (Balfour Road) which leads to the school’s main reception. There are limited car park spaces at the front of the main reception, this access route is mainly for student and staff access to the school. As well as these three main routes there are also a number of other pedestrian access routes to the school via Balfour Road, Stringer Way and the Surrenden Campus playing fields.

Bus routes 24, 26 and 46 will bring you from Churchill Square in the city centre to Varndean School.


Disabled Access

The main driveway leading to reception (Balfour Road entrance) has a number of level access entry points as well as ramped entry points into the buildings. 
There is a Stannah stair lift adjacent to the main hall for main hall access, i.e. assemblies, events etc. Access is gained via the deliveries entrance (Ditchling Road) through the canteen (level access point) and then to the back of the main hall.
There are lifts located in the Ditchling, Friar and Balfour Buildings.
Once in the main Ditchling building, there is ramped access to our Amphitheatre situated in our North Quad.

Future Plans

The school aim to provide a welcoming and accessible site for all its stakeholders and visitors and will be working towards the provision of those aims over the forthcoming months.
There will also be a review of the current Accessibility Plan to ensure that all forms of physical impairment are considered, not just those involving wheelchair use.
Hard copies of the website are available upon request. 
Click here for all information about our school's financial benchmarking.