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History, Values & Vision

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Kind, curious and confident

We focus on creating an environment of kindness and inclusivity, where everyone looks out for one another, to enable pupils to flourish personally, academically and spiritually.

There are no stereotypes here – there is no Brighton ‘type’. We enjoy admitting all types of individual – and we strive to turn out pupils who are kind, confident and curious.

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I love the sense of community at Brighton College. The environment is one of comfort and familiarity, where I am able to flourish both academically and as an individual; my school is an accepting, supportive and progressive space, where I have acquired a strong desire to learn and engage in the wider society.”

— Upper Sixth pupil 2022

Our aims:

Brighton College seeks to impart or provide:

  • a love of learning for its own sake;
  • a foundation of knowledge and body of skills with which to understand and question the world we live in and to prepare us, through an innovative approach to education, for the world we are likely to inhabit in the future;
  • an awareness of, and appreciation of, the spiritual dimension in our lives;
  • an enthusiasm for the world beyond the classroom - in particular, sport, music and the performing arts;
  • a respect for difference in others and a recognition that the efforts and achievements of every individual in our community are valued equally;
  • an awareness of the needs of others, and a firm belief that - whatever our age - we can make a difference, locally and globally, right now.


In short, we strive to turn out well-educated, tolerant and intellectually curious young adults who are ready to take a full, active and positive rôle in the life of our country and of our world.

History of the College

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Founded in 1845 by William Aldwin Soames, Brighton College was the first independent school to be founded in Sussex. Our historic gothic buildings were designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott R and, later, Sir Thomas Graham Jackson RA. As the school has evolved, so too has our campus, with numerous award-winning buildings being added over the years.


The school has a long history of being innovative, occupying a significant place in the development of British education.

During the nineteenth century the College helped promote the use of individual classrooms for teaching small groups; we were an early pioneer in teaching both modern languages and science, and later erected the first purpose-built science laboratory; we invented the school magazine; and we set up the first gymnasium.

From our foundation we established a reputation for entrepreneurial thinking and for questioning the traditional teaching methods.


In 1973, the school became co-educational, with the first girls entering in September of that year.

Throughout our history we have always been confident questioning what has been considered 'the norm'. This spirit continues today, as we embrace individuality in a respectful community, and remain committed to the transformative powers of education.

Through a culture of kindness we encourage pupils to be first-rate versions of themselves.

For more about our history and our archives, read here.