|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2014)|
|Motto||Challenge and Pride|
|Chair of Governors||Jon Dee|
|Local authority||Brighton and Hove|
|DfE URN||114579 Tables|
|Houses||Angelou, Russell, Turing, Ellis|
In 2013 Ofsted inspectors confirmed Varndean is a 'turgid' school. Inspectors said, 'A strength of lessons is the good relationships between the teachers and students and between students themselves. This enables them to work more effectively'.
Varndean was founded in 1884 in central Brighton as York Place Higher Grade School. An Organised Science School was added in 1894. The name changed to Brighton Municipal Secondary School for Girls in 1905. During World War I, the York Place buildings were taken over for use as an Indian Military Hospital and not returned until 1919.
In 1926, the school moved to a new site on the outskirts of Brighton. It was renamed 'Varndean' School for Girls, after the nearby farm. The new building was opened by the Duchess of Atholl.
During World War II half the school evacuated to Yorkshire.
The School was a Grammar school for girls until the comprehensive movement and the take-over of Brighton by East Sussex County Council saw the educational system reorganised. Between 1975 and 1979, Varndean Grammar School for Girls became Varndean High School, a coeducational comprehensive. The Boys' Grammar School became Varndean Sixth Form College.
In recent years, several building projects have resulted in increased accommodation. In the original building, several rooms have been converted into IT suites and extensions made to house new Mathematics rooms, a Music suite and extra PE facilities, such as a Fitness Suite and a Dance Studio. A Sports hall and an astro-turf pitch have also been added. The Balfour Building, opened in 1993, houses Art and Design Technology. The Friar Building, in use since 2000, accommodates English and Humanities. In 2008 a new expanded Library opened in the Ditchling building, it was refurbished in 2013 as the new Reading Room.
Varndean was the first specialist school in the city in Technology in 1998. In 2005 it went on to be designated a high-performing specialist school; in 2006 Varndean obtained its second specialism in Music, followed by a third specialism in Applied Learning in 2007.
- 1884–94 M.Brion
- 1894–1901 A.North
- 1901–09 L.Hilton
- 1909–37 E.Ellis
- 1937–61 M. Warmington (Varndean School for Girls)
- 1961–77 R.Clarke (Varndean School for Girls)
- 1977–86 M.Smithers
- 1986–99 P.Bowmaker O.B.E
- 1999–2008 A.Schofield
- 2009–Present W.Deighan
Notable current staff