Moulsecoomb Primary parents reject academy plan

Parents and carers of children at Moulsecoomb Primary School in Brighton are overwhelmingly opposed to their school becoming an academy.

In a ballot run over the last month, 96% of parents and carers who took part have said they are against academisation. More than 60% of parents voted.

The government started moves to force the school to become an academy after it was judged ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year. The basis for this rating was poor Key Stage 2 results last year.

But the school’s new Key Stage 2 results this summer in reading / writing / maths combined have gone up by nearly 30 percentage points compared to last year, and are the best in four years.

The ballot was organised by Brighton & Hove City Council. Councillor Kate Knight is vice chair of the council’s children, young people and skills committee, and also represents Moulsecoomb as a ward councillor. She said: 

“It’s extremely positive and heartening that Moulsecoomb Primary’s parents and carers have expressed such strong support for the school’s current staff and management.

“This ballot result is a huge thumbs-up for the improvement programme at the school that our education team and other local schools are helping with.

“We’ve said time and again that the school is making good progress under its current leadership.

“Ofsted’s own report makes it clear that the school is not inadequate at the other three primary stages – early years, reception and Key Stage 1.

“Surely now the government must recognise that there is no longer any basis for labelling the school as ‘inadequate’.

“It’s clear that converting the school to an academy is unnecessary and would be highly disruptive to pupils at the school.

“Worse, I believe parents and carers will see the academy plan as a cynical ploy to take the credit for the improvements at the school away from its hard-working staff.

“We trust in our teachers and support staff to focus their workload on what happens in the classroom, as is happening at Moulsecoomb.

“This administration will oppose any attempt to force local schools to become academies.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that our schools remain locally and democratically accountable.

“I hope the government will now listen to parents and carers, respect the result of this ballot and call off its very damaging academy plan.”