Councillors renewed their commitment to support Moulsecoomb Primary School following an announcement today that the trust chosen to turn the school into an academy has pulled out.
An Ofsted report in June led to an academy order being issued to the school by the regional schools commissioner.
Locally, there has been a strong rejection of the proposed change, with local councillors from all parties, school staff and pupils’ families making it clear the school should stay with the local authority.
In a ballot at the start of the school year, 96% of parents and carers who took part said they were against their school becoming an academy.
New Horizons Academy Trust withdraws
In October, the regional schools commissioner told the school’s governors and the council that the New Horizons Academy Trust (NHAT) would be imposed as the school’s new sponsor.
Today NHAT has withdrawn from the school - opting to make an unannounced public statement rather than contacting any partners involved.
Councillor Kate Knight, deputy chair of the council’s Children, Young People & Skills committee said: “It’s so frustrating because this has all been such an unnecessary distraction from the important work the school is doing.
"NHAT has shown a complete lack of respect for those dedicated to the success of our local school.
"Moulsecoomb Primary is making good progress under its current leadership and with the full support of our education team and other local schools.
"This is further evidence, if any were needed, that the best course of action is to leave Moulsecoomb Primary School alone.
"We need to let those with a genuine commitment and understanding of this school, continue to make improvements for the good of all pupils.
"It’s disgraceful that the trust has chosen to make such public negative comments about our school, behaviour that would seem to speak volumes about their values. Honestly? It looks like Moulsecoomb Primary has had a lucky escape.”
Councillors have also called for Ofsted to revisit and carry out a new assessment to look at a number of improvements and other measures that are making a positive difference.