Have your say on Portslade Academy plans

Residents are being invited to help shape controversial plans to turn Portslade Community College into an academy next year.

The plans were met with opposition from governors when first reported by Brighton and Hove News, as it was felt new head Stuart McLaughlin had not been given enough time to turn around the underperforming school.

Now, three public consultation meetings have been set up to give parents and residents a chance to find out more about the plans.

The first date – just before the half-term break – is on Friday, May 28 at 10am at the Mile Oak Community Centre on Chalky Road. This will take the form of a half-hour question and answer session as part of the regular meeting of the Portslade Community Forum.

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After the half-term break there are two more meetings:

  • Thursday 10 June at 7pm at Portslade Community College
  • Monday 14 June at 7pm at the Village Centre in Windlesham Close.

Under the proposals, the lead sponsor for the Community Academy would be the Aldridge Foundation, with the council as co-sponsor and the University of Sussex as the academy’s education partner. The Aldridge Foundation is already the sponsor of other academies including the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy.

Council officials and representatives of the Aldridge Foundation will attend the three meetings to answer your questions, learn more about your views, and discuss how the proposed change to an academy can help improve standards and tackle long-standing issues of underperformance at the school.

The council’s cabinet member for children and young people, Councillor Vanessa Brown, said: “The change to an academy would not only enable us to bring in extra funding to improve the school’s buildings and facilities – it would also give the school greater freedom and independence to provide the curriculum that their pupils need and deserve.”

The chair of the Aldridge Foundation, Rod Aldridge, is a former pupil at Portslade Secondary School for Boys, which later became Portslade Community College.

He said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to work in partnership, including with the local community, to improve my old school. To be the sponsor of the Academy would a great privilege, and I give the parents and students my commitment to improving educational standards for all.”

The deadline for giving your views on the Portslade Community Academy proposal is Friday, June 18. Click here to find out more and give your comments, or phone 01273 294224 to request a questionnaire.

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