The Education Secretary Michael Gove was due to address a conference at Brighton College this morning (Thursday 9 May).
His speech was about “a fresh vision for the independent sector”.
Mr Gove has become the target of criticism in Brighton and Hove over a proposal to build a free school on playing fields in Old Shoreham Road, Hove.
The fields are used by Cardinal Newman Catholic School and Brighton, Hove and Sussex VI Form College (BHASVIC) as well as children from Stanford Infant School and Stanford Junior School.
All four schools said that they had not been consulted about the proposal to use the site for the King’s School, a Church of England secondary school.
The school, which is due to open in temporary premises in Portslade in September, did not appear to have been consulted either.
Protesters have out up a banner saying “Hove v Gove” on the edge of the BHASVIC field.
Mr Gove is expected to be joined on the platform at the Brighton Conference, an annual education conference hosted by Brighton College, by two former ministers.
Lord Baker of Dorking, who lives near Lewes, will speak about “a new vision for secondary education”. Kenneth Baker was Conservative Education Secretary from 1986-89 under Margaret Thatcher.
And Lord Adonis will speak about “dismantling the Berlin Wall between private and state education”. Andrew Adonis was the Labour Schools Minister who introduced the academies programme.
The conference was due to be opened by Brighton College headmaster Richard Cairns, with the former England rugby player Ben Cohen scheduled to speak about standing up to bullying.
This is the 16th Brighton Conference which is aimed at “school leaders” with about 300 people expected to attend.
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