A Brighton school said thank you to Hove MP Peter Kyle as he stepped down as chair of governors this morning (Wednesday 12 July).
Mr Kyle, the Labour MP for Hove, has chaired the board of governors at the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) since the school opened seven years ago.
He was applauded at a school assembly where he handed over to his deputy Jim May, who previously served as a Brighton councillor and an NHS trust board director.
Mr Kyle told students: “I am so proud of you. No one has more ambition for young people than young people themselves.
“At BACA you have a school that shares and celebrates that ambition and a team that strives every day to make it a reality.
“Being part of that team from the very beginning and every step of the way since has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.
“I’ve learned so much, and been so inspired, by the ability of students and staff and leaders to overcome adversity and strive for excellence at all times.
“The spark that ignited this remarkable effort came from Sir Rod Aldridge – and Aldridge Education.
“I don’t yet believe we fully recognise just how profound their contribution to our city has been but I do know that every student from BACA does and its impact will be felt for generations to come.”
Mr Kyle, who was recently re-elected with a much bigger majority, added: “Even though I’ve stepped down as chair of trustees my commitment to this school is undimmed.
“In me they will always have the proudest of friends and the truest of champions.”
Mr May, a deputy lord lieutenant of East Sussex and former chairman of both Shoreham Port and Sussex Cricket, has served as a governor at BACA for six years already.
He said: “I am very proud to be appointed chair of governors at BACA and look forward to seeing the academy progress in the future.
“I am really keen that young people are given the best opportunity to succeed in life.”
Mr May, who lives in Brighton, added: “At this time I would like to pay tribute to Peter Kyle who was an excellent and committed chair while fulfilling other public duties.
“BACA recorded its best set of GCSE results in 2016 and was rated good in all categories by Ofsted in December under Peter’s stewardship.
“The school has transformed, not just in its teaching and learning but also in the entrepreneurial skills students develop, how closely it works with local employers and the unique courses, from sports to digital media and construction, which we now offer.”
BACA’s partnership with the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) is due to start at the academy’s Falmer premises in September.
At the same time the first students are expected to start their performing arts courses there thanks to BACA’s partnership with the Brighton Institute of Contemporary Theatre Training (BRICTT).
Students are already studying at the Brighton Digital Media Academy and the Aldridge Cricket Academy in conjunction with BACA and its sister school, the Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA).
At the assembly this morning, head teacher Dylan Davies awarded a new prize, the Cup of Courage, for the first time to pupil Alezah Khan.
It was presented in memory of Glenys Beda, who worked at the Swan Centre at the school and who died in December.