A Brighton primary school is to be forced to convert into an “academy” school after a poor verdict in an official inspection.
Moulsecoomb Primary School has been told that it will be run by a “sponsor” instead of Brighton and Hove City Council after being rated inadequate by Ofsted.
The council’s Labour administration is keen to try to thwart the move by organising a ballot of parents and staff – and asking for a fresh inspection.
The council said this afternoon (Tuesday 4 June): “The Department for Education regional schools commissioner has notified the council that Moulsecoomb Primary School has been issued an ‘academy order’.
“This follows the school’s recent Ofsted inspection.
“The commissioner has said he is currently considering a suitable academy sponsor for the school and that he will let the council know when he has selected one.”
Councillor Nick Childs, the new chair of the council’s Children, Young People and Skills Committee, said: “Our new administration’s preferred position is in favour of maintaining all local authority controlled schools.
“We are fundamentally opposed to this attempt by the regional schools commissioner to tell the people of Brighton and Hove that we must hand over our community school to become a private academy company without local accountability.
“The council will be arranging a parental and staff ballot regarding the academy order and we will be sharing the results of this ballot with the commissioner.
“I very much hope that this will be reflected in any final decision made about the school.
“We shall also be writing to the Secretary of State to request that the school be re-inspected in the autumn and asking for the privatisation process to be halted in the interim.
“In the meantime we have a great head and staff team working at the school and the comprehensive package of support we have put in place to improve academic standards there will continue.”
Whitehawk Primary School was also forced to become an academy after being rated inadequate by Ofsted. It is now known as City Academy Whitehawk.