School campaign parents offer lesson about community to unelected and distant officials

Posted On 19 Jul 2019 at 12:05 pm

“Save Moulsecoomb Primary” rang out across The Level last Saturday lunchtime.

From tiny tots to teachers, from parents to politicians, we heard how much the community value their local school.

I was proud to be invited to join the march and speak at the rally on behalf of the Labour Party and as leader of the council.

There was clear anger at unelected civil servants taking the decision to force Moulsecoomb Primary to become an academy school.

I met with representatives of the regional school commissioner to ask them to rethink this outrageous and undemocratic decision.

At that meeting, I pointed out that the Tory government’s austerity policies have meant years of chronic underfunding for our local schools.

Our teachers have been battling against the odds for years. They have been battling to do the best for our local children.

I asked for a commitment from the commissioner’s team that they would accept and act on the outcome of a parental ballot.

I asked for reasonable time for our school improvement plan to demonstrate more progress.

They would give no such assurances.

Instead, they made very clear their disregard for the views of local people and the local councillors that you elected to represent you.

We have now written directly to the Secretary of State to exercise his powers to revoke the forced academy order without delay.

It is not acceptable for unelected civil servants to decide the fate of our local schools.

Our excellent Shadow Secretary of State, Angela Rayner, sent a message of support too.

She joined the calls for government to give local people a genuine say over the future of their schools and their children’s education.

A future Labour government will end the forced conversion of local schools to academies and instead focus on delivering what works to get the best results for pupils.

We will give power back to communities so that our schools are run by the people who know them best – parents, teachers and local communities.

Our schools are at the heart of the community. They need support and solidarity, not selling off. Let the parents decide.

Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. anthony meadows Reply

    Typical hypocrisy of this new socialist council.The real reason they dont want Moulsecoomb as a Academy is that those pupils might actually do better than nick childs daughter at her private and very expensive school. They dont want your children to succeed its a do as i say not do as i do approach to education. BACA is a academy a couple of hundred yards away and some of its pupils are now going to oxford university because they had a good education. Don’t all parents want that for their children? Ask yourself why the labour council’s really blocking this opportunity for those kids.

  2. Millie Lawrence Reply

    While I don’t much care whether it’s an academy or a council-run school, at least our councillors are democratically elected. Who even knew regional schools commissioners existed? Who are they? Have they been to the school to assess whether Ofsted got it right?
    At least with BACA (and PACA), it’s run and part-funded by a retired, wealthy benefactor with a social conscience and strong local connections. I would be happier if they were answerable to our councillors, rather than unelected, anonymous and distant officials.
    Neither side in this debate is particularly attractive and Mr Childs, in particular, discredits the entire case against the ‘privatization’ of our children’s education, given his child’s education is private. He’s entitled to his views, but given the hypocrisy, the council would do better to choose a different person to speak on schools.

  3. Nicky Easton Reply

    Blaming civil servants and council employees is a low move by Ms Platts. She wouldn’t attack any other public sector workers in this way. I wonder what her pals in Unison and PCS must think?

    And as the commentator above quite rightly points out. Nick Childs is entitled to his views and where to educate his children. His actions do not vaguely match what Labour voters, members or supporters would even consider a “socialist.” His position on that committee is untenable. Since it’s fairly clear Nick Childs will not resign, Ms Platts needs to move him to another brief or be seen to be complicit in his hypocrisy.

  4. Binkie Boo Reply

    I understand that the so-called “Socialist” Cllr Childs, who sends his daughter to the country’s most exclusive girl’s school, was not present at the march. Hiding his shame or was it Roedean’s end of year fete? He owes his position by virtue of the Momentum Bully-Boys & Girls who pitched up a year ago to de-select the excellent former Chair of CYPS at the Queens Park selection meeting. None of whom ever showed up again. How long before Momentum drop their support? Unless he steps down as Chair, Cllr Can Do Platts needs to grow a pair and sack him. Don’t hold your breath folks.

  5. Martha Gunn Reply

    Childs pitch for office was a masquerade to the “rent-a-vote” Momentum Mob as well as the electorate of Queens Park.
    And did Platts and the Labour Group know about his preference for Roedean?
    Why on earth hasn’t he resigned?
    Has he no honour or dignity?

  6. Pingback: Nancy Platts Takes a Dangerous Populist Turn – Books and Politics

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