Plan to turn Moulsecoomb school into an academy put on hold

Posted On 30 Apr 2020 at 10:30 am

Plans to turn Moulsecoomb Primary School into an academy have been put on hold because of the coronavirus crisis.

But the government said that it was aware of “the depth of unease among some of the local community in relation to the academy conversion”.

Academies Minister Elizabeth Berridge, who sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Berridge, said that “matching a sponsor to the school” was a challenge.

The previous sponsor, New Horizons, pulled out before Christmas, although the academy trust was not the regional schools commissioner’s first choice of sponsor.

The plans to put the academy conversion on hold were revealed in a letter to Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle from Baroness Berridge.

The Labour MP said: “I am pleased the government have paused in their drive to academise our school but they need to abandon the plans altogether.

“This is not the time to be trying to drive through significant changes to the structure of the school, especially when the community, parents and local authority are all opposed to it.

“I will continue to put the case to the government.”

Parent campaigner Natasha Ide said: “The teachers and support staff at Moulsecoomb Primary are more than able to provide the education our children need.

“Ofsted conducted a monitoring inspection that showed quite clearly how our school is improving and continues to improve.

“It also showed how having this academy order hanging over the school has hampered improvements.

“What is best for our children is for the school to be left alone to concentrate on improving and educating our children.

“We are a good school and the parents will do everything in our power to stop this.”

A group of staff the school said: “As a school community, we wholeheartedly disagree with the judgment cast upon us by Ofsted.

“Our amazing school has suffered government funding cuts which have had a huge impact on our ability to support our large intake of special educational needs and vulnerable pupils. Yet this fact is ignored by the Department for Education.

“Despite the cuts, collegiality is working well between the local authority, governors, staff and families.

“We are all working hard to improve and the entire community wants us to remain within the Brighton and Hove family of schools to continue this trajectory of improvement.

“Schools need to be supported, not judged as inadequate with all of the social stigma this brings for our pupils and community.

“We invite anybody to come and visit our school, once we have recovered from this tragic pandemic, to see the potential our wonderful school has.”

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