I am proud of the “family of schools” in Brighton and Hove that support each other to develop and improve, with further council support and guidance.
This structure has been key in the success we have seen across the city. This year, Ofsted rated 61 out of 68 council-maintained schools in the city “good” or “outstanding”.
And under recent Labour administrations, five schools progressed from a rating of “requires improvement” to “good”.
Staff, school governors and of course children and young people have all worked hard to achieve this, despite 9 per cent cuts in school funding under Tory governments.
This proves what the staff and parents at Moulsecoomb already know – we don’t need academisation to drive school improvement.
Moulsecoomb Primary is situated in one of the most poor estates in the country, serving disadvantaged families, with 60 per cent of students qualifying for the pupil premium subsidy and the proportion of pupils with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) well above national averages.
Despite these challenges, the school has improved rapidly since Ofsted judged it as “inadequate” in 2019.
SATs results have improved significantly in all areas and two monitoring visits from Ofsted showed good progress, even through successive lockdowns.
Nevertheless, the Tory government has still imposed academisation, sending a clear message to the people of Moulsecoomb that its pupils, its parents, its community don’t matter.
The community have stood up bravely to oppose forced academisation and persuaded two academy chains to withdraw, asking the Education Secretary to revoke the academy order.
Despite this, the government won’t back down and Pioneer Academy Trust has been appointed as academy sponsors.
This will mean a private company appropriating property from our communities and burdening council taxpayers with an estimated £200,000 costs in transfer expenses.
Strike action is planned for Tuesday 6 July in a final attempt to stop Pioneer taking over – an academy chain with no record of school improvement in disadvantaged areas.
I’ll be there supporting the community and staff. Come and join us. Keep your hands off our school, Gavin Williamson and Pioneer Academy. We wunt be druv.
Councillor John Allcock is the joint Labour opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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