Court ruling on academy conversion prompts councillors to call for Moulsecoomb rethink

Posted On 23 Jul 2021 at 4:47 pm

The government should revisit its decision to force Moulsecoomb Primary School to become an academy, councillors said today (Friday 23 July).

Green councillors spoke out after a judicial review brought by the governors of a primary school in the West Midlands.

The governors of Yew Tree Primary School, in Walsall, won their case against the Conservative government’s Education Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Deputy High Court Judge Gavin Mansfield quashed an “academy order” having found that Mr Williamson had acted irrationally in refusing to revoke it.

After the judgment was handed down today, Brighton and Hove Greens said: “Now the Government must act for Moulsecoomb too.”

Green councillors once again urged the government to revoke Moulsecoomb Primary School’s academy order so that it can remain a local authority maintained school.

Campaigners, staff, councillors, MPs, children and families have continually argued that the academy order at Moulsecoomb Primary is unjust.

Although no full Ofsted inspections have taken place because of the coronavirus pandemic, monitoring visits to the school have continued to report improvements.

This was a factor in the High Court judgment handed down today, as was the delay in implementing the academy order.

Councillor Hannah Clare, chair of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Children Young People and Skills Committee, said: “This judgment is excellent news for Yew Tree Primary and the fight against the unjust forced academy orders that the government is intent on forcing on our schools.

“Now the government must react for Moulsecoomb too and revoke their order.

“We have continued to stress that the voices of our community need to be heard in revoking this order and that the pandemic has presented real challenges for the primary school, meaning that the order should be revoked.”

Councillor Hannah Clare

If Moulsecoomb Primary’s governing body were to bring a similar case, councillors have indicated that they would do all that they could to support them.

The government’s approach to Moulsecoomb Primary has significant features in common with its approach to Yew Tree Primary.

Schools Week today published a report of the High Court ruling.

  1. bradly23 Reply

    risking a £75K cost for JR decision: what a way to run a railway

  2. roy pennington Reply

    interesting decision: seems the judge said the council was hiding behind Covid : there were a lot of decisions made by this council here in B&H rushed through and lacking proper democracy e.g. proposed eviction of beach chalets long-term tenants

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