Brighton & Hove Labour For the many, not the few
Labour Group spokesperson for children and young people, Councillor John Allcock, has today written again to the Government calling for the academisation order on Moulsecoomb Primary School to be revoked. In his letter to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System, Baroness Berridge, Councillor Allcock says:
I am writing to you regarding Moulsecoomb Primary School in Brighton in my capacity as the Labour Party spokesperson for Children, Young People & Skills Committee on Brighton & Hove City Council.
Since the school became subject to an academy order, over 2,700 people have signed a petition calling on the Secretary of State for Education to revoke it.
At a full council meeting on Thursday 25th March, a motion was passed with unanimous support from the two main parties, that the council should reaffirm ‘its commitment to stand by parents, staff, unions and community in opposing the forced academisation of Moulsecoomb Primary, as there should be no academisation without community consent’.
The campaign to keep the school within the local authority has also been well supported by local MPs and politicians across the political spectrum.
Brighton & Hove City Council ran a ballot of parents to ask if they wanted the school to become an academy and 96% of parents voted against the school being taken over by an academy trust.
Parents have protested at the school gates when academy executives have visited, and in November 2019, staff took strike action in opposition of academisation. On the day of the strike, more than 100 people chose to demonstrate outside the school to show their support for those taking strike action.
Staff feel so strongly that they took strike action again on 24th March and have further dates planned in April. This is the last thing our school needs in the middle of a pandemic and the last action that school staff would want to take, after the children have already missed so much education, but we support the staff in doing so.
Since Ofsted harshly rated our school “inadequate” in 2019 it has been on a trajectory of improvement. SATs results significantly improved in all areas a matter of months later, and Ofsted monitoring visits have shown extremely positive improvements made by the school.
The recent Ofsted visit marked Moulsecoomb Primary’s second very positive monitoring report from Ofsted in as many years which demonstrates the school is working very effectively with parents, carers, the community and the council towards becoming a ‘good’ school.
I’m really pleased to see the hard work of the school being recognised despite the challenges of the pandemic and this further calls into question the validity of the argument for academising this improving school.
The council have requested that Ofsted re-inspect and everyone involved in the school believes that it is not eligible for intervention given the clear and sustained improvement.
The entire community is united in its desire for Moulsecoomb Primary to stay within the Brighton and Hove family of schools and I urge you to recognise the positive progress made by the school, and respect the wishes of parents, staff, and the local community who have repeatedly stated that we do not want an academy trust to take over our local school.
I would ask that you carefully reconsider this situation. I look forward to your reply.
Councillor John Allcock
Labour Group spokesperson for children, young people & skills
Brighton & Hove City Council
You can also get involved in the campaign to save Moulsecoomb Primary from forced academisation by using the quick and easy letter writing tool set up by the Hands Off Moulsecoomb Primary School campaign, and send your own letter to the Minister: Hands Off Moulsecoomb Primary School – Action Network
Image: Hands Off Moulsecoomb Primary School