Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP for Brighton Kemptown has been told by the Department for Education that plans remain in place to turn Moulsecoomb Primary School into an academy school, but there has been a temporary pause to this activity due to “Covid19 priorities”.
The letter also acknowledges both the “depth of community unease” within the local community and the difficulty in finding a trust to sponsor the school following the withdrawal of New Horizons late last year, following protests by parents.
Commenting on the letter, Lloyd Russell-Moyle 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.”
The letter goes on to outline that the Department for Education wishes to work with local stakeholders “in a spirit of collegiality” to achieve the best outcomes for pupils, but the department remains committed to finding an academy sponsor for the school.
However, this sentiment is not shared by parent campaigner, Natasha Ide, who 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 clearlyhow 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 schooland the parents will do everything in our power to stop this.”
Upon hearing of the letter, a group of staff working at Moulsecoomb Primary School issued the following response:
“As a school community, we wholeheartedly disagree with the judgement cast upon us by Ofsted. Our amazing school has suffered Government funding cuts which has 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 & 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.”