On Wednesday 9th October, parent campaigners fighting to stop Moulsecoomb Primary School from being forced by the Government to become an academy, took their campaign to the doorstep of the Department for Education (DfE).
Given a warm send off at Brighton station by Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP and Councillors Kate Knight and John Allcock, they travelled to London to personally deliver 1,000 postcards signed by members of the community. The postcards call on the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, to reconsider the decision and use his discretion to revoke the academy order.
Parent campaigner, Natasha, said:
“I am so pleased that more than 1,000 members of the community supported our campaign and signed a post card that we have delivered to the DfE today. We believe this academy order will kill our children’s education and are desperate to stop it.
“I hope now that our voices will be heard and that any academy trusts who are thinking of taking over our school take note of how passionate we are to stop this from happening. I will keep fighting all the way until this decision is reversed.”
So far, two academy trusts are known to have been considered as a potential sponsor and subsequently withdrawn from the process, following a march through town in July and a parent protest at the school gates during the visit of one of the trusts. In addition to this, a recent council run parent ballot found that 96% of parents do not want the school to become and academy.
Parent campaigner, Uli, said:
“We brought a coffin to the DfE today to symbolise that privatisation of education spells the death of democratic, humane education, especially for those with special educational needs. We hope that Gavin Williamson listens to the clear, democratic will of parents, staff and the entire community and revokes the order.”
National Education Union Regional Officer, Craig Arden, who has been supporting campaigners and visited the DfE with the parents said:
“Staff at the school are really appreciative of the support they are receiving from the campaigners and with the resounding democratic decision made by parents for the school to remain within the Brighton & Hove family of schools.
We hope that the Secretary of State respects this decision instead of forcibly handing over the school to an unaccountable, unwelcome and privately-run multi-academy trust.”