Derek Trimmer opens up about Hove Park School's academy proposal

Hove Park headteacher speaks out for the first time on academy plans

Hove Park headteacher speaks out for the first time on academy plans

First published in News
Last updated
Exclusive by , Reporter

A headteacher has spoken out for the first time since it was announced that his school has been earmarked for academy status.

The controversial plans for Hove Park School have been criticised by parents and residents who have come together to set up campaign group Hands Off Hove Park.

Now headteacher Derek Trimmer has spoken for the first time and exclusively to The Argus about the proposals.

In a letter to the paper – which includes details expected to be sent out to parents later this week – Mr Trimmer details the benefits of becoming an academy and what it would mean for the school.

We have now finished our consultation evenings with parents and it feels like the right time to present some of the reasons why we are considering the possibility of converting to an academy at this stage of our journey. Hove Park is a dynamic school committed to excellence.

It’s a great place to learn and work. We are really proud of the achievements of the school over the last few years and it is great to see the recognition of that work at all levels within the community and across the school.

Over the last few years we have seen exam results rise way and above the national picture and for the last two years we have been positioned in the top 1% of most improved schools across the country.

We are confident that this year will see another big step forward in terms of these standards and as a consequence, even more children will leave the school or enter our sixth form with improved life chances.

It has also been great to see how this year the use of iPads in the school has had a dramatic impact on the quality of preparation for years 10 and 11 in the run-up to their exams.

This personalised approach to learning has led to a much deeper and sustained level of understanding.

In 28 years of teaching, I don’t think I have ever seen a year group better prepared for their exams, largely down to a relentless and exceptional level of very high quality teaching that has utilised all of the resources available.

We are proud of the dedicated work done by staff in every area of school life to provide support and nurturing for the students.

So with all this success behind us why are we considering academy status? Firstly, we need to be specific about the type of academy conversion that we are considering.

We are considering the possibility of becoming a converter academy, not a sponsored one. There are some significant differences.

As a converter academy we would not be subject to a sponsor, nor would we be introducing a new uniform. We would not restructure our staffing, ask staff to reapply for their jobs or change their pay and conditions.

We would not be seeking to change timings of the school day or term dates. We would be honouring the admissions criteria that exist across the local authority and our vision of raising standards for all students.

Our determination to remain a local school serving our local community would remain unaltered and at the very core of our purpose.

One of the misconceptions of proposed academy status is that if we went ahead we would be opting to withdraw from local partnerships and operating against the interests of our partner schools.

As for claims that we would be ‘leaving the local family of schools’ – it is worth pointing out that we would not be leaving.

On the contrary, as well as continuing with our current local partnerships, we would seek to establish the framework for a multi-academy trust where potentially, at a future date, other academies would be able to join us as part of a family of schools committed to true partnership.

A partnership in which resources and expertise could be fully shared and where everybody had the same interest in ensuring that all children from all of the schools in the partnership had the same access to a world class education.

It might include sharing of resources, collapsing timetables for specific days between the schools, joint staffing posts, joint classes, tailored curriculum models, joint field trips, co-ordinated study support and intervention, joint department meetings, shared services and shared knowledge.

In this model, which is used with great success across the country, schools would not be competing against each other, but rather working with one another to improve standards for all.

It would be less about maintaining the status quo of varied standards across the schools in the city and more about ensuring a sharp focus on raising standards for all children in the trust.

By increasing opportunities for enhancing the quality of leadership at all levels, by improving teaching and introducing the best possible curriculum, we believe we would be able to deliver an overall improvement in provision.

When you improve provision, just as we have done over the last three years at Hove Park, you improve student outcomes and give children a better start in life through increased progress and better success rates in their exams.

Academy status aims to give more control over decision-making directly to the school. In short, academies have greater freedom to achieve best value for their students.

As an academy we would have greater control over the way in which we spend our budget and the types of project that we would like to engage in.

This ranges from being able to apply more directly to central Government for funds relating to building projects, to choosing the types of school improvement partnerships we want to develop.

One example of the latter is the work that has come out of our partnership with Perry Beeches Academy in Birmingham, which has had a direct impact on the reading levels of a significant number of our Year 7 students.

Through this project we received funding for one year to employ six new literacy coaches in our school and this has led to some amazing improvements in reading for some of our students.

In some cases children have made between two and three years’ reading progress in less than 10 months.

Such projects as these are easier to establish if we have a greater control over how we choose to spend our partnership money.

Whilst considering academy status we have been mindful of the national picture and the educational landscape across the country.

We know that about two-thirds of secondary schools are now either academies or in the process of converting and the significant majority of them are converter academies which have made the decision to make the move of their own free will.

A quick trawl through the Department For Education list on the website shows that the vast majority of these are in fact very successful schools.

In fact 89% are currently judged by Ofsted as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, with less than 1% deemed to be seen as failing.

This is no surprise considering that the requirements for conversion are indeed quite rigorous.

Will this change our school? Our school has already experienced rapid, positive recent changes and our present success has been built on a commitment to partnership and a sense of shared goals.

Our success has flowed from our ambition for all of our pupils to succeed in the world – as young people and in later life.

We are still committed to those same values and our determination to put achievement first and to narrow the gap between our most disadvantaged students and those who come from more advantaged backgrounds will always permeate all of our decisions and our actions.

We believe that in order to create the world class provision that the students deserve, we need to consider moving forward as an academy within a local multi-academy trust so that we can bring the best practice nationally to support our drive towards outstanding outcomes for our community.

What happens next? The consultation process has been about listening to a range of views, on a personal level, not merely the loudest or those in the media.

Now, it’s important for governors to reflect on what they’ve heard and read as part of the consultation and decide on the next chapter for our school.

Whatever the outcome of the process, you have our assurance that our continuing journey to excellence will not stop.

We will ensure that our core purpose – to provide an outstanding level of education for all of our students – continues throughout this process and beyond.

Thank you for your continuing support for our school. 

Comments (37)

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7:26am Tue 27 May 14

Ed Voice says...

A party political broadcast from the Ipad party!

A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians?

And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail).

Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris?

Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.
A party political broadcast from the Ipad party! A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians? And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail). Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris? Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it. Ed Voice
  • Score: 19

7:40am Tue 27 May 14

Natasha Steel says...

Mr Trimmer rightly recognises the achievements that have been made at Hove Park School while the school has been maintained by the local authority. Clearly there is already plenty of flexibility in the current funding arrangements that has allowed partnerships with other schools and the introductions of new technology.
The introduction of iPads was indeed enabled by the local authority extending credit to parents.

This begs the question – why convert? Many parents are worried that standards would fall - it is worrying that while being ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ is a criteria of being a converter academy, only 89% are deemed ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted post conversion. This indicates a deterioration in standards in academies.

This is unsurprising as staff are very much against conversion and likely to drift away from the school if it converts. At Hove Park, an NUT ballot showed that some 91% of teachers are against the school becoming an academy.

One of the reasons is that the terms and conditions of staff will no longer be set by the local authority. While Mr Trimmer says that these would not change, the fact remains that the trustees of the new academy can set whatever terms and conditions they wish, whenever they want. The local authority no longer sets the terms.

This is true of all the other aspects of the conversion that Mr Trimmer says would stay the same. The difference is that they could then be changed at any point and with much less accountability and oversight than exists under the local authority maintained model.

The idea of a multi academy trust is also underdeveloped in the Hove Park proposal. Currently there are no other schools in this multi academy trust, so parents have no way of knowing where in the country these schools might be or whether partnership would be beneficial to the school community or not. There is also the risk that in the future this school, whether solo or a multi academy trust could merge with, or be taken over by a larger chain and local accountability would be eroded further.

A group of over 160 parents is currently campaigning against the academy plan and more information can be found about academies and the risks they pose on their website, http://handsoffhovep
arkschool.wordpress.
com
Mr Trimmer rightly recognises the achievements that have been made at Hove Park School while the school has been maintained by the local authority. Clearly there is already plenty of flexibility in the current funding arrangements that has allowed partnerships with other schools and the introductions of new technology. The introduction of iPads was indeed enabled by the local authority extending credit to parents. This begs the question – why convert? Many parents are worried that standards would fall - it is worrying that while being ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ is a criteria of being a converter academy, only 89% are deemed ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted post conversion. This indicates a deterioration in standards in academies. This is unsurprising as staff are very much against conversion and likely to drift away from the school if it converts. At Hove Park, an NUT ballot showed that some 91% of teachers are against the school becoming an academy. One of the reasons is that the terms and conditions of staff will no longer be set by the local authority. While Mr Trimmer says that these would not change, the fact remains that the trustees of the new academy can set whatever terms and conditions they wish, whenever they want. The local authority no longer sets the terms. This is true of all the other aspects of the conversion that Mr Trimmer says would stay the same. The difference is that they could then be changed at any point and with much less accountability and oversight than exists under the local authority maintained model. The idea of a multi academy trust is also underdeveloped in the Hove Park proposal. Currently there are no other schools in this multi academy trust, so parents have no way of knowing where in the country these schools might be or whether partnership would be beneficial to the school community or not. There is also the risk that in the future this school, whether solo or a multi academy trust could merge with, or be taken over by a larger chain and local accountability would be eroded further. A group of over 160 parents is currently campaigning against the academy plan and more information can be found about academies and the risks they pose on their website, http://handsoffhovep arkschool.wordpress. com Natasha Steel
  • Score: -1

7:51am Tue 27 May 14

blardeblar says...

I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.
I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions. blardeblar
  • Score: 1

8:33am Tue 27 May 14

Fight_Back says...

He or the Argus reporter might like to attend both English classes and IT classes at Hove Park. I'm sure they'll teach them about the use of paragraphs and spacing.
He or the Argus reporter might like to attend both English classes and IT classes at Hove Park. I'm sure they'll teach them about the use of paragraphs and spacing. Fight_Back
  • Score: 15

9:25am Tue 27 May 14

Martha Gunn says...

Will the imaginative use of the paragraph be included in the curriculum?

One can only hope.

What would Keith Waterhouse have said?
Will the imaginative use of the paragraph be included in the curriculum? One can only hope. What would Keith Waterhouse have said? Martha Gunn
  • Score: 6

9:28am Tue 27 May 14

Fight_Back says...

Fight_Back wrote:
He or the Argus reporter might like to attend both English classes and IT classes at Hove Park. I'm sure they'll teach them about the use of paragraphs and spacing.
And as if by magic ! Now only quote marks to add ......
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: He or the Argus reporter might like to attend both English classes and IT classes at Hove Park. I'm sure they'll teach them about the use of paragraphs and spacing.[/p][/quote]And as if by magic ! Now only quote marks to add ...... Fight_Back
  • Score: 4

9:29am Tue 27 May 14

alyn, southwick says...

This is not the first time he's spoken out, nor is this an exclusive.
This is virtually the same arguments he's spouted at parent's "consultations" - his/governors' word, as plenty of being talked AT, with the arguments in favour, no parties to expound the opposing view, apart from the question time at the end, so not much of a consultation.
However in his favour he does appear to have listened a little, as the "I" and "my" used in his speech to parents' has changed to "we" and "our" in this press release!
This is not the first time he's spoken out, nor is this an exclusive. This is virtually the same arguments he's spouted at parent's "consultations" - his/governors' word, as plenty of being talked AT, with the arguments in favour, no parties to expound the opposing view, apart from the question time at the end, so not much of a consultation. However in his favour he does appear to have listened a little, as the "I" and "my" used in his speech to parents' has changed to "we" and "our" in this press release! alyn, southwick
  • Score: 10

9:31am Tue 27 May 14

alyn, southwick says...

blardeblar wrote:
I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.
More than you might think.
Figures used to show this is an improving school are for exam results from the year he took over - the children who achieved that had very little influence from Gimmick Trimmer.
[quote][p][bold]blardeblar[/bold] wrote: I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.[/p][/quote]More than you might think. Figures used to show this is an improving school are for exam results from the year he took over - the children who achieved that had very little influence from Gimmick Trimmer. alyn, southwick
  • Score: 13

9:42am Tue 27 May 14

hovian says...

The lousy journalism standards at The Argus never cease to amaze me. Just how bad can it get? This is a poorly written article which is basically a letter dressed up as a news story..no depth, no comments from other perspectives and participants in the debate... appalling...
The lousy journalism standards at The Argus never cease to amaze me. Just how bad can it get? This is a poorly written article which is basically a letter dressed up as a news story..no depth, no comments from other perspectives and participants in the debate... appalling... hovian
  • Score: 13

9:56am Tue 27 May 14

mangledcat says...

blardeblar wrote:
I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.
I totally agree. Mr Trimmer has been a godsend to Hove Park School and for the students that go there.
[quote][p][bold]blardeblar[/bold] wrote: I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.[/p][/quote]I totally agree. Mr Trimmer has been a godsend to Hove Park School and for the students that go there. mangledcat
  • Score: -8

9:57am Tue 27 May 14

Withdean-er says...

I'm not from the entrenched anti-academies left wing view (who conveniently forget Blair-Brown introduced them), nor from the change all schools to academies viewpoint. I'm not sure it's right where academies pay their management team salaries well into 6 figures eg are there completely independent people determining such matters and how do those salaries compare in the market to those producing excellence in the state and private sectors schools? Would that Hove Park head/deputy get that astronnomical salary and be genuinely sought after in the private sector?

Regarding Hove Park - if this Head has already markedly raised standards and results, giving pupils a far better chance in life, and if the evidence is that a change to this type of academy status usually enhances results even more, then I think it should go ahead. Why would anyone oppose standards and results being increased by this, unless they were petty politically motivated and/or worried that this would weed out time-servers holding back kids?
I'm not from the entrenched anti-academies left wing view (who conveniently forget Blair-Brown introduced them), nor from the change all schools to academies viewpoint. I'm not sure it's right where academies pay their management team salaries well into 6 figures eg are there completely independent people determining such matters and how do those salaries compare in the market to those producing excellence in the state and private sectors schools? Would that Hove Park head/deputy get that astronnomical salary and be genuinely sought after in the private sector? Regarding Hove Park - if this Head has already markedly raised standards and results, giving pupils a far better chance in life, and if the evidence is that a change to this type of academy status usually enhances results even more, then I think it should go ahead. Why would anyone oppose standards and results being increased by this, unless they were petty politically motivated and/or worried that this would weed out time-servers holding back kids? Withdean-er
  • Score: -8

10:08am Tue 27 May 14

Charlie Bley says...

Mr Trimmer suggests he needs to become an academy to be able to benefit from partnerships and then uses as an example the partnership with Perry Beeches Academy in Birmingham that he already has now! It's also odd that he seems desperate for partnerships with schools outside Brighton & Hove but doesn't mention the partnerships that are far more important with schools in the city that have either rejected academy status (like Varndean) or have expressed concern at his proposals to change the status of the school. Hove Park is a good local authority community school - let's keep it that way.
Mr Trimmer suggests he needs to become an academy to be able to benefit from partnerships and then uses as an example the partnership with Perry Beeches Academy in Birmingham that he already has now! It's also odd that he seems desperate for partnerships with schools outside Brighton & Hove but doesn't mention the partnerships that are far more important with schools in the city that have either rejected academy status (like Varndean) or have expressed concern at his proposals to change the status of the school. Hove Park is a good local authority community school - let's keep it that way. Charlie Bley
  • Score: 21

10:12am Tue 27 May 14

gareth.davies says...

hovian wrote:
The lousy journalism standards at The Argus never cease to amaze me. Just how bad can it get? This is a poorly written article which is basically a letter dressed up as a news story..no depth, no comments from other perspectives and participants in the debate... appalling...
With respect, it clearly states this is a letter by Derek Trimmer written to The Argus:

"In a letter to the paper – which includes details expected to be sent out to parents later this week – Mr Trimmer details the benefits of becoming an academy and what it would mean for the school."

It's not dressed up as anything.
[quote][p][bold]hovian[/bold] wrote: The lousy journalism standards at The Argus never cease to amaze me. Just how bad can it get? This is a poorly written article which is basically a letter dressed up as a news story..no depth, no comments from other perspectives and participants in the debate... appalling...[/p][/quote]With respect, it clearly states this is a letter by Derek Trimmer written to The Argus: "In a letter to the paper – which includes details expected to be sent out to parents later this week – Mr Trimmer details the benefits of becoming an academy and what it would mean for the school." It's not dressed up as anything. gareth.davies
  • Score: 5

10:16am Tue 27 May 14

Max Ripple says...

I know Portslade Aldridge is a sponsored academy and this would supposedly be a Converted one but just you go and ask teachers and staff at Aldridge how badly they've been treated my management recently. Applying for their own jobs at new reduced pay levels, sometimes not getting those jobs but being told they've got to train up their successor before they leave. Staff who move on either voluntarily or through redundancy being made to sign agreements not to work in education in this area! This is the real shameful face of academies.
I know Portslade Aldridge is a sponsored academy and this would supposedly be a Converted one but just you go and ask teachers and staff at Aldridge how badly they've been treated my management recently. Applying for their own jobs at new reduced pay levels, sometimes not getting those jobs but being told they've got to train up their successor before they leave. Staff who move on either voluntarily or through redundancy being made to sign agreements not to work in education in this area! This is the real shameful face of academies. Max Ripple
  • Score: 19

10:23am Tue 27 May 14

Charlie Bley says...

mangledcat wrote:
blardeblar wrote:
I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.
I totally agree. Mr Trimmer has been a godsend to Hove Park School and for the students that go there.
If converting a school to an academy always improved results then we'd all be mad not to be in favour but the problem is that converting can actually undermine performance. Look at the Ofsted reports for Goole High School, Vandyke Upper School, Invenio Academy and Uxbridge High School. Examples of school from the last few months alone that were all good or better schools that converted to academies and saw their performance get worse not better. The reason is simple: if a good school gets distracted by empire building and business models while the head takes his eye of his own school and loses the confidence of staff and parents the risk is the school starts to suffer. Mr Trimmer seems to be a good head but he needs to concentrate on the job he was appointed to do - being a good head of Hove Park and not building an empire of all sorts of schools that will take his time away from Hove Park.
[quote][p][bold]mangledcat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]blardeblar[/bold] wrote: I totally trust Mr Trimmer. I dread to think what qualifications my children would be getting had he not taken on the roll of head teacher. Hove Park School a few years ago was going through special measures as it was failing. The school was rubbish. Trimmer turned it around, so let's trust him to continue to make further good decisions.[/p][/quote]I totally agree. Mr Trimmer has been a godsend to Hove Park School and for the students that go there.[/p][/quote]If converting a school to an academy always improved results then we'd all be mad not to be in favour but the problem is that converting can actually undermine performance. Look at the Ofsted reports for Goole High School, Vandyke Upper School, Invenio Academy and Uxbridge High School. Examples of school from the last few months alone that were all good or better schools that converted to academies and saw their performance get worse not better. The reason is simple: if a good school gets distracted by empire building and business models while the head takes his eye of his own school and loses the confidence of staff and parents the risk is the school starts to suffer. Mr Trimmer seems to be a good head but he needs to concentrate on the job he was appointed to do - being a good head of Hove Park and not building an empire of all sorts of schools that will take his time away from Hove Park. Charlie Bley
  • Score: 16

11:21am Tue 27 May 14

HPS Student says...

Ed Voice wrote:
A party political broadcast from the Ipad party!

A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians?

And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail).

Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris?

Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.
As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before.

Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.

The iPads are useful if used correctly, but can be a distraction if the teacher doesn't understand what to do with them or is ignorant to how they work.
[quote][p][bold]Ed Voice[/bold] wrote: A party political broadcast from the Ipad party! A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians? And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail). Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris? Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.[/p][/quote]As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before. Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate. The iPads are useful if used correctly, but can be a distraction if the teacher doesn't understand what to do with them or is ignorant to how they work. HPS Student
  • Score: 14

11:21am Tue 27 May 14

HPS Student says...

Ed Voice wrote:
A party political broadcast from the Ipad party!

A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians?

And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail).

Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris?

Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.
As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before.

Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.
[quote][p][bold]Ed Voice[/bold] wrote: A party political broadcast from the Ipad party! A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians? And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail). Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris? Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.[/p][/quote]As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before. Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate. HPS Student
  • Score: 6

11:27am Tue 27 May 14

hovian says...

gareth.davies wrote:
hovian wrote:
The lousy journalism standards at The Argus never cease to amaze me. Just how bad can it get? This is a poorly written article which is basically a letter dressed up as a news story..no depth, no comments from other perspectives and participants in the debate... appalling...
With respect, it clearly states this is a letter by Derek Trimmer written to The Argus:

"In a letter to the paper – which includes details expected to be sent out to parents later this week – Mr Trimmer details the benefits of becoming an academy and what it would mean for the school."

It's not dressed up as anything.
Yes it does say it is a letter but it's in the news section so it is supposed to be a "news" story - ... a news story is supposed to be balanced and offer comment and perspective from all parties - this is simply a letter which should be in the Letters section.....
[quote][p][bold]gareth.davies[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hovian[/bold] wrote: The lousy journalism standards at The Argus never cease to amaze me. Just how bad can it get? This is a poorly written article which is basically a letter dressed up as a news story..no depth, no comments from other perspectives and participants in the debate... appalling...[/p][/quote]With respect, it clearly states this is a letter by Derek Trimmer written to The Argus: "In a letter to the paper – which includes details expected to be sent out to parents later this week – Mr Trimmer details the benefits of becoming an academy and what it would mean for the school." It's not dressed up as anything.[/p][/quote]Yes it does say it is a letter but it's in the news section so it is supposed to be a "news" story - ... a news story is supposed to be balanced and offer comment and perspective from all parties - this is simply a letter which should be in the Letters section..... hovian
  • Score: 4

11:27am Tue 27 May 14

Stuart7052 says...

What appears to be missing are any clear details about what the school will do in the next few years that it could only do as an Academy.

The school has made enormous strides in the past few years while under local authority control, so it proves that improvement can be made without being an Academy. Any big change of this type always brings risk as well as opportunity, and without the missing information, I can't see what the school is risking its recent gains for.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
What appears to be missing are any clear details about what the school will do in the next few years that it could only do as an Academy. The school has made enormous strides in the past few years while under local authority control, so it proves that improvement can be made without being an Academy. Any big change of this type always brings risk as well as opportunity, and without the missing information, I can't see what the school is risking its recent gains for. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Stuart7052
  • Score: 15

11:37am Tue 27 May 14

Fight_Back says...

HPS Student wrote:
Ed Voice wrote:
A party political broadcast from the Ipad party!

A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians?

And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail).

Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris?

Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.
As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before.

Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.
Of course we'll just ignore the fact that Hove Park could have gone for Android tablets thus costing parents less than half the price of an iPad. I can only assume the kickback was significant.
[quote][p][bold]HPS Student[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ed Voice[/bold] wrote: A party political broadcast from the Ipad party! A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians? And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail). Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris? Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.[/p][/quote]As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before. Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.[/p][/quote]Of course we'll just ignore the fact that Hove Park could have gone for Android tablets thus costing parents less than half the price of an iPad. I can only assume the kickback was significant. Fight_Back
  • Score: 3

12:00pm Tue 27 May 14

Plantpot says...

Fight_Back wrote:
HPS Student wrote:
Ed Voice wrote:
A party political broadcast from the Ipad party!

A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians?

And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail).

Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris?

Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.
As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before.

Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.
Of course we'll just ignore the fact that Hove Park could have gone for Android tablets thus costing parents less than half the price of an iPad. I can only assume the kickback was significant.
Er, I assume you don't know how pricing works outside of a shop?
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HPS Student[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ed Voice[/bold] wrote: A party political broadcast from the Ipad party! A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians? And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail). Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris? Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.[/p][/quote]As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before. Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.[/p][/quote]Of course we'll just ignore the fact that Hove Park could have gone for Android tablets thus costing parents less than half the price of an iPad. I can only assume the kickback was significant.[/p][/quote]Er, I assume you don't know how pricing works outside of a shop? Plantpot
  • Score: -4

12:00pm Tue 27 May 14

hove park parent says...

What I feel most angry about is that the school has refused to ballot parents on this decision. Brighton and Hove council will discuss on Monday whether the council will ballot parents itself. I would urge any councillors reading this to support this idea. Only then will we know if there is general opposition to Mr Trimmer's plans, or if resistance comes only from 'a vocal minority'. The governors will still be taking the decision but their consultation would be more valid. What could be wrong with that?
What I feel most angry about is that the school has refused to ballot parents on this decision. Brighton and Hove council will discuss on Monday whether the council will ballot parents itself. I would urge any councillors reading this to support this idea. Only then will we know if there is general opposition to Mr Trimmer's plans, or if resistance comes only from 'a vocal minority'. The governors will still be taking the decision but their consultation would be more valid. What could be wrong with that? hove park parent
  • Score: 14

12:02pm Tue 27 May 14

bakermum says...

How telling that any comment from the Head should appear in the Press just before being sent out to parents......
Few can deny that under Mr Trimmer's Headship HPS has made serious leaps forward but to repeat an oft-quoted comment - this has been done as a Local Authority school (and mostly without the evil iPad).
For many of us parents, our scepticism comes from the apparent desire of Mr T to always be 'first' at everything with less regard to implication and more concern for public image.
All this talk of partnerships and working to raise standards in other schools seems premature to me; surely HPS should have its own house in order before trying to solve problems elsewhere. Yes, the school has improved but it is far from 'outstanding' and keeping it in a constant state of change is not helping.
How telling that any comment from the Head should appear in the Press just before being sent out to parents...... Few can deny that under Mr Trimmer's Headship HPS has made serious leaps forward but to repeat an oft-quoted comment - this has been done as a Local Authority school (and mostly without the evil iPad). For many of us parents, our scepticism comes from the apparent desire of Mr T to always be 'first' at everything with less regard to implication and more concern for public image. All this talk of partnerships and working to raise standards in other schools seems premature to me; surely HPS should have its own house in order before trying to solve problems elsewhere. Yes, the school has improved but it is far from 'outstanding' and keeping it in a constant state of change is not helping. bakermum
  • Score: 8

12:46pm Tue 27 May 14

Withdean-er says...

HPS Student wrote:
Ed Voice wrote:
A party political broadcast from the Ipad party!

A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians?

And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail).

Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris?

Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.
As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before.

Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.
Your hands-on experiences carry more validity, than the negative guessing of someone from the outside, looking to out a downer on successes. Good luck with any exams coming.
[quote][p][bold]HPS Student[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Ed Voice[/bold] wrote: A party political broadcast from the Ipad party! A politicians answer from a headteacher who know uses the Argus to release his letters for him. Will the Argus being doing this for all Headteachers in Brighton or for all wannabe politicians? And just like a "good" politician (and we all know how popular they are at the moment) Mr Trimmer doesn't seem to be listening to those around him (staff said no), is busy with his plans for taking over the world (this isn't the only school he is currently trying to run), spends a lot of time out of his constituency (school riots at Hove Park in The Sun- where was he?), likes a crazy scheme (IPads- which proven to not make a huge difference and are unreliable) and lives off of past glory (one half decent set of results where still a 1/3 of kids fail). Has anyone seen Mr Trimmer in the same room as Boris? Look closely at his picture and squint. You'll see it.[/p][/quote]As a Hove Park student I'm going to completely disagree with you - The iPads are fine for school use, they have definitely made a big difference especially in science for me. Traditionally to revise for science you would go though a big fat book and get bored to death taking in a fraction of what you are reading, the iPads enabled me to revise and learn for science in a way I couldn't before. Our best science teacher, Mr Haque (brilliant teacher) made tutorial videos for every single component of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. These involved an explaination of the component with pictures and annotations to explain as well as tips for the exam. He also prepared a book filled with previous exam questions and the mark scheme, so you could go through similar questions and mark what you did later to see if you scored full points. It's much easier to be concentrated and focused when you aren't bored out of your mind mindlessly reading from a revision book, and it makes more of a difference than most people will appreciate.[/p][/quote]Your hands-on experiences carry more validity, than the negative guessing of someone from the outside, looking to out a downer on successes. Good luck with any exams coming. Withdean-er
  • Score: 4

12:53pm Tue 27 May 14

Quiterie says...

hove park parent wrote:
What I feel most angry about is that the school has refused to ballot parents on this decision. Brighton and Hove council will discuss on Monday whether the council will ballot parents itself. I would urge any councillors reading this to support this idea. Only then will we know if there is general opposition to Mr Trimmer's plans, or if resistance comes only from 'a vocal minority'. The governors will still be taking the decision but their consultation would be more valid. What could be wrong with that?
Sue Shanks has already publicly committed to this. She's going to look pretty stupid if she now doesn't go ahead with balloting the parents. I assume that the Labour Councillors will support her on this, even if the Tories don't.....
[quote][p][bold]hove park parent[/bold] wrote: What I feel most angry about is that the school has refused to ballot parents on this decision. Brighton and Hove council will discuss on Monday whether the council will ballot parents itself. I would urge any councillors reading this to support this idea. Only then will we know if there is general opposition to Mr Trimmer's plans, or if resistance comes only from 'a vocal minority'. The governors will still be taking the decision but their consultation would be more valid. What could be wrong with that?[/p][/quote]Sue Shanks has already publicly committed to this. She's going to look pretty stupid if she now doesn't go ahead with balloting the parents. I assume that the Labour Councillors will support her on this, even if the Tories don't..... Quiterie
  • Score: 3

1:07pm Tue 27 May 14

Andy R says...

Withdean-er wrote:
I'm not from the entrenched anti-academies left wing view (who conveniently forget Blair-Brown introduced them), nor from the change all schools to academies viewpoint. I'm not sure it's right where academies pay their management team salaries well into 6 figures eg are there completely independent people determining such matters and how do those salaries compare in the market to those producing excellence in the state and private sectors schools? Would that Hove Park head/deputy get that astronnomical salary and be genuinely sought after in the private sector?

Regarding Hove Park - if this Head has already markedly raised standards and results, giving pupils a far better chance in life, and if the evidence is that a change to this type of academy status usually enhances results even more, then I think it should go ahead. Why would anyone oppose standards and results being increased by this, unless they were petty politically motivated and/or worried that this would weed out time-servers holding back kids?
I'd suggest the parents opposing academy status aren't "conveniently forgetting" anything. So New Labour introduced academy status...so what...? The campaign is about opposing a proposal for a school to go to academy status. Why should they be bothered which government came up with the idea in the first place.
[quote][p][bold]Withdean-er[/bold] wrote: I'm not from the entrenched anti-academies left wing view (who conveniently forget Blair-Brown introduced them), nor from the change all schools to academies viewpoint. I'm not sure it's right where academies pay their management team salaries well into 6 figures eg are there completely independent people determining such matters and how do those salaries compare in the market to those producing excellence in the state and private sectors schools? Would that Hove Park head/deputy get that astronnomical salary and be genuinely sought after in the private sector? Regarding Hove Park - if this Head has already markedly raised standards and results, giving pupils a far better chance in life, and if the evidence is that a change to this type of academy status usually enhances results even more, then I think it should go ahead. Why would anyone oppose standards and results being increased by this, unless they were petty politically motivated and/or worried that this would weed out time-servers holding back kids?[/p][/quote]I'd suggest the parents opposing academy status aren't "conveniently forgetting" anything. So New Labour introduced academy status...so what...? The campaign is about opposing a proposal for a school to go to academy status. Why should they be bothered which government came up with the idea in the first place. Andy R
  • Score: 11

1:17pm Tue 27 May 14

janee says...

the problem is that there is a real risk involved in converted. Many of the administrative tasks involved in running a school are carried out by the local authority who have the experience of doing this. An individual school doesn't and will have to employ more non teaching staff. Hence the increase in proportion of Principals, Bursars, Executive Principals, etc etc in converted academies.

The other education point which needs to be made is that so many converted academies have been deemed by Ofsted to be less successful than they were before:
https://www.dropbox.
com/s/nushrdlgqqkemt
n/Academy%20Problems
.xls
this is a link to a file I have been keeping of the problems in academies, just from January (with one or two from before).
the problem is that there is a real risk involved in converted. Many of the administrative tasks involved in running a school are carried out by the local authority who have the experience of doing this. An individual school doesn't and will have to employ more non teaching staff. Hence the increase in proportion of Principals, Bursars, Executive Principals, etc etc in converted academies. The other education point which needs to be made is that so many converted academies have been deemed by Ofsted to be less successful than they were before: https://www.dropbox. com/s/nushrdlgqqkemt n/Academy%20Problems .xls this is a link to a file I have been keeping of the problems in academies, just from January (with one or two from before). janee
  • Score: 2

1:50pm Tue 27 May 14

Fairfax Aches says...

I think the Council has better things to worry about than pandering to the whim of neo-bourgeoise, self-obsessed namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation, liberal wishy washy, focaccia bread eating, pashmina wearing parents and their precocious brat like children.
I think the Council has better things to worry about than pandering to the whim of neo-bourgeoise, self-obsessed namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation, liberal wishy washy, focaccia bread eating, pashmina wearing parents and their precocious brat like children. Fairfax Aches
  • Score: -8

3:42pm Tue 27 May 14

Christie Knipe says...

Mr Trimmer says nothing in this article about why he wants academy status, which can only lead to the assumption that it is for his own personal 'glory'. The improvements in the Hove Park GCSE results have all occurred under local authority guidance, so why change this? Most of the parents who campaigned long and hard for changes to the secondary school application system would say that these changes are largely responsible for the school's improved results. I also find it deeply disturbing that Mr Trimmer wants to create a group of academies; most parents and young people would say that schools are large enough already, we don't want our young people to become part of a larger, dare I say it, CORPORATE body. Keep Hove Park as a local authority school.
Mr Trimmer says nothing in this article about why he wants academy status, which can only lead to the assumption that it is for his own personal 'glory'. The improvements in the Hove Park GCSE results have all occurred under local authority guidance, so why change this? Most of the parents who campaigned long and hard for changes to the secondary school application system would say that these changes are largely responsible for the school's improved results. I also find it deeply disturbing that Mr Trimmer wants to create a group of academies; most parents and young people would say that schools are large enough already, we don't want our young people to become part of a larger, dare I say it, CORPORATE body. Keep Hove Park as a local authority school. Christie Knipe
  • Score: 14

5:14pm Tue 27 May 14

andrewedmondson says...

What a splendid set of comments that cover just about all of the objections to converting a successful school to an academy.

I think the most convincing points are:

Why change a school when it has improved and is still improving?

Trimmer can make all the promises he likes but when the school is an academy they can change everything.

Running an academy will cost more in additional posts and Trimmer may take his eye off the task in hand, i.e. improving the school, whilst he is empire building.

Has anyone asked if his salary will be increasing?
What a splendid set of comments that cover just about all of the objections to converting a successful school to an academy. I think the most convincing points are: Why change a school when it has improved and is still improving? Trimmer can make all the promises he likes but when the school is an academy they can change everything. Running an academy will cost more in additional posts and Trimmer may take his eye off the task in hand, i.e. improving the school, whilst he is empire building. Has anyone asked if his salary will be increasing? andrewedmondson
  • Score: 12

8:00pm Tue 27 May 14

dawind says...

Natasha Steel mentions above " While Mr Trimmer says that these would not change, the fact remains that the trustees of the new academy can set whatever terms and conditions they wish, whenever they want. The local authority no longer sets the terms.

This is true of all the other aspects of the conversion that Mr Trimmer says would stay the same. The difference is that they could then be changed at any point and with much less accountability and oversight than exists under the local authority maintained model."

Irrespective of Mr Trimmers' intentions... a promise is worth diddly-swat.
Natasha Steel mentions above " While Mr Trimmer says that these would not change, the fact remains that the trustees of the new academy can set whatever terms and conditions they wish, whenever they want. The local authority no longer sets the terms. This is true of all the other aspects of the conversion that Mr Trimmer says would stay the same. The difference is that they could then be changed at any point and with much less accountability and oversight than exists under the local authority maintained model." Irrespective of Mr Trimmers' intentions... a promise is worth diddly-swat. dawind
  • Score: 10

8:35pm Tue 27 May 14

Heterodox says...

The claims made by Derek Trimmer in this piece in today’s Argus were interesting but it was odd and disappointing that he was unable to provide any data to support his argument.

Hove Park has an impressive set of inspection grades (all grade 2) but the reports also show that Hove Park’s grades are no better than those for Cardinal Newman, Dorothy Stringer and Varndean schools and not quite as good as the grades for Blatchington Mill school (and not one of these schools is an academy). Hove Park’s grades are better than those for the two academies in Brighton & Hove but this hardly makes the argument for conversion to an academy.

According to Ofsted, 65% of Hove Park’s students entered for GCSEs last year achieved 5 GCSE grades A* to C including English and Maths. Mr Trimmer, staff and students are to be congratulated for these results that are far better than the results for all the academies in, and close to, Brighton – again not helping the case for academies. Moreover, Hove Park’s figure is bettered by three Brighton & Hove comprehensive schools that are not academies and a fourth was within 1% of the Hove Park figure. So while there is no evidence that academies in this part of Sussex perform better than Hove Park there is sound evidence that schools that are not academies out perform Hove Park and local academies. Looking at this data – including from beyond Brighton & Hove – begins to suggest that Hove Park might be better entering into partnership with Millais School in Horsham (a non academy comprehensive with a GCSE pass rate of 85%) or Steyning (a West Sussex comprehensive local authority school with a pass rate of 73%) or Brighton & Hove’s Cardinal Newman or Dorothy Stringer schools (both with rates well above Hove Park) rather than into a partnership with the academy in Birmingham, referred to repeatedly by Mr Trimmer, that has a GCSE rate below Millais.

Of course there are other ways of measuring success and Hove Park has insisted that it should not be measured simply on its GCSE results and that its rate of improvement is a key measure. This is very reasonable and the data confirms that Hove Park is one of the most improved secondary schools in England. However, the data also shows that there are more than 30 other local authority secondary schools with very impressive improvements and that nine of these local authority schools have improved even more impressively than Hove Park. Some schools improve without becoming academies, others worsen after conversion to academy status - hardly a convincing case for conversion.
The claims made by Derek Trimmer in this piece in today’s Argus were interesting but it was odd and disappointing that he was unable to provide any data to support his argument. Hove Park has an impressive set of inspection grades (all grade 2) but the reports also show that Hove Park’s grades are no better than those for Cardinal Newman, Dorothy Stringer and Varndean schools and not quite as good as the grades for Blatchington Mill school (and not one of these schools is an academy). Hove Park’s grades are better than those for the two academies in Brighton & Hove but this hardly makes the argument for conversion to an academy. According to Ofsted, 65% of Hove Park’s students entered for GCSEs last year achieved 5 GCSE grades A* to C including English and Maths. Mr Trimmer, staff and students are to be congratulated for these results that are far better than the results for all the academies in, and close to, Brighton – again not helping the case for academies. Moreover, Hove Park’s figure is bettered by three Brighton & Hove comprehensive schools that are not academies and a fourth was within 1% of the Hove Park figure. So while there is no evidence that academies in this part of Sussex perform better than Hove Park there is sound evidence that schools that are not academies out perform Hove Park and local academies. Looking at this data – including from beyond Brighton & Hove – begins to suggest that Hove Park might be better entering into partnership with Millais School in Horsham (a non academy comprehensive with a GCSE pass rate of 85%) or Steyning (a West Sussex comprehensive local authority school with a pass rate of 73%) or Brighton & Hove’s Cardinal Newman or Dorothy Stringer schools (both with rates well above Hove Park) rather than into a partnership with the academy in Birmingham, referred to repeatedly by Mr Trimmer, that has a GCSE rate below Millais. Of course there are other ways of measuring success and Hove Park has insisted that it should not be measured simply on its GCSE results and that its rate of improvement is a key measure. This is very reasonable and the data confirms that Hove Park is one of the most improved secondary schools in England. However, the data also shows that there are more than 30 other local authority secondary schools with very impressive improvements and that nine of these local authority schools have improved even more impressively than Hove Park. Some schools improve without becoming academies, others worsen after conversion to academy status - hardly a convincing case for conversion. Heterodox
  • Score: 10

8:31am Wed 28 May 14

alyn, southwick says...

Fairfax Aches wrote:
I think the Council has better things to worry about than pandering to the whim of neo-bourgeoise, self-obsessed namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation, liberal wishy washy, focaccia bread eating, pashmina wearing parents and their precocious brat like children.
I don't commute, I'm concerned about future generations of pupils (my own about to leave), I don't eat focaccia bread (whatever that is), can you even get pashmina pj's (if you can you can keep them). Be careful how you describe children, some are brats, others may not be.
Now what are the facts in your post?
[quote][p][bold]Fairfax Aches[/bold] wrote: I think the Council has better things to worry about than pandering to the whim of neo-bourgeoise, self-obsessed namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation, liberal wishy washy, focaccia bread eating, pashmina wearing parents and their precocious brat like children.[/p][/quote]I don't commute, I'm concerned about future generations of pupils (my own about to leave), I don't eat focaccia bread (whatever that is), can you even get pashmina pj's (if you can you can keep them). Be careful how you describe children, some are brats, others may not be. Now what are the facts in your post? alyn, southwick
  • Score: 4

11:52am Wed 28 May 14

naomi bedford says...

the teaching staff at Hove Park have been great and the Head has made some great improvements since his arrival - but lets not forgot to mention the massive amount of work the kids have done to help improve this school and the lottery system which was put in place to help ensure the school had a better chance of improvement. We were not allowed to apply for the 3 schools within walking distance from my house ...the council simply gave us Hove Park as part of the lottery at a time when the school was failing - my son is now in year ten, already taking GCSEs and doing brilliantly at hove park - he is an A student...I have now also chosen Hove Park for this coming September for my younger son who is dyslexic as I believe this is the best school for him too.....but if 91 percent of teachers have voted against academy then surely we should be listening ...there was a massive public meeting held recently (which Mr Trimmer was invited to but didn't attend ) - the meeting of parents was unanimous in its desire to ensure Hove Park does not become an academy.....I feel that the steps being taken towards conversion are not being done so with any real consultation between us all - at the year ten consultation meeting I went to, which Mr Trimmer held recently, when someone from the floor spoke of the need for a debate one of the panel stated "this is not a debate- its a consultation" !! I fear the voices of us as parents and of our children are not being heard - I did not apply for my kids to go to an Academy and I don't want them going to one. - I hope you are able to hear these views Mr Trimmer ... .......
the teaching staff at Hove Park have been great and the Head has made some great improvements since his arrival - but lets not forgot to mention the massive amount of work the kids have done to help improve this school and the lottery system which was put in place to help ensure the school had a better chance of improvement. We were not allowed to apply for the 3 schools within walking distance from my house ...the council simply gave us Hove Park as part of the lottery at a time when the school was failing - my son is now in year ten, already taking GCSEs and doing brilliantly at hove park - he is an A student...I have now also chosen Hove Park for this coming September for my younger son who is dyslexic as I believe this is the best school for him too.....but if 91 percent of teachers have voted against academy then surely we should be listening ...there was a massive public meeting held recently (which Mr Trimmer was invited to but didn't attend ) - the meeting of parents was unanimous in its desire to ensure Hove Park does not become an academy.....I feel that the steps being taken towards conversion are not being done so with any real consultation between us all - at the year ten consultation meeting I went to, which Mr Trimmer held recently, when someone from the floor spoke of the need for a debate one of the panel stated "this is not a debate- its a consultation" !! I fear the voices of us as parents and of our children are not being heard - I did not apply for my kids to go to an Academy and I don't want them going to one. - I hope you are able to hear these views Mr Trimmer ... ....... naomi bedford
  • Score: 8

12:55pm Wed 28 May 14

I'vegotanopiniontoo says...

Fairfax Aches wrote:
I think the Council has better things to worry about than pandering to the whim of neo-bourgeoise, self-obsessed namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation, liberal wishy washy, focaccia bread eating, pashmina wearing parents and their precocious brat like children.
Wow, talk about pre-judgement and self opinionated. As you obviously don't have a clue what you're talking about, maybe remember that the "namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation" are the ones who contribute to your housing and benefits.
[quote][p][bold]Fairfax Aches[/bold] wrote: I think the Council has better things to worry about than pandering to the whim of neo-bourgeoise, self-obsessed namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation, liberal wishy washy, focaccia bread eating, pashmina wearing parents and their precocious brat like children.[/p][/quote]Wow, talk about pre-judgement and self opinionated. As you obviously don't have a clue what you're talking about, maybe remember that the "namby-pamby hove-actually london commuter generation" are the ones who contribute to your housing and benefits. I'vegotanopiniontoo
  • Score: 1

5:15pm Wed 28 May 14

handsoffhoveparksch@gmail.com says...

sign the petition against academy status for Hove Park here: http://chn.ge/1jVbQY
W
or via handsoffhoveparkscho
ol.wordpress.com
sign the petition against academy status for Hove Park here: http://chn.ge/1jVbQY W or via handsoffhoveparkscho ol.wordpress.com handsoffhoveparksch@gmail.com
  • Score: 2

9:24pm Sun 1 Jun 14

naomi bedford says...

Natasha Steel wrote:
Mr Trimmer rightly recognises the achievements that have been made at Hove Park School while the school has been maintained by the local authority. Clearly there is already plenty of flexibility in the current funding arrangements that has allowed partnerships with other schools and the introductions of new technology.
The introduction of iPads was indeed enabled by the local authority extending credit to parents.

This begs the question – why convert? Many parents are worried that standards would fall - it is worrying that while being ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ is a criteria of being a converter academy, only 89% are deemed ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted post conversion. This indicates a deterioration in standards in academies.

This is unsurprising as staff are very much against conversion and likely to drift away from the school if it converts. At Hove Park, an NUT ballot showed that some 91% of teachers are against the school becoming an academy.

One of the reasons is that the terms and conditions of staff will no longer be set by the local authority. While Mr Trimmer says that these would not change, the fact remains that the trustees of the new academy can set whatever terms and conditions they wish, whenever they want. The local authority no longer sets the terms.

This is true of all the other aspects of the conversion that Mr Trimmer says would stay the same. The difference is that they could then be changed at any point and with much less accountability and oversight than exists under the local authority maintained model.

The idea of a multi academy trust is also underdeveloped in the Hove Park proposal. Currently there are no other schools in this multi academy trust, so parents have no way of knowing where in the country these schools might be or whether partnership would be beneficial to the school community or not. There is also the risk that in the future this school, whether solo or a multi academy trust could merge with, or be taken over by a larger chain and local accountability would be eroded further.

A group of over 160 parents is currently campaigning against the academy plan and more information can be found about academies and the risks they pose on their website, http://handsoffhovep

arkschool.wordpress.

com
I just pressed on the like button here and it turned my like into a minus!!
[quote][p][bold]Natasha Steel[/bold] wrote: Mr Trimmer rightly recognises the achievements that have been made at Hove Park School while the school has been maintained by the local authority. Clearly there is already plenty of flexibility in the current funding arrangements that has allowed partnerships with other schools and the introductions of new technology. The introduction of iPads was indeed enabled by the local authority extending credit to parents. This begs the question – why convert? Many parents are worried that standards would fall - it is worrying that while being ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ is a criteria of being a converter academy, only 89% are deemed ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted post conversion. This indicates a deterioration in standards in academies. This is unsurprising as staff are very much against conversion and likely to drift away from the school if it converts. At Hove Park, an NUT ballot showed that some 91% of teachers are against the school becoming an academy. One of the reasons is that the terms and conditions of staff will no longer be set by the local authority. While Mr Trimmer says that these would not change, the fact remains that the trustees of the new academy can set whatever terms and conditions they wish, whenever they want. The local authority no longer sets the terms. This is true of all the other aspects of the conversion that Mr Trimmer says would stay the same. The difference is that they could then be changed at any point and with much less accountability and oversight than exists under the local authority maintained model. The idea of a multi academy trust is also underdeveloped in the Hove Park proposal. Currently there are no other schools in this multi academy trust, so parents have no way of knowing where in the country these schools might be or whether partnership would be beneficial to the school community or not. There is also the risk that in the future this school, whether solo or a multi academy trust could merge with, or be taken over by a larger chain and local accountability would be eroded further. A group of over 160 parents is currently campaigning against the academy plan and more information can be found about academies and the risks they pose on their website, http://handsoffhovep arkschool.wordpress. com[/p][/quote]I just pressed on the like button here and it turned my like into a minus!! naomi bedford
  • Score: 0

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