The ArgusSchool one step closer to becoming academy (From The Argus)

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Hove Park School one step closer to becoming academy

The Argus: School one step closer to becoming academy School one step closer to becoming academy

One of the country's most improved schools has taken a step closer to academy status after governors voted in favour of the move.

Staff at Hove Park School will now begin a period of consultation before a final vote on whether to formally apply to Department for Education is taken.

Union leaders have branded the decision “disappointing” adding that strike action is “on the horizon”.

The school, which has seen the number of students achieving five GCSEs at A* to C rocket by 25% over recent years, would be only the city's third secondary to convert - and the first which had not been plagued by poor results.

In a statement issued after the meeting, the school's chair of governors, Mike Nicholls, confirmed they had decided to “register an interest” in the move.

He said: “As a good school with a goal of rapidly moving towards outstanding, the governing body held a meeting to discuss the option of converting to an academy and consulting fully with our stakeholders.

“Governors voted to begin a process of an informed consultation over the status of the school. The consultation will involve Hove Park current and prospective parents and carers, students and staff.”

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Paul Shellard, from Brighton and Hove National Union of Teachers, warned school bosses “comprehensive” consultation must be carried out.

Speaking to The Argus he said the school should ballot all staff and parents.

He also urged the headteacher, Derek Trimmer, to hold a public debate in which parents could be presented with the full facts.

He said: “Our members are of course disappointed by the decision.

“The next stage is all about what shape their consultation takes: the length and how substantial it is.

“Industrial action is a possibility. I would say action is far more likely if the consultation is not what we expect it to be.”

Academies have attracted controversy ever since they were introduced by Tony Blair's Labour government.

Although state-funded they are independent from local authority control.

As a result they have more freedom regarding finances, curriculum, term dates and get to select a certain percentage of the intake.

They can also opt out of national pay and conditions for teachers.

Brighton and Hove schools have largely avoided conversion with just two of the city's ten secondary schools now academies - Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and Portslade Aldridge Community Academy.

In the last few years, the recent candidates for academy conversion nationally have been struggling schools with poor results and Ofsted.

However, Hove Park has been one of the most improved schools across the country in recent years.

The move has been described by unions as “unprecedented” with the fear that many other city schools could follow.

It was previously suggested a city-wide strike would be called if staff at Hove Park went ahead.

While Mr Shellard did not rule out the action last night, he said legal issues would have to be overcome.

A parents' group called Hands Off Hove Park School has also been set up.

A spokeswoman said: “This all feels like it has happened very quickly and with very little information sent to parents.

“We have had one vague letter talking about the future of the school with the possibility of converting to an academy.

“We have fully supported this school in recent years through the improvements so this feels like a betrayal.

“We want a full, frank and open discussion about what this means for the pupils and the local community.

“This is our local school and we are very passionate about it. We want to be involved in any decisions being made and at the moment it doesn't feel like we are.”

Mr Nicholls added said their decision to register an interest would allow them greater access to advise to “fully investigate the pros and cons” of a move.

He said: “We will share this information with our stakeholders and ensure that an effective consultation can take place based upon the facts.

“The decision about whether or not to apply for Academy status will only be taken at a future meeting of the Governing Body and as a result of a formal vote by Governors.”

To join the parents' group mailing list email handsoffhoveparksch@gmail.com.

Comments (14)

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9:24am Wed 2 Apr 14

LB says...

'Period of consultation' = 'the decision has been made but we need to make it look like we're asking people what they think'

Shame on you senior leadership and governors of Hove Park if this conversion to being a private school in all but funding does go ahead.
'Period of consultation' = 'the decision has been made but we need to make it look like we're asking people what they think' Shame on you senior leadership and governors of Hove Park if this conversion to being a private school in all but funding does go ahead. LB
  • Score: 11

9:27am Wed 2 Apr 14

Valerie Paynter says...

Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well.

I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me.

Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.
Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well. I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me. Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 1

9:27am Wed 2 Apr 14

pwlr1966 says...

This is a blatent attempt to weed out the poorer performing students and push them off elsewhere, shame on you
This is a blatent attempt to weed out the poorer performing students and push them off elsewhere, shame on you pwlr1966
  • Score: 9

9:35am Wed 2 Apr 14

Valerie Paynter says...

Why do I think the school has been targetted for this equivalent of a "land grab". Seems positively Putinesque to me. 'Doing it because we CAN' and I do wonder if this Governors body can be stopped. Must have been very carefully put together as a Board to enable this move to take place it seems to me.
Why do I think the school has been targetted for this equivalent of a "land grab". Seems positively Putinesque to me. 'Doing it because we CAN' and I do wonder if this Governors body can be stopped. Must have been very carefully put together as a Board to enable this move to take place it seems to me. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 2

9:38am Wed 2 Apr 14

Andy R says...

Valerie Paynter wrote:
Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well.

I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me.

Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.
Hmmm....I know a lot of people who are school governors who have put in years of unrewarded, unsung service, and who have never been and don't want to be politicians. So beware of generalisations Valerie.

I hope the HPS governors will listen to what people tell them in the consultation and not feel pressured into going down the academy route. Seems to me that a useful start in that process would be to not rubbish and demonise people who give of their spare time in a role that few can be bothered to undertake.
[quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well. I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me. Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.[/p][/quote]Hmmm....I know a lot of people who are school governors who have put in years of unrewarded, unsung service, and who have never been and don't want to be politicians. So beware of generalisations Valerie. I hope the HPS governors will listen to what people tell them in the consultation and not feel pressured into going down the academy route. Seems to me that a useful start in that process would be to not rubbish and demonise people who give of their spare time in a role that few can be bothered to undertake. Andy R
  • Score: 12

9:45am Wed 2 Apr 14

whatone says...

Wherever academisation (aka privatisation) occurs, corrupt practices usually follow.

But of course finding out which people have their fingers in which particular pies becomes increasingly difficult because academies are not subject to the same scrutiny as those schools in local control.

The head probably won't mind either as pay rates for those at the top rocket whilst cheaper unqualified staff are recruited at the bottom.

As ever in this very corrupt society a few greedy pigs will gain on the backs of the majority.

And of course it was arranged that there is never a vote on this process because we don't actually live in a democracy!
Wherever academisation (aka privatisation) occurs, corrupt practices usually follow. But of course finding out which people have their fingers in which particular pies becomes increasingly difficult because academies are not subject to the same scrutiny as those schools in local control. The head probably won't mind either as pay rates for those at the top rocket whilst cheaper unqualified staff are recruited at the bottom. As ever in this very corrupt society a few greedy pigs will gain on the backs of the majority. And of course it was arranged that there is never a vote on this process because we don't actually live in a democracy! whatone
  • Score: 14

10:02am Wed 2 Apr 14

Eugenius says...

Strongly feel that private sponsorship in return for influence on the "ethos" of a school should not be part of our education system. The more funding is taken aware from the Local Education Authority to give to academies the more the quality of education provision in the state sector will be eroded.
Strongly feel that private sponsorship in return for influence on the "ethos" of a school should not be part of our education system. The more funding is taken aware from the Local Education Authority to give to academies the more the quality of education provision in the state sector will be eroded. Eugenius
  • Score: 10

12:08pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Hove Actually says...

When this happens, and it will if those in charge wish it. other local schools will need to change as well or be left with the cast offs which will drag down their own achievements .
this is the thin end of the wedge and thankfully my children have long left the system and hopefully by the time my Grandchildren attend the system will be running without all these threats of strikes that unsettle those in it now
When this happens, and it will if those in charge wish it. other local schools will need to change as well or be left with the cast offs which will drag down their own achievements . this is the thin end of the wedge and thankfully my children have long left the system and hopefully by the time my Grandchildren attend the system will be running without all these threats of strikes that unsettle those in it now Hove Actually
  • Score: 5

2:59pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Sir Prised says...

All schools should be State run and not have any parental influence, whatsoever. Entrance should solely be based on aptitude decided by external examination. Free schools and Academies are a dreadful idea. Then religion is a purely personal thing and should not feature at all in standard education. Finally, there should be Technical schools for the less academic. We once had it so right but ruined it on the altar of political-correctnes
s.
All schools should be State run and not have any parental influence, whatsoever. Entrance should solely be based on aptitude decided by external examination. Free schools and Academies are a dreadful idea. Then religion is a purely personal thing and should not feature at all in standard education. Finally, there should be Technical schools for the less academic. We once had it so right but ruined it on the altar of political-correctnes s. Sir Prised
  • Score: 3

4:58pm Wed 2 Apr 14

terrace cred. says...

'stakeholders'...
i don't live in the catchment area,
never had kids.
but always interested in maintaining and improving local services,
well happy to pay taxes that include those that go towards education
and am dismayed by propositions such as this.
presumably, however, i don't count as a 'stakeholder'
for the purposes of the exercise.
maybe i should pick up a stake and fend off the vampires
that want to bleed us?
'stakeholders'... i don't live in the catchment area, never had kids. but always interested in maintaining and improving local services, well happy to pay taxes that include those that go towards education and am dismayed by propositions such as this. presumably, however, i don't count as a 'stakeholder' for the purposes of the exercise. maybe i should pick up a stake and fend off the vampires that want to bleed us? terrace cred.
  • Score: 0

6:47pm Wed 2 Apr 14

alyn, southwick says...

Andy R wrote:
Valerie Paynter wrote:
Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well.

I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me.

Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.
Hmmm....I know a lot of people who are school governors who have put in years of unrewarded, unsung service, and who have never been and don't want to be politicians. So beware of generalisations Valerie.

I hope the HPS governors will listen to what people tell them in the consultation and not feel pressured into going down the academy route. Seems to me that a useful start in that process would be to not rubbish and demonise people who give of their spare time in a role that few can be bothered to undertake.
sorry I'm dubious about the motives of this bunch of governors, so this parent says feel free to demonise in this case Valarie.
[quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well. I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me. Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.[/p][/quote]Hmmm....I know a lot of people who are school governors who have put in years of unrewarded, unsung service, and who have never been and don't want to be politicians. So beware of generalisations Valerie. I hope the HPS governors will listen to what people tell them in the consultation and not feel pressured into going down the academy route. Seems to me that a useful start in that process would be to not rubbish and demonise people who give of their spare time in a role that few can be bothered to undertake.[/p][/quote]sorry I'm dubious about the motives of this bunch of governors, so this parent says feel free to demonise in this case Valarie. alyn, southwick
  • Score: -1

6:58pm Wed 2 Apr 14

fredflintstone1 says...

whatone wrote:
Wherever academisation (aka privatisation) occurs, corrupt practices usually follow.

But of course finding out which people have their fingers in which particular pies becomes increasingly difficult because academies are not subject to the same scrutiny as those schools in local control.

The head probably won't mind either as pay rates for those at the top rocket whilst cheaper unqualified staff are recruited at the bottom.

As ever in this very corrupt society a few greedy pigs will gain on the backs of the majority.

And of course it was arranged that there is never a vote on this process because we don't actually live in a democracy!
But schools under local control aren't being subjected to proper scrunity!! If they were, there might be more places to go round! Why for example is there a fee-paying language school operating within Dorothy Stringer during school hours, using facilities intended for local pupils? Who is making the money from this scheme?

My daughter's classes were regularly packed with many foreign students and I understand this is still continuing today. There seems to be no problem finding places for them, because they're paying, even though my neighbour can't get her child in there now.

Why should a private educational business be able to gain direct access to teaching that is being denied to ordinary families living in the city, although we are paying for it?

None of us parents had any clue about what was going on until our children started there and we discovered first hand what was happening. Why have the educational authorities done nothing about this over the course of more than 10 years? How inept is the council?
[quote][p][bold]whatone[/bold] wrote: Wherever academisation (aka privatisation) occurs, corrupt practices usually follow. But of course finding out which people have their fingers in which particular pies becomes increasingly difficult because academies are not subject to the same scrutiny as those schools in local control. The head probably won't mind either as pay rates for those at the top rocket whilst cheaper unqualified staff are recruited at the bottom. As ever in this very corrupt society a few greedy pigs will gain on the backs of the majority. And of course it was arranged that there is never a vote on this process because we don't actually live in a democracy![/p][/quote]But schools under local control aren't being subjected to proper scrunity!! If they were, there might be more places to go round! Why for example is there a fee-paying language school operating within Dorothy Stringer during school hours, using facilities intended for local pupils? Who is making the money from this scheme? My daughter's classes were regularly packed with many foreign students and I understand this is still continuing today. There seems to be no problem finding places for them, because they're paying, even though my neighbour can't get her child in there now. Why should a private educational business be able to gain direct access to teaching that is being denied to ordinary families living in the city, although we are paying for it? None of us parents had any clue about what was going on until our children started there and we discovered first hand what was happening. Why have the educational authorities done nothing about this over the course of more than 10 years? How inept is the council? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 3

10:28pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Andy R says...

alyn, southwick wrote:
Andy R wrote:
Valerie Paynter wrote:
Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well.

I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me.

Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.
Hmmm....I know a lot of people who are school governors who have put in years of unrewarded, unsung service, and who have never been and don't want to be politicians. So beware of generalisations Valerie.

I hope the HPS governors will listen to what people tell them in the consultation and not feel pressured into going down the academy route. Seems to me that a useful start in that process would be to not rubbish and demonise people who give of their spare time in a role that few can be bothered to undertake.
sorry I'm dubious about the motives of this bunch of governors, so this parent says feel free to demonise in this case Valarie.
Yeah....that'll work. They're only the people who will make the final decision, the people who have to be convinced by any anti-academy campaign. Your strategy is absolutely foolproof. What could possibly go wrong?
[quote][p][bold]alyn, southwick[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Andy R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Valerie Paynter[/bold] wrote: Many an aspiring politician wanting to steer things becomes a school governor, to please their party bosses and to get the party some power there. Many an ex councillor can be found within the ranks of school governors as well. I do wonder how many Tories have infiltrated and colonised this school's Board of Governors. It ain't broke by the sound of things so why introduce upheaval and a new system? It sounds deeply irresponsible to me. Oh yes; of course......we are coming up for an election year and the Tories want as many of their tinkerings in place as possible before the General Election and Local Election changes.[/p][/quote]Hmmm....I know a lot of people who are school governors who have put in years of unrewarded, unsung service, and who have never been and don't want to be politicians. So beware of generalisations Valerie. I hope the HPS governors will listen to what people tell them in the consultation and not feel pressured into going down the academy route. Seems to me that a useful start in that process would be to not rubbish and demonise people who give of their spare time in a role that few can be bothered to undertake.[/p][/quote]sorry I'm dubious about the motives of this bunch of governors, so this parent says feel free to demonise in this case Valarie.[/p][/quote]Yeah....that'll work. They're only the people who will make the final decision, the people who have to be convinced by any anti-academy campaign. Your strategy is absolutely foolproof. What could possibly go wrong? Andy R
  • Score: 0

6:40pm Thu 3 Apr 14

fridakarlo says...

Join the handsoffhoveparksch@
gmail.com mailing list and please read, sign and share the petition here: chn.ge/1jVbQYW if you are agree.
Join the handsoffhoveparksch@ gmail.com mailing list and please read, sign and share the petition here: chn.ge/1jVbQYW if you are agree. fridakarlo
  • Score: 2

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