The ArgusParents to vote on Hove Park academy status (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Council committee votes in favour of parent ballot

The Argus: Parents to vote on Hove Park academy status Parents to vote on Hove Park academy status

Parents celebrated from the public gallery when councillors voted to hold a ballot on a city school’s proposal to become an academy.

The group cheered and applauded at Hove Town Hall when Brighton and Hove City Council’s children and young people committee voted in favour of holding a parents’ ballot to gauge opinion from the Hove Park School community.

Councillor Sue Shanks, chairwoman of the committee, will now ask parents whether they want the school to become an academy and then present the results to headteacher Derek Trimmer and his senior leadership team.

A parent pressure group – Hands Off Hove Park – set up by parent Sharon Duggal, has gathered thousands of signatures on a petition opposing the proposals.

Even if the results show an overwhelming opposition to the school becoming an academy, the governors may still push ahead with the conversion.

She said: “It’s difficult to predict the outcome of the ballot, but we hope people will be of the same opinion as us.

“We know the governors will have the final say, but as parents we deserve to have our views listened to.

“This is not about politics – this is about principles.”

Labour councillor Penny Gilbey told the committee it would affect people in her ward of North Portslade.

She said parents had picked Hove Park over Portslade Aldridge Community Academy because they did not want their children educated in an academy.

She said: “This is not about whether we agree with academies or not, this is about whether parents agree or not. “It’s by no means a criticism of the school or the headteacher, the parents should be given the opportunity to be consulted.”

Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls did not support the ballot and said the move towards all schools becoming academies would continue regardless of the result.

He said: “I think this has become a Hove v Gove debate, and that’s a real shame. “We’re big supporters of the management team at the school and we trust them to make the right decision.”

Mark Drayton, governor at West Hove Junior School, a Hove Park feeder school, said: “It will give the governors something else to think about – it just adds another element to the debate.”

Labour councillor Gill Mitchell voted in favour of the ballot.

She said: “Governors and the school should be given the space to make this decision.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:17am Tue 3 Jun 14

LB says...

Surely parents of children who may attend the school in future should also be given a vote?

This will affect how the education of children in Hove will happen for decades to come - it should be a decision for the whole community not just those with a current vested interest,
Surely parents of children who may attend the school in future should also be given a vote? This will affect how the education of children in Hove will happen for decades to come - it should be a decision for the whole community not just those with a current vested interest, LB
  • Score: 6

8:43am Tue 3 Jun 14

Andy R says...

Parents of children starting in September will be included in the ballot.
Parents of children starting in September will be included in the ballot. Andy R
  • Score: 6

8:48am Tue 3 Jun 14

Natasha Steel says...

Great to see Labour get off the fence and support parents and children in the City
Great to see Labour get off the fence and support parents and children in the City Natasha Steel
  • Score: 6

4:14pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Valerie Paynter says...

This is a kind of political coup and I wish the refuseniks luck and a tide of support to see off this grab.
This is a kind of political coup and I wish the refuseniks luck and a tide of support to see off this grab. Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree