A school will shut tomorrow as teachers walk out over academy conversion plans.

Hove Park School will close both its sites in Nevill Road and Hangleton Way with up to 70 teachers taking to the picket line.

The action, which has been organised by the National Union of Teachers (NUT), is in response to the school's plans to convert to an academy.

Paul Shellard, secretary of Brighton and Hove NUT, said: “It's time for the head to stop the damaging distraction of pursuing academy status and get back to building on the school's successes.

“We regret the disruption to children's education but their future will only be secure, once the governors acknowledge the strength of feeling amongst staff, parents and the local community and focus on working with other schools in Brighton and Hove.”

Headteacher Derek Trimmer found out about the plans to strike on The Argus website last week. He told the paper on Friday the school would remain open. However, due to the number of teachers set to walk out it was decided the school would close.

In a letter to parents, Mr Trimmer said: “It is with regret that I have decided to declare that the school will be closed to students.

“Despite a minority of the school staff voting to take industrial action on Wednesday, two factors have placed further pressure on the school’s ability to remain open to students. The first is that while we have sought to identify how many staff are likely to participate in the strike action, staff are not obliged to inform the school and therefore it has been impossible to ascertain the levels of staff likely to be in school and we will only know on the day.

“The second is that pickets will most likely be placed at entrances to the school from 7:00am on Wednesday morning. This puts staff who do not wish to strike in a difficult personal position of having to decide whether to cross a picket line.”

He added: “Please accept my apologies for this unfortunate situation. I understand the inconvenience and difficulty this will cause many of you.”