The headteacher of a school which was set to become an academy has now called on governors to oppose the move.

Derek Trimmer has been the driving force behind Hove Park School’s move to become an academy since plans were first outlined in March.

But in a statement exclusively revealed to The Argus this afternoon, he called on governors to vote against the move.

It comes just hours before a crunch meeting tonight at which the future of the school will be decided.

He said: “If we are going to help the city child we have to have the city behind us and that means that we need to be mindful of the unrest and disruption that forging ahead with an academy conversion at this stage of our journey could cause.

“We also need to be absolutely incisive in terms of separating politics from what is right educationally for our children and with recent events this line has become increasingly blurred.

“I believe that with the level of uncertainty that exists amongst members of our community and the resulting level of opposition that may harm the progress of the children in our school, the time is not right for driving through such a change.

“Therefore, I will be recommending to governors to vote against the proposed academy status and to support us in delivering our vision through continued partnership and willingness to consider a future where a family of schools could work together to benefit all the children of our community.”

Mr Trimmer joined the struggling school in 2011 at a time when it was among the worst performing in Sussex.

In his three years he has guided Hove Park to record GCSE results and in the process seen the school named in the top 1% most improved in the country.

He was also nominated for Teacher of the Year at the 2012 Argus Achievement Awards.

When proposals to convert Hove Park to an academy were first unveiled in March this year, Mr Trimmer shied away from out-and-out backing the proposal.

But with opposition mounting against the move, he outlined his reasons for supporting the conversion in a letter to The Argus.

Published in May, he said: “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.”

He concluded: “We believe that in order to create the world class provision that the students deserve, we need to consider moving forward as an academy.”

His u-turn will both shock and delight opponents of the academy plans.

The proposal has caused significant unrest among teachers, parents, the wider community and pupils.

The school shut when teachers went on strike in July and a council organised parent ballot returned with more than 70% against the plans.

In his statement, Mr Trimmer speaks at length of his fear of further disruption to the progress of the school if the unpopular plans go forward.

He also lauded the improvements at Hove Park and praised the collective vision with a focus on teaching.

He said: “As we move towards our decision this evening we need to be mindful that what we are doing is choosing a vehicle to deliver that vision.

“The vision is more important than the vehicle.”