HEADTEACHER Derek Trimmer has pledged his future to Hove Park School after his plans for academy status were voted out.

Mr Trimmer had a dramatic change of heart yesterday and opposed the plan he had put forward six months ago.

The schools 17 governors unanimously voted against the conversion after he urged them to do so.

As exclusively revealed by The Argus on Monday afternoon, Mr Trimmer, pictured, decided the change could have a negative impact on pupils as the time was not right.

Speaking to The Argus, Mr Trimmer has now revealed he has no plans to step down from his post and is looking to continue the school’s resurgence under his leadership.

And despite believing the academy conversion would have worked at Hove Park, he plans on staying on at the Nevill Road school.

In an exclusive interview, he said: “I’m not going to retire tomorrow and I’ve not got another job offer that I’m going running to.

“When you’re in my position, you get a lot of people phone up and ask you to get involved in lots of different things.

“But I get to work with plenty of inspiring people here, and this is where my commitment lies.

“We’ve still got a huge job to do here and we want to keep pushing the standards up. It will be very much business as usual.

“This process has given us the opportunity to ask some difficult questions and I think I’ve got a moral obligation to ask these questions.

“It’s not always easy, but I feel in my position I have to ask those questions and it’s right to ask them because I do strive against complacency.”

Mr Trimmer said if the support for the conversion had been stronger, the academy structure would have worked at Hove Park.

He said: “I’m not interested in the vehicle, I’m interested in the vision that drives the vehicle.

“75% of parents and carers that didn’t return the ballot were quite happy to let the governors make the decision.

“But it would not be successful if there is opposition.

“There are good academies and there are bad academies, but it became clear it wasn’t right for this community at this time.”

Monday night’s result sparked wild celebration from anti-academy campaigners who rallied outside the school gates.

Parent pressure group Hands Off Hove Park was formed soon after the academy proposal was put forward in March.

Now the dust has settled it looks like the governing body and parents could join forces to push the school forward.

Natasha Steel, parent and spokeswoman for Hands Off Hove Park, said: “We’re going to be reviewing where we are and how we move forward from here.

“We’re disappointed it took the governing body so long to realise just how unpopular these plans were.

“We really want to work with the school to get the best for our children.

“I would welcome a meeting with Derek to give him a better understanding of the view of parents.”

Positive energy Mr Trimmer agreed the positive energy of the campaign should be harnessed to benefit the school and welcomed the idea of the two groups working together.

He also took time to praise his teachers for their work during what he described as a “disruptive” few months.

He said: “I think they have been incredible the way they have approached this process and they have continued to teach the quality of lessons and have not allowed what, at times, was a very external noise to come into the school and disrupt.

“Staff have been absolutely brilliant, as have the students and the parents too and I think we have raised some real questions for the community.

“We had an important debate, we could have been scared out of the debate at any point. We asked the questions, we opened Pandora’s box if you like and we dared to look inside.

“And I think that was an important activity and we are not throwing everything away from that, we are taking away something that will unite this community and help question whether or not we are doing enough to improve the life chances of the children in our care.”

Speaking of his last-minute change of heart, Mr Trimmer said it was always his intention to let the debate unfold before making his decision.

He said: “That is one of the reasons we have tried not to get involved in the media circus around this.

“It is not for us to be out there defending the point of view of academies. I think one has to put forward a hypothesis of what it might look like and then to listen. “But to say that two days into the process we have closed our ears and made up our mind would have been wrong.”