A HEAD insists no decision has yet been made after 160 people attended a meeting to discuss the potential academisation of six schools.

Governors and headteachers at Lewes secondary Priory School are in talks with five primary schools to create a town-wide Multi Academy Trust

They are Western Road Community, South Malling, Southover, Wallands, and Iford and Kingston.

A Multi Academy Trust is when schools come together to undertake a strategic partnership to improve and maintain high educational standards.

A group of schools form a single MAT which has responsibility for their governance.

Campaigner Holly Atkins, whose son goes to Western Road Community School, said: “We don’t want an Academy Trust in Lewes.

“It’s unnecessary and not in the best interest of our children.

“We’re worried this is about profit, not pupils so we’re pushing for a ballot of parents and teachers.

“Lewes parents love our schools and are ready to fight to save them.”

The campaign was kicked off by Holly and her friend Sarah Weal, who has children at Southover and Priory schools.

They were prompted to act by teachers worried about the proposal to change how schools in the area are funded, governed and staffed.

What began as a WhatsApp chat went viral as more and more parents joined the conversation to raise their concerns and Save Lewes Schools was officially launched.

However, Lewes Priory executive headteacher Tony Smith said no decision has yet been made.

He said “considerable research” is being undertaken.

He said the county council is facing “a potential cliff edge” financially.

Mr Smith said: “The priority is how best we can serve our community.”

He told parents: “Schools across Lewes have been working in partnership since 2014 with the creation of the Lewes Cooperative Learning Trust.

“It has enabled member schools to benefit from sharing of teaching and learning resources and best practice.

“Recently, we have been exploring more formal partnership options to enable us to continue to benefit from shared best practice but also to look at whether a more formal arrangement would allow Lewes schools to provide a better education for our young people, provide better opportunities to retain existing staff and recruit the best employees to work in our schools.

“There is also the reality of the economic and political situation we find ourselves in as councils across the country cut their services back due to financial pressures.

East Sussex County Council announced on November 5 that it would be reducing to a core services offer in a bid to make a further £45 million of savings by 2021/22.

“This reduction would leave schools across Lewes without access to many of the services we currently receive as state maintained schools.

“Governors and head teachers from across the Lewes schools have set up a working group to look at various options, including forming a MAT.

“We have been focusing on creating a local MAT as opposed to joining an existing one.”