TWO schools have rejected plans to convert into company-run academies after teachers went on strike.

Governors at Peacehaven Heights Primary and Telscombe Cliffs Primary schools, both in Peacehaven, voted against plans by East Sussex County Council to hand over control of the schools to private companies.

As a result the GMB and National Education Union (NEU) called off a planned strike for Thursday.

GMB organiser Lib Whitfield said the schools had sent an “absolutely clear” message against academy plans for the town.

However, Peacehaven Community School is still on course to be taken over by Swale Academy Trust, which runs five schools in East Sussex.

Ms Whitfield said: “The academisation agenda has failed and the people will stand against attempts to force our local schools into academisation.

“We will not stand by as East Sussex County Council tries to force our schools into private academy hands, against the interest of the staff and children.”

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown, said he was “delighted” and hoped Peacehaven Community Schools would also scrap its academy plans.

He said: “This victory belongs to the parents who fought so hard, GMB and NEU members who took industrial action, and community that rejected the privatisation of their schools.”

A 250-strong strike on May 1 saw three schools in Peacehaven shut as staff, parents, and pupils march through the town against academy plans.

Now, governors at Peacehaven Heights have said the “best way forward” to the school is remain under control of East Sussex County Council.

Julie Bright, business manager of Telscombe Cliffs Primary, said the school would continue its “upward journey” under council control.

She added: “The governors do not feel it is in the best interests of the children for the school to become an academy while we capitalise on our recent improvements.”

Critics say academies do not have to stick to the national curriculum, meaning they can technically teach what they please.

Academy trusts also have complete control over staff, so companies can hire unqualified teachers without council oversight.

Parents, staff, and pupils will assemble outside Peacehaven Heights Infant School at 3.30pm today to celebrate.