TEACHERS have announced seven more days of strikes against plans to convert a high school into a company-run academy.

Peacehaven Community School will be rocked by another wave of industrial action after members of National Education Union (NEU) approved strike action.

Staff will go on strike on June 19, 20, 26, and 27.

Further actions are planned for July 2, 3, and 4.

The school is run by East Sussex County Council but has been supported by Swale Academy Trust since 2015.

The council plans to transfer the school entirely to Swale within months, meaning the school’s curriculum and the hiring of teachers will be entirely decided by the trust.

But now Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown Lloyd Russell-Moyle and Conservative MP for Lewes Maria Caulfield have sent a joint letter to East Sussex council leader Keith Glazier calling for the planned conversion to be stopped.

The MPs also demanded a new governing body be set up for the secondary school so teachers and parents are properly represented.

The school is currently governed by an unelected interim executive board which does not have any teachers or parents sitting on it.

The joint letter, also signed by 12 Peacehaven Town councillors, reads: “The Swale Academies Trust pays £1 million per year to its chief executive and senior management structure from school budgets, which means less money will reach the classroom.

“Nationally, academy schools have a higher turnover of staff.

“The fact that staff at Peacehaven Community School have already taken three days of strike action suggests they will leave in droves if Swale takes over.”

In an interview with The Argus, Mr Russell-Moyle called for a parents’ vote on the academy plans.

He said: “The school was told by Ofsted to improve two years ago, but by working with Swale and others the school has worked to improve and it received a “Good” rating last year.

“The argument that you need to convert the school into an academy is difficult to continue to maintain.

“In academies, trusts decide the curriculum and decide every single detail whereas in council-run schools teachers are given the freedom to teach.

“Under academies teachers are given the shackles of the market.”

Mr Russell-Moyle also worried about East Sussex Council’s agreement to pay off the rest of the private finance initiative debt in return for Swale taking over the school.

He added: “When I was growing up, it was always known as one of the best local education authorities in the country.

“It was the first Conservative council in the country to abolish the grammar school system.

“Now it has lost its way.”

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said Swale had been “instrumental” in the school’s “good” Ofsted rating achieved last year.

He said: "It remains the view of the local authority and the Interim Executive Board (IEB) that this is the right course of action to secure strong leadership and continued improvements at the school.”