AN ANGRY union boss has threatened strikes if the Government does not stop plans to convert a school into an academy.

Ian Stevenson, chief of the National Education Union (NEU) South East branch, sent a letter to education secretary Damian Hinds asking him to halt the planned conversion of Moulsecoomb Primary School in Brighton.

The union said its members at the school, as well as staff belonging to the GMB and UNISON, had unanimously voted for strike action next term if the academy plans continue.

The Government had announced it would forcibly hand over the school to an education trust after it was branded “inadequate” by Ofsted in May.

In the letter, Mr Stevenson said he was “extremely concerned” the school would not improve under the leadership of a private company rather than Brighton and Hove City Council.

He wrote: “Research shows that local authorities have a much better record at improving [schools] and doing so more rapidly. [We have] complete confidence that Brighton and Hove City Council is best placed to improve the outcome with the school.”

The union boss called for another Ofsted inspection of the school to take place before academy plans proceeded any further.

Mr Stevenson said attempts by headteacher Adam Sutton to revive Moulsecoomb Primary’s fortunes could be hindered by an academy takeover.

He wrote: “The new head has been in post for a relatively short period of time, during which the first year saw him having to deal with a financial crisis.

“Whilst the impact of his work has been seen in the younger years, it does take time to affect improvement across all age cohorts.

“The union is extremely concerned the rapid improvements and work that is being undertaken will be disrupted and undermined.”

Brighton and Hove NEU secretary Paul Shellard added a conversion of the school would be “disruptive and expensive”.

“Moulsecoomb is not a failing school but one that needs funding and support to continue its trajectory of improvement,” he said.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “Moulsecoomb Primary School will be taken on by a strong academy trust capable of delivering the necessary improvements.

“Our priority is the wellbeing and education of pupils.”