A SCHOOL is set to become an academy after a last-ditch legal bid was rejected by a judge.

Parents at Peacehaven Community School took the school’s governors to the High Court in a desperate attempt to thwart academy plans.

But the judge Mr Justice Nicklin rejected the parents’ pleas to stop East Sussex County Council handing the secondary school to Swale Academy Trust.

Now the school is set to become an academy on September 1.

Parent Ash Webster said she was “hugely disappointed” in the judge’s decision.

“East Sussex County Council and the governors have simply ignored our basic and reasonable request for transparency and fairness with a new consultation,” she said.

“We put up a good fight and the community spirit to push this campaign forward has been amazing.

“The local community will continue to remain united to protect our primary schools in the face of any threat from being pushed into academisation.”

The parents had applied for “interim relief”, which would have paused the academy plans while a judge reviewed the county council’s decision.

But Mr Justice Nicklin said the parents’ argument was not strong enough.

After the judgement, East Sussex County Council applied for the option to recoup legal costs from the parents.

But the judge denied this too.

Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who has campaigned against the academy plans, said the county council was “no longer fit for purpose”.

“The council officers should hang their heads in shame for the destruction of education in our county,” he said.

“The utter disregard for the feelings of the community mean that East Sussex County Council is no longer fit for purpose.

“When Labour form the next Government, we will reverse this and make sure the architects of these policies at County Hall are held to account and left unemployable.

“The fight is not yet over, and we will explore all other ways to stop this highway robbery by Swale.”

East Sussex National Education Union secretary Phil Clarke added the county council had “lost the moral argument”.

A county council spokeswoman said: “It remains the view of the local authority and governors that this is the right course of action to secure strong leadership and continued improvements at the school.

“The current governance arrangements at the school have been in place for some time.”