AN ACADEMY chief has criticised the approach of Brighton and Hove City Council and its former education chief, Councillor Nick Childs.

Step Academy Trust chief executive Mark Ducker visited Moulsecoomb Primary in September but pulled out of the academy process.

And he claimed the council’s anti-academy stance would “condemn more of Brighton and Hove’s most disadvantaged children to an inadequate education”.

“Having visited and seen first-hand the significant capacity needed to support Moulsecoomb Primary at this time, we have absolutely no doubt that joining a strong academy trust would be in the school’s best interests,” he said.

But a council spokesman said it “rejected in the strongest possible terms Mr Ducker’s claim”.

“Moulsecoomb Primary School has already made a number of significant improvements”, he said.

“We are so confident that it is not an inadequate school that we have called for Ofsted to come and reinspect it. It is a great shame they have so far declined.

“All councillors have a right to express opinions and support for parents through their own communications channels.

"If Mr Ducker has specific concerns about the conduct of a councillor he is able to raise this using our formal complaints procedure."

Cllr Childs did not respond for comment.