CONTROVERSIAL academy plans for a school have been put on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.

Moulsecoomb Primary School in Brighton was rated “inadequate” by Ofsted last May, prompting the Government to place an academy order on the school.

But nearly a year later the Government has still not found a trust to take over the school, which remains in the hands of Brighton and Hove City Council.

Now School System Under-Secretary Baroness Berridge announced the academy plans are on hold due to the coronavirus crisis in a letter to Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

But she insisted the academy order will remain in place despite opposition from some parents and trade unions.

The Argus:

“The academy order on Moulsecoomb will remain in place,” Baroness Berridge wrote.

“Nevertheless I do recognise two key challenges in relation to this academy order.

“The first is matching a sponsor to the school, given the previous sponsor New Horizons has stepped back.

“The second challenge is the depth of unease among some of the local community in relation to the academy conversion.”

Labour MP Mr Russell-Moyle said he was pleased the plans had been paused.

But he urged the Government to put an end to the proposal altogether.

“This is not the time to be trying to drive through significant changes to the structure of the school, especially when the community, parents and local authority are all opposed to it,” he said.

“I will continue to put the case to the Government.”

The Argus:

New Horizons Academy Trust, which runs Seaside Primary School in Lancing, was set to take over Moulsecoomb Primary last year.

But in December education director Lee Murley announced his trust had withdrawn, blaming the “toxic” mood at the school.

In February Her Majesty’s Inspectors visited Moulsecoomb Primary and said teachers were taking effective action to improve.

Now campaigners are urging the Government to ditch its plans.

“What is best for our children is for the school to be left alone to concentrate on improving and educating our children,” said parent Natasha Ide.

“The teachers and support staff at Moulsecoomb Primary are more than able to provide the education our children need.

“Ofsted conducted a monitoring inspection that showed quite clearly how our school is improving and continues to improve.

“It also showed how having this academy order hanging over the school has hampered improvements.”

The Government plans to hold talks with councillors and Moulsecoomb governors after the coronavirus crisis.