IT IS not at all surprising that Brighton and Hove's councillors are being urged to rethink their strategy for a second ballot of parents in order to gauge their opposition to Moulsecoomb Primary School being turned into an academy because there is quite a risk that the result would not be to its liking.

In 2019 it claimed that 96.5 per cent of parents and carers rejected the whole idea of an academy, but that wasn't actually the case because only 61 per cent of them returned their response forms.

So, instead of it looking, as it did at that time, as though nearly everyone supported the council's case for retaining control of this school, the actual situation was that less than 60 per cent voted for it, with the authority not having any idea as to the opinions of the other 40 per cent.

The council has, according to The Argus report, admitted that it is concerned the impact of the present health crisis may make some of the school's parents and carers feel uneasy about handling ballot papers and, therefore, not take part in a second round of consultation.

This, to my mind, is what is behind its lack of enthusiasm for another one because, if even fewer people take part than in the first one, its case for keeping council control of this school could be weakened to such an extent that it would have to roll over and let the academy take charge.

Far better to wait, I would have thought, until the present virus restrictions have faded into the background and the parents feel safe enough to be able to get out and about again, to be able to express their views about the future management of their school without having to feel that doing so might turn out to be detrimental to their health.

Eric Waters