Brighton and Hove City Council is currently undertaking a consultation regarding the closure of Falmer High School to ultimately replace it with an academy that specialises in entrepreneurship and sports. This sounds great until you hear all the facts.

The sponsor Rod Aldridge will have complete control. He will control who is employed at the school, their pay and conditions, the choice of specialism, who is on the school's governing body with the exception of one elected parent governor, admissions code and exclusions of children - academies currently exclude at three to four times the rate of state schools. What will the headteacher be doing?

Not only that but Mr Aldridge is not bound by education laws but by a funding law which has nothing to do with schools. I have nothing against the sponsor personally but if he is genuine about wanting to help educate "deprived" children from his home town then he should put his money where his mouth is and drop the power trip.

The consultation, which closes today, has been poor as only one side of the story has been provided to the community. Little publicity was received by parents. I understand ten forms were provided to each school for parents to voice their concerns.

I wonder how many people are actually aware that this has even happened?

I believe that every council which wants to change a local community school into an academy run by an unelected sponsor should be forced to hold a ballot and I challenge the council to do so. Give the community the choice - don't make this decision for us.

  • Sheila Walker, Jevington Drive, Brighton