Greens are delighted with the news that Hove Park School governors have voted against applying for academy status for the secondary school which takes children from across the city.
Distinct from Labour and Conservatives, the Green Party has consistently opposed academy status for any school, believing it removes control from the local community and allows private wealthy benefactors influence over children’s education – so effectively a form of privatisation.
Earlier in the year, Green-led Brighton and Hove City Council organised a ballot of parents of children attending the school which was non-binding on the governors.
A majority of parents voted against academy status.
Councillor Sue Shanks, Green Chair of the council’s Children & Young People Committee, who has led council opposition to the plan, said, “I’m delighted the governors have acknowledged the strength of feeling from parents, staff and the wider community over the academy proposals for Hove Park.
“Green councillors have worked tirelessly with parents from the start; we have joined them on rallies, helped fundraise and organised a parental ballot.
“We did this as the strength of feeling against academy status was so strong and we also have concerns about how useful or helpful academy status might be for results and children’s experience.
“The Green Party believe that children’s education should never be privatised.”
Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said, “This is wonderful news – I pay tribute to everyone who has campaigned so hard to keep Hove Park School part of the community.
“I’m delighted the governors have listened to the results of the parents’ ballot, and to the strength of feeling in the city.
“Hove Park School has become a fantastic success story. I’m thrilled that it’s free to continue thriving – and I don’t believe becoming an Academy would have assured that.
“Many of my constituents were extremely concerned about the proposals, which would have dramatically reduced the accountability of the school.
“There will be a lot of relieved parents, students and teachers.”
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.