Decision day in battle to keep hands off Hove Park School

The Hands Off Hove Park campaign claims support from 71% of parents

The Hands Off Hove Park campaign claims support from 71% of parents

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An anti-academy group is hoping its last-ditch effort to lobby school governors will end in victory.

An anti-academy group is hoping its last-ditch effort to lobby school governors into rejecting plans to convert a popular school into an academy will end in victory.

Members of Hands Off Hove Park will be outside the school’s Nevill Road base in Hove on Monday evening, when governors are due to meet to vote on the controversial plans.

The school’s leadership appears determined to push ahead with the academy conversion, arguing a change in status would bring with it a raft of benefits.

This is despite a poll of parents, funded by Brighton and Hove City Council, that showed 71% were opposed to the change.

Those in favour of becoming an academy were quick to point out that only about 40% of parents responded to the non-binding poll. Hands Off Hove Park, however, responded by saying the number of opponents of academisation dwarfed the number of those who backed the idea.

There was also a one-day strike by teachers opposed to the plans, while three anti-academy candidates were recently elected onto the board of governors.

Natasha Steel, Hands Off Hove Park’s spokesperson, believes parents, staff, and the local community have made their feelings clear on the proposals.

She hopes as many people as possible will now turn out on Monday at 5.45pm to hammer that message home.

Ms Steel said: “Ever since the school leadership team announced its intention to seek academy conversion, there has been disruption and uncertainty for pupils, parents, teachers and the local authority.

“We urge the governors to heed the views of parents, teachers, students and the wider community as they make this important decision.

“The case for an academy has not been made in terms of benefits to pupils and a decision to convert would fly in the face of local public feeling.”