Thursday 24th April 2014 in Letters, The Argus
We confess to being surprised by the letter and accompanying leaflet we received on the proposal to move Hove Park School toward academy status, not least because when our daughter began at Hove Park a mere two years ago we were assured that “there were absolutely no plans to take the academy route”.
We offer the following observations: firstly, rushing toward academy status is at heart a decision to deregulate. While we understand that this may appeal to those who imagine deregulation implies freedom from rules, what it more accurately means is detachment from standards, governance and transparency. The supports, guidance, and safeguards implicit in a state school are largely discarded in return for the gamble that the small group of people in charge will know best and some funding may become more available.
We think the abandonment of these safeguards and principles is even more worrying than the mechanics they invite.
Secondly, the process that involves trying to oversee other schools as well as our own rather smacks of empire-building. Given the current state of the school – improving but certainly not outstanding – you are metaphorically seeking to colonise other countries before you have managed to get the trains to run on time in your own.
There is a hastiness and lack of vision underpinning this proposal which does the school community a disservice and undermines the faith the current management team has sought to establish.
The proposal does not put children first – indeed I fear it prioritises the marketplace over educational standards and governance, as the petition opposing it with more than 1,000 signatures attests.
Mark and Kate Radcliffe, Hove