It wasn’t in our top three but now my son loves his school – and we don’t want it to become an academy

Saturday 26th April 2014 in Letters, The Argus

A few years ago my son was given Hove Park Secondary School as part of the lottery system.

I had three schools within walking distance of my house: Dorothy Stringer, Varndean and Cardinal Newman, all of which I could not apply for (the first two due to the lottery and the last due to not being Catholic).

I was given Hove Park, which is three miles away from where we live.

When I was given Hove Park it was considered to be “not a great school”. In fact, talk in the playground was that it was a “bad school”. Yet since my son has been there (he is now in year 10) he has positively thrived. He is getting As in almost every subject and enjoys school very much.

Both he and I believe Hove Park to be a great place.

And even though my catchment has now changed and I could choose one of my local, walking-distance schools for my youngest son, I chose instead to send him to Hove Park, too. He will be going this September.

I love the communication I get with the school. I love the text messages telling me how my son has been engaging in class that day and reminding me about exams or things my son needs to bring in.

It’s for this reason that I hate the idea of it becoming an academy.

I heard no public talk of it becoming an academy when I came to view the school.

I do not want my children to go to an academy – I did not apply for either to go to one.

I do not want them to go to a school which is run like a business, or separates them from other local authority schools.

I believe academies create a divided education system and I am not in support of this.

I now plan to get involved in whatever campaigns are aiming to keep this school from becoming an academy.

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