Hove Park’s head chooses his meetings

The Argus, Letters, 13th May 2014

I was very disappointed to learn that the head of Hove Park School, Derek Trimmer, attended an education conference at fee-paying school Brighton College. This conference, featuring education secretary Michael Gove, gained coverage in The Argus (May 9).

The Hands Off Hove Park campaign group has asked the chair of the board of governors to explain what Mr Trimmer hopes to learn from a panel that includes convicted perjurer Jonathan Aitken and former Formula 1 racing boss Max Moseley, who worked alongside Bernie Ecclestone.

We are struggling to understand how, just as students and teachers are knuckling down to a busy exam timetable, Mr Trimmer can justify a full day away from his job of leading a local, comprehensive community school with a fair and equal admissions system.

Hove Park School is currently in consultation about academy conversion and parents have unsuccessfully sought an open and transparent dialogue with Mr Trimmer and the school’s governors.

It is insulting that our invitation to speak at a public meeting of over 150 parents was rejected by the head, yet he can find time to listen to characters like these, whose views on academies are well known.

It is interesting that Brighton and Hove City Council passed a motion to reject the principle of academies at a full meeting of the council on Thursday and I am delighted that the Hove Park academy plan was mentioned in this motion.

Councillors clearly see the risk to the very essence of local government, in the loss of educational assets maintained for the whole community, to unknown, unaccountable and untested trustees.

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