A great letter from HOHPS campaigner, Natasha Steel in today’s Argus
Thank you to The Argus for covering the campaign against academy conversion at Hove Park School and the submission of a 2,000+ petition to the board of governors last week.
Your piece also included a comment from National Schools Commissioner, Frank Green, who argued that academies are about “freedom and responsibility – freedom for excellent head teachers to make the right choices for their pupils, responsibility for every aspect of their school and community.”
This means that the head teacher, currently Derek Trimmer – but, of course, as yet unknown individuals in the future – could change the school day, teachers’ pay and the curriculum without consultation or agreement with parents, staff, the local authority or anyone else.
Green also argues that the school could “become even better” under the academy system, when he knows that there is no evidence showing this.
Some converter academies only perform better than some local authority schools because they are created from the highest performing local authority schools. Academies don’t perform better because they are academies.
Frank Green himself became the focus of critical coverage in the national press earlier this year.
Articles published after a freedom of information request revealed consultancy contracts worth over £110,000 awarded to his own company, Shoreline, by Leigh Academies Trust, which he headed.
He has nothing to say about the erosion of local democracy or the free transfer of land out of public ownership.
Neither does he say who the trustees, directors or partner schools in the proposed multi academy trust would be.
The campaign against academy conversion continues with a march and a family picnic in Hove Park on July 5.