HANDS OFF NEWS: 1 September 2014, Issue 4



When parents of students at Hove Park School first heard of the plans to turn it into an academy way back in April, 160 of them attended a public meeting, at which they voted unanimously against the proposals.

Then in May, Brighton & Hove City Council passed a motion to oppose academies in principle and throughout the summer term, students and parents voiced their opposition in a variety of imaginative ways.

July kicked off with a great turnout to a good-natured HOHPS March against the proposals through Hove (even the local police sent a message commenting on the congenial nature of the protest). This was followed by a fantastic Stand-Up comedy show and rally with Mark Steel, Shappi Khorsandi, Caroline Lucas and others in Hove Park.

Things came to a head just as the summer term was drawing to a close…   On July 15, the parent ballot, organised by the local authority, in which nearly 600 families voted, returned a result of 71% in opposition to the academisation of the school. The following day the school closed because of a strike by teachers, who are overwhelmingly opposed to these proposals and later that same day three anti-academy candidates standing as parent governors were elected to the Governing Body in a landslide victory – sending  yet another very clear message to the school leaders.

Given the story so far,  parents and carers campaigning with Hands Off Hove Park School call upon the governors to listen  and hear  the messages from the community they are meant to represent and  just say no to academy status so all concerned can  look forward to this school year with their focus clearly on education and learning.




Recent GCSE results saw HPS dip by just 3% in the amount of students gaining A*-C grades at GCSE level. 62% of HPS students achieved this impressive result this summer (65% in 2013) at a time of sweeping government changes to the exam system and when other schools saw dips of as much as 13%.   This is a great result for the whole school community, especially the students,  teachers, staff and school leaders who have all worked hard to get to this point, but also the parents and carers who  obviously care enormously about the school  and continue to take an active and positive interest in it.  All this, alongside the radical admissions system which is finally bedding in, have had a part to play in the HPS successes so far.

Hove Park School is on a winning trajectory, with local authority accountability and strong local support, which is why we like our school the way it is – a local, community, comprehensive state school – not an academy with a business ethos!  Let’s ensure it stays on this trajectory by focusing on what is working to improve the school for the whole of the local community without the risks and distractions of academy status, where the eye will inevitably be taken off the ball.

We all want our school to become an outstanding local school – so, come on governors, ditch the academy plans and let’s truly work together in doing all we can to ensure the school achieves the best possible outcomes and results for all those who attend it now and in the future.


  • WRITE TO THE GOVERNORS: Despite the clearly demonstrated opposition to academisation,  HPS  Governors can still press ahead with academy status. It is important we continue to let them know that this is our school and we like it the way it is. Please write to the school and the governors to insist they listen to the community they are meant to represent. You can write to them via the clerk at: efrank@hovepark.org.uk or governors@hovepark.org.uk
  • LOBBY MEETINGS: The Governing Body will meeting on Monday 15 September to consider all the information submitted as part of the consultation and will make a decision at the full Governing Body meeting on Monday 22 September.  Check www.handsoffhoveparkschool.wordpress.com for up to date information about lobbying these meetings and making sure our voices continue to be heard.
  • DISTRIBUTE POSTERS: New posters and badges are available this week – email us on handsoffhoveparksch@gamil.com for details of how you can get hold of some and look out for a smaller A4 poster in The Leader for you to display on a work notice-board, local shop or your house window. The A4 poster is also attached here so you can share it via social media.


ROBB JOHNSON LIVE: Robb Johnson, our resident protest singer/songwriter, is doing a gig for the Brighton & Hove Green Party on 12 September at Hanover Community Centre. Full details can be found here:  http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/green-party-gig-with-robb-johnson-tickets-12458384363?aff=eac2

Get down there if you can.

Got a story for Hands Off News?   Email: handsoffhoveparksch@gmail.com

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1 Response to HANDS OFF NEWS: 1 September 2014, Issue 4

  1. Andy Moir says:

    Congratulations to you all on winning the battle against academisation! Yours news has cheered us up no end.
    Jeffer and Andy (who’s also successfully fought against academisation of the Basildon primary school, Northlands, where he was a governor.)

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