Dear Hove Park School, Governing Body,
As we are sure you are all too aware, a major decision on the future of Hove Park School is in your hands tomorrow (22/9/14). As a group of parents, carers, grandparents, students and other community members, we trust you, as our representatives, to reach the best decision for the school.
We hope you will acknowledge the strength of feeling in the community you are serving, which can be measured in terms of the results of the parent ballot and recent governor elections. We hope you recognise that if this energy is embraced, it can be used positively for the good of the whole school.
Alternatively, a vote for academy status will be opening the door to further disruption of Hove Park students’ education and more disaffection amongst parents, teachers and students, who will quite rightly feel that they have not been listened to. The unions for teaching and non-teaching staff have already indicated that further strikes are likely and parents will carry on their campaign, which is now attracting national press interest with broadsheet coverage likely.
We understand that a number of good teachers have already left the school because they don’t want to work in an academy and we understand that some new-intake parents have already opted for schools that are not seeking conversion and not enrolled their children at HPS as a result. Clearly the impact of this uncertainty is already making its mark on the school.
We trust that you, like us, have done your homework on what academy conversion would mean for students, teachers and the community both now and in the long term – because as legislation stands, this is an irreversible decision. We also trust that you, like us, have watched closely as individual case studies across the country begin to feed into an emerging national picture of how deregulation of state schools is impacting directly on communities. Government policy on this will inevitably continue to shift as we move towards the 2015 General Election over the next few months.
We very much hope that like us you have reached the conclusion that there is neither a financial nor educational imperative for conversion to academy status. It is neither the best option for this school nor the chosen option of the people that matter – the students, teachers and parents/carers.
A ‘no’ vote for academy status will demonstrate that the governing body listens to and cares about the views of people in the school community. It will win over huge support and that can only be in the best interest of us all.
on behalf of Hands Off Hove Park School