Baroness Jenny Jones
Image credit: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Creative Commons

The campaign to stop a Brighton school becoming an academy is about to be boosted by a high profile backer. Jenny Jones, the Green member of the House of Lords, will join a public meeting opposing Moulsecoomb Primary School being converted into an academy on Tuesday 18 June. The school is currently under threat of forced academisation after receiving an “inadequate” Ofsted rating.

Jones grew up in Brighton and even attended the Moulsecoomb primary school as a child. Speaking on the campaign to stop the school becoming an academy, Jones said:

Academies have not shown they improve results and yet the Government continues its ideological agenda to force academisation on schools like Moulsecoomb. As a former pupil, I am proud to join the campaign to say Hands Off Moulsecoomb Primary.

Working with Caroline Lucas MP, I will lobby the Government to change their misguided policy and do what is best for pupils – giving their schools the funding they need to succeed.

Jones will be joined at the meeting by other campaigners, including Convenor of the Green group of councillors in Brighton & Hove Phélim Mac Cafferty.

Fighting academisation

Jones’ participation in the campaign comes after the Green group of councillors jointly proposed a motion with the Labour group, which will be discussed at the Children, Young People and Skills Committee on Monday 17 June.

The proposal calls for a parental and carer ballot to be conducted at the school. This would determine support for the conversion. The results of the ballot will be shared with the regional schools commissioner who will make the final decision on academisation.

Councillor Elaine Hills, Green group spokesperson on the Children, Young People and Skills Committee said:

Greens have a strong track record of opposing academisation in the city. In administration, we forced a parental ballot to be held at Hove Park School, which found 71 percent of parents against.

We are pleased to work with the Labour Group of Councillors and campaigners on ensuring that the pupils of Moulsecoomb Primary receive what is best – remaining as a locally maintained school. We urge everyone to sign the petition to show our support for Moulsecoomb Primary.

A petition opposing the academisation plans by campaign group Hands Off Moulsecoomb Primary has already received more than 2,000 signatures.