Moulsecoomb Primary School: Academy Trust Ends Sponsorship Plan

A STRUGGLE elementary school could be closed after an academy trust abandons plans to sponsor it.

The New Horizons Academy Trust had expressed interest in supporting Moulsecoomb Primary School in Lewes Road, Brighton.

Education heads have ordered the school to become an academy, or risk being closed, but this has sparked protests from parents and the community.

However, New Horizons withdrew from plans to support the school and said protesters had made the mood “toxic.”

The Education Department said Brighton and Hove City Council had failed to effectively run the school and had to either become an academy or face closure.

But the council’s education chiefs fought back and said the school was making progress and accused New Horizons of showing “complete disrespect.”

New Horizons Director of Education Lee Murley said: “As a trust, we have a moral obligation to ensure the well-being of our own staff and we would feel very uncomfortable to send them to an environment where they would not be welcome.

“Right now the atmosphere for those looking to help the school is toxic.

“Parental opposition is something we would never bow to when something as important as the future of children is in question.

“But when objections also come from within the school, that’s when improvements become unsustainable. ”

Mr Murley, who is principal of Seaside Elementary School in Lancing, said the trust is keen to work with staff and parents.

Moulsecoomb was judged “inadequate” by Ofsted inspectors because reading, writing and math levels were well below average.

In June, the school received an order from the Ministry of Education.

This sparked protests from parents, students, staff and politicians, which included the organization of a mock burial.

Mr. Murley added, “We are a small local academy trust. We have firsthand experience in turning a school around and transforming children’s education for the better, and we wanted to share how we did it with Moulsecoomb.

But Councilor Kate Knight, who sits on the Children, Youth and Skills Committee, said talking about the academy’s new trust had been a “distraction.”

She said: “The New Horizons Academy Trust has shown a total disrespect for those dedicated to the success of Moulsecoomb Primary School.

“He is making good progress under his current leadership and with the full support of our education team and other schools.

“The best thing to do is to leave Moulsecoomb primary school alone.

“We must let those with a sincere commitment and understanding of this school continue to improve. It is shameful that the trust chose to make such negative comments about our school, behavior that seems to say a lot about their values. Frankly? It seems that Moulsecoomb’s primary was lucky. ”


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