The news from Hove Park School, where governors have unanimously rejected proposals to turn the school into an academy, just shows that ‘academisation’ is not inevitable, if you get a well-organised opposition mobilised quickly. Having a nationally-known comedian in your parent body (Mark Steel) and a professional song-writer (Robb Johnson) also helps a bit! The message of Snaresbrook, where academisation was also fought off successfully, is the same. Both schools seem to have had well-qualified and experienced middle-class parents (Snaresbrook even had a barrister) who felt confident organising a campaign: not all schools have that and too easily ‘roll over’, when they could have sought help and support from groups like HOOS. Hove also shows the central importance of the head teacher – Mr Trimmer was the driving force but once he changed his mind (for whatever reason) the governors followed his lead.
Great news and inspiration for campaigners like us who haven’t had a lot of success, largely because of the underhand and bullying tactics of the DfE.