Let parents decide if Peacehaven Community School becomes an academy

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We, the undersigned, call upon East Sussex County Council to reconstitute a proper governing body of parents, staff and community members at PCS, as well as re-start a full and meaningful consultation with a binding vote for parents before the school joins the Swale Academies Trust, or any other multi-academy trust.

We have serious concerns about PCS joining a multi-academy trust because:

1.    Academy schools can employ unqualified teachers

2.    There is no extra money for becoming an academy school

3.    The Swale Academies Trust pays £1 million per year to its CEO and senior management structure from school budgets, which means less money will reach the classroom

4.    Multi-academy trusts are less accountable to parents and the community

5.    Nationally, academy schools have a higher turnover of staff and the fact that staff at PCS have already taken 3 days of strike action suggests they will leave in droves if Swale takes over

6.    PCS was rated “Good” by Ofsted in October 2018 so there is no need to join a multi-academy trust

7.    We are concerned about who will be responsible for paying the £40 million PFI bill for the building after conversion

8.    Becoming an academy school is a permanent decision that cannot be reversed

The current unelected Interim Executive Board that is running PCS does not have the right to hand over our local school to a privately-run multi-academy trust. We believe the decision should rest with an elected governing body of parents, staff and members of the wider community.

The IEB should immediately halt plans to academise the school and plan a phased transition of power from the IEB to an elected governing body accountable to the Peacehaven community.