Hundreds of parents, kids, workers and supporters braved the rain to march from Moulsecoomb primary school to a rally at The Level in Brighton on Saturday 15 May, demanding that the school remain in local authority control.
Despite overwhelming opposition, the Department for Education is persisting in trying to force Moulsecoomb to become an Academy. Under Tory laws building on New Labour’s Academies policy, it does not matter if workers, students, parents, the local council and community all oppose Academy status — as they do in the case of Moulsecoomb — it can still go ahead so long as there is an Academy trust willing to take over. And given the rich financial rewards for doing so, it is not hard to find one who will.
The strength of opposition has already frightened off several interested Trusts, but now the Pioneer Trust has its sights on taking over. The CEO has visited the school to sniff around, driving his Merc past the local council estate to get there.
This was the second march for Moulsecoomb, and follows three days of strike action in March and April, which featured large and lively picket lines.
Speakers at the rally included trade union reps and parents, and victimised rep Tracy McGuire, who brought a small delegation and banner all the way from Darlington NEU. Local Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle spoke of his strong support for the campaign, before proceedings were rounded off with a performance from singer-songwriter (and primary school teacher) Robb Johnson.
For updates on the Moulsecoomb campaign, like the Hands Off Moulsecoomb Facebook page. Staff at Peacehaven Heights school will strike against academisation on Tuesday 25 May, and supporters will protest at East Sussex Council’s County Hall in Lewes after picketing in the morning.