The campaign to stop Moulsecoomb Primary School becoming an academy continues with a community protest march at 10am on 15 May 2021. The march will start from Moulsecoomb Primary to The Level in Brighton.
This follows the latest round of industrial action on 28 and 29 April where UNISON members, along with their colleagues in GMB and NEU, undertook two days of strike action, closing the school.
The campaign relates to a proposed change of employer and status of the school. After over a year of improvements, Moulsecoomb remains under a forced academisation notice by the Department for Education.
The Hands off Moulsecoomb campaign by parents, staff, unions, the community, councillors and members of parliament has already seen several would-be Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) sponsors walk away from the situation, including New Horizon Academy Trust.
The latest MAT to be named as a potential sponsor is The Pioneer Academy Trust. This has become controversial because one of the OFSTED inspectors who triggered the original forced acadamisation process is a senior employee of the Pioneer Trust.
Other objections surround future decision making at the school. Campaigners fear that decisions will no longer be made by an accountable local level, and wold in future be made by an unaccountable trust board without any community links. Pioneer Academy Trust (like other MATs) spends huge amounts of money on board room salaries. Pioneer’s CEO alone earns over £140,000 per year for running 11 schools.
Taking strike action continues to be a difficult decision for the committed and hardworking staff at the school who have worked tirelessly to improve pupil outcomes (an improvement acknowledged by OFSTED).
During industrial action, UNISON, GMB and NEU members have covered the costs of the free school meals that many of the children would have otherwise lost out on due to the strike.