Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Tories press ahead with plans to close Falmer High despite 'best school' accolade

The Argus has published its short-lists for its annual Achievement Awards celebrations, which are due to tare place at the Theatre Royal tomorrow (Thursday, August 27).

The Awards are a showcase of the best Brighton - and Sussex - have to offer: the greenest pupil, the local hero, the charity, the courageous child, good neighbour and so on. The citations are really worth a look if you've got the time - I can't find a link on The Argus website, but I'll post one later). There are some amazing stories there: of the Clock Tower Sanctuary, which has helped thousands of young people find homes in the city, for example, or green-fingered Piotr Szota, who has helped transform an overgrown courtyard at Varndean School into a forest fruit garden.

But I raised an eyebrow though over Falmer High being short-listed for School of the year for its 'dramatic progress'. Certainly not because Falmer doesn't deserve to win the award - it does.

Falmer is fast improving under the inspirational headship of Stuart McLaughlin.

But because the Tory-run council, with wholehearted Labour support, will close it in a year to be replaced by a completely untried (and not even built yet) privately-run academy, Mr McLaughlin, the man responsible for so much of the recent improvement at Falmer (and himself up for the Teacher of the Year award) having been replaced too.

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