Live updates

Parents delight after academy plans thrown out

Parents have been celebrating today after controversial plans to turn a Sussex school into an academy were dramatically thrown out. The headteacher of Hove Park had been the driving force behind conversion But late in the day he advised governors to vote against the plan, to avoid what he called "unrest and disruption" at the secondary school. Malcolm Shaw has our report.

Headteacher makes u-turn over school academy plans

There's been a dramatic about-turn tonight by a Head Teacher who had, until now, told staff and pupils that their school should become an Academy.

Derek Trimmer released a statement ahead of a crunch vote this evening - which will consider the future of Hove Park in Sussex. He HAD said that an Academy, independent of local authority control, could bring better exam results. But, many parents, as many as seven out of ten, have been opposing change. Christine Alsford looks at the background.

Advertisement

Sussex School U-Turn on plans for Academy status

A meeting will be held tonight on plans to convert Hove Park School Credit: ITV Meridian

A secondary school in Sussex that was hoping to become an academy has performed a dramatic U-Turn hours ahead of a crucial vote tonight.

The head teacher at Hove Park secondary school and sixth form is now urging governors to vote against a proposal to convert the school.

It comes after a fierce five month campaign of opposition by parents and campaigners who want it to remain under local authority control.

A statement issued by Hove Park head teacher Derek Trimmer - this afternoon says:

"I believe that with the level of uncertainty that exists amongst members of our community and the resulting level of opposition that may harm the progress of the children in our school, the time is not right for driving through such a change.

"Therefore I will be recommending to governors to vote against the proposed academy status and to support us in delivering our vision through continued partnership and willingness to consider a future where a family of schools could work together to benefit all the children of our community."

The meeting of governors tonight will decide whether or not to convert the school and follows months of opposition from parents and campaigners.

The Hands off Hove Park campaign have held protests, marches, held public meetings and even composed songs to voice their anger. They say academy status will make the school less accountable and fear it will be run more like a business.

In a ballot of 600 parents, more than 70 per cent voted against conversion.

And even some of the 1,700 pupils voiced their opposition with a demonstration on the school fields.

In some other parts of the region, three quarters of secondary schools have already become academies receiving extra freedoms and more control over their own budgets, timetabling and curriculum.

But Brighton and Hove has only three secondary schools that have been turned into academies because of poor performance - and high performing Hove Park would be the first to convert to academy status out of choice.

Hunt for sexual offender who absconded from court in Sussex

Police hunt convicted rapist Credit: Sussex Police

28 year old Sarbaz Najmadeen Ali went on the run after standing trial for a serious of sexual offences against a 23-year-old man in Hastings last year.

Ali had been granted bail by Hove Crown Court that allowed him to leave the dock during the lunch break in his trial as long as he did not leave the building. However on Thursday (4 September), part way through the judge's summing up during the trial, Ali fled from the court and disappeared. Officers have so far been unable to trace him.

The jury convicted Ali in his absence of rape, attempted rape and three counts of sexual assault. All of the offences were against the same victim.

A warrant has now been issued for the arrest of Ali, of Stockleigh Road, St Leonards, who previously worked as a barber in the town. Ali is 5' 7" and when he fled court he had black hair and heavy growth around his chin.

Detective Constable Julian Stokes said: "There is no evidence to suggest that Ali will commit further offences while he is at large but we need to find and arrest him as quickly as possible. The jury has found him guilty of these nasty offences but his victim does not have justice yet as Ali has not been punished".

Anyone with information should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

65 years under the Big Top

Now, have you ever wanted to join the circus? Well, if so, Norman Barrett could probably give you some advice. He's spent practically his entire life under the Big Top. Awarded an MBE in 2010, he is now celebrating his 65th year in the business! Andy Dickenson caught up with the legendary ringmaster in Hove.

Teachers will strike against turning school into academy

Parents went on strike last weekend against plans to turn Hove Park into an academy Credit: ITV News Meridian

Teachers at a school in Hove have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action next Wednesday against plans to turn it into an academy.

Last weekend, parents joined a march against the proposals which take Hove Park out of local authority control.

Advertisement

Dozens march in protest against school Academy plans

Parents have taken to the streets to protest against plans to turn a school into an Academy. They want to stop Hove Park School in Brighton being independently run, outside the control of the local authority.

John Ryall talks to Mark Steel, Comedian; Caroline Lucas MP; Natasha Steel, Campaigner; and Adam Powley, Parent, in his report.

Parents protest against school Academy plans

Parents and children at the march Credit: ITV News Meridian

Parents have taken to the streets to protest against plans to turn a school into an Academy. They want to stop Hove Park School in Brighton being independently run, outside the control of the local authority.

Campaigners gathered this morning Credit: ITV News Meridian

E-fit released of man accused of rape in Hove

Police have released this e-fit of a man suspected of rape in Hove Credit: Sussex Police

Sussex Police are hoping this e-fit of a man, suspected of a rape in Hove, will jog people's memories and help find him.

At around 10:30pm on Tuesday 29th April, the 51-year-old victim was walking home from a pub on Brunswick Street West when he met a man at the junction of Western Road and Lansdowne Street.

They got chatting and went back to the man's flat where he was raped.

Detective Sergeant Alex Evans said, "The victim was subject to an extremely nasty attack where a weapon was used. He is extremely distressed by what happened and he is being supported by specially trained officers."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting serial 1417 of 30/4.

Four-year-old boy bitten by dog in Hove

The woman is described as being in her fifties, of large build, with short wavy ginger brown hair Credit: Sussex Police

Police are seeking a woman whose dog bit a small boy in Hove. At about 3.15pm on Saturday 28 June the four-year old boy and his parents, who live locally, were walking down George Street, Hove.

As they passed Marina's Cafe a woman was sitting at a table outside with two terrier style dogs on leads under the table.

One of the dogs shot out, apparently without any provocation, and bit the boy in the upper right thigh causing two slight puncture wounds. Paremedics treated the boy at the scene, and referred the family to out-patents for further assessment.

Load more updates