In the last thirty years I have been lucky to hold a number of public facing roles in a wide variety of sectors. One of my current roles is Chair of BACA, a community school based in East Brighton. Brighton Aldridge Community Academy is located in a neighbourhood with challenging demographics. The role Of Chair is one of the most demanding and rewarding I have ever done.

I took over from Peter Kyle MP, as Chair, in June 2017, and Bob Speight became Principal a year later. One of my personal objectives is to help us increase stakeholder and community engagement. Many people do not know the great work we do! We are located off the Lewes Road, tucked obscurely behind the Keep and close to the Amex stadium. Our offering includes innovative year 12/13 courses that draw students from throughout East and West Sussex. Not a lot of people know that!!

There is much public debate about academies. I am neutral on the subject and only want children to get the best possible life chances. We are aware of the issue of the possible “democratic deficit” but we have brilliant voluntary local voluntary Governors who are grounded in the community, the school and have skills including expertise in education. It is pleasing that all the secondary schools in the city are ranked at least “Good” by Ofsted.

We are staging a Showcase day on Thursday 11 July-at BACA to invite all our stakeholders, including alumni. This will highlight our two specialisms;-Entrepreneurship and Sport. We are greatly heartened by increasing support from our business community. On 11 July we already have over 50 local companies helping us interview Year 10 students to help them prepare for the real world

In the afternoon the Aldridge Cricket Academy (ACA) will play the MCC in a cricket match. BACA hosts one of the few state school MCC hubs. Our indoor school is fantastic which is largely due to the generosity of Sir Rod Aldridge in financing the build..

If anyone would like to find out what is happening in the real world of state education with the current funding regime please feel free to join us. Even if only for the cricket tea and networking opportunity at 4pm!

Please advise James Collett at BACA by 9 June if you can make it so we have some idea of numbers for catering by our #students.

Jim May DL

Chair, BACA Governors