LETTERS: Academy refusal is a missed opportunity

WEST Sussex is the real loser in its refusal of the Durand Academy proposal.

Let’s face it, this beautiful part of the UK is not looking so attractive.

Midhurst and Stedham had a golden opportunity to embrace change, innovation and the modern world – even put themselves on the map: they blew it.

John Cherry with his offensive comments didn’t help, but it could have been rescued.

Instead, a vociferous minority embarked on a crusade – which probably felt meaningful at a parochial level but which ignored any sense of wider responsibility or adaptability.

I thought the words of Mark Dunn, former chairman of West Sussex County Council, summed up the problem well: “There was colossal opposition to the Midhurst Rother College Academy, now it has become an object of pride for the local community.”

The myopia that has been so overtly on display is essentially a betrayal of the next generation – locally and nationally.

Durand Academy has an outstanding reputation and outstanding prospects – it will go from strength to strength.

When will we be able to say the same for this corner of West Sussex, I wonder?

Michael Smith

Lambeth

London