ARK is in danger of losing a long educational tradition in Hastings if it merges William Parker and Helenswood

ARK William Parker Academy. SUS-160920-151937001
ARK William Parker Academy. SUS-160920-151937001

From: Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing

In 1619, the Rev William Parker, Rector of All Saints Church, Hastings, died, leaving a will which said: “I give unto the Mayor, Jurates and Comynaltye of Hastings and to their successors for ever towards the maynteynance of a Religious and godlie Schoolemaster in the sayd towne w’ch shall instructe and teach the youthe of the Inhabitants of Hastings in learninge, manners and other vertuous education to gette their livinge. To which sayd use I give all my land in the parishe of Oer.” (William’s spelling, not mine).

ARK, which is short for Absolute Returns for Kids – whatever that means – is now proposing to amalgamate ARK William Parker with ARK Helenswood and call the new school ARK St Helen’s Academy.

Where is its sense of history, as it plans to wipe the name of William Parker off the face of the Borough in 2019, the same year that the school named after him celebrates its 400th anniversary?

ARK is a charity and, to be a charity, an organisation has to be, amongst other things, of benefit and do positive things; this proposed action is, in my view, completely negative.

When I attended the old Grammar School in Nelson Road we used to have a school song, which contained the words: “Years ago and years ago bright the record came, in centuries that follow us bright it must remain.”

That brightness will turn into darkness if ARK gets its way.