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LGA: Give councils a greater say in school governance

10/07/2014 Kelly
Local authorities should be given the opportunity to oversee state schools.

This is according to a new report by the Local Government Association (LGA), which calls for the stripping away of bureaucracy so parents know who to hold accountable for school governance.

The body believes one point of contact should be created for every parent, regardless of what type of education facility their children attend. At present, councils are responsible for 84 per cent of schools. 

LGA plans also call for the development of education trusts in every area and this forms part of a wider programme in favour of the devolvement of powers to local authorities.

Councillor David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, thinks all children have the right to a good education. 

"Establishing education trusts will empower councils to ensure this happens across their local area. The current two-tier system of accountability is confusing for mums and dads to navigate," he added.

Under the current system, different organisations are responsible for different aspects of education and this means there are too many options for parents whenever they have a problem. 

Mr Simmonds stated the establishment of education trusts would remove bureaucracy and provide the kind of responsibility for the accountability of schools that has been missing in the past. 

"If the next government commits to our plans, all parents will get a place in a good local school for their child by the end of the next parliament," he stated. 

The LGA put forward the Kingston and Richmond Councils as an example of the progress that can be made by centralising operations. The two bodies have set up the Achieving for Children initiative, which is a community interest group. 

This led to the creation of the school performance alliance for schools, which is free for state schools to join and provides access to a range of statutory activities, collaborative partnerships and networking opportunities. 

Posted by Harriet McGowanADNFCR-2164-ID-801734427-ADNFCR
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