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News - 1 May 2014

Labour calls for new School Standards Tsar

Former education secretary David Blunkett has published a report calling for all state schools to be co-ordinated under local control with "Directors of School Standards" to monitor schools.

The government argues that free schools and academies are already held more rigorously to account than council-run schools - but is in the process of introducing its own regional school commissioners to monitor academies' performance.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“This blueprint from Labour sets out a structure for how different categories of state schools, with separate forms of accountability, should be co-ordinated in local areas. Academies and free schools, which currently operate outside council education services, would be monitored by these local directors, who could intervene if there were problems with underperformance.”

Under Labour's plans, Academies would become accountable to these new directors and would not return to local authority control.  Council schools would also be under the scrutiny of these local "standards tsars", with one in each local authority area.

Labour highlights concerns over the E-Act academy chain and the Al-Madinah free school and says that their proposals would provide a more consistent form of oversight - and would be more effective in identifying problems with academies and free schools.

Labour's current education spokesman, Tristram Hunt, welcomed this report.

The review has also been welcomed by the National Association of Head Teachers, saying that it "responds sensibly to the emerging challenges of a fragmented, even balkanised education system".

A Department for Education spokesman said: "We have consistently demonstrated quick and decisive action if children are being denied the education they deserve, no matter what type of school they attend.

"It is thanks to this government's reforms, including the expansion of the academies programme, that the number of pupils being taught in failing secondary schools has fallen by 250,000 since 2010."

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

Brilliant with numbers   
Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
Timely and cost effective 
In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

Helping Your Business is Our Business
 

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