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News - 9 July 2014

Local authorities want to oversee all state schools

 he Local Government Association (LGA) says the current structure, with councils responsible for most schools but academies and free schools answering to Whitehall, is confusing and lets issues "slip through the net", and that parents in England should have access to a single local body responsible for standards in all state schools.

 
It wants local education "trusts" to oversee all types of state school.
 
The Independent Academies Association called it "a step back into the past".
 
Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“Academies and free schools, which now number about 3,500, are independent of local authority control and accountable directly to Whitehall which, says the LGA, "acknowledges it lacks the capacity and local knowledge to provide oversight". It says that local authorities, while responsible for 84% of schools, lack adequate powers to hold the growing number of these other schools to account.”
 
A new LGA document urges the government to set up local "education trusts" for all schools, including academies and free schools, which would bring together head teachers and governors, "supported and held to account" by local councils.
 
David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA's children and young people board said:
"Education trusts would strip away this bureaucracy and provide an easily identifiable place which parents can turn to.”
 
Nick Weller, chairman of the Independent Academies Association, described the LGA proposals as "the latest attempt to resurrect the discredited system of local authority control.”
 
The government is introducing regional schools commissioners and head-teacher boards to improve oversight of academies, while Labour proposes a network of regional school standards directors.
 
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders said: "The LGA is right to recognise that the diverse nature of schools today can be confusing to parents; however another layer of structural change is not the solution.
 
A Department for Education spokesman said: "Academies are giving hope to children who have been failed by councils.
 
"Since 2010 we have taken 900 schools which were failing under council control and turned them into academies with the support of a strong sponsor."
 
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  
 
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