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Return school accountability to local authorities – LGA

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for a return of school accountability to local councils, stating that the current system is “confusing and fragmented”. 

Following the publication of Ofsted’s reports into allegations about an Islamic extremist ‘Trojan Horse’ operation taking place within a number of Birmingham schools, Cllr David Simmonds, Chair of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, said: “This has been an unsettling time for parents and children and it is vital they are at the forefront of any action taken in response to these investigations.” 

He stated that parents need to know who is accountable for their local school, but under the current system accountability is confusing and fragmented. 

“It is clear that effective oversight of standards and finance in schools across the UK cannot be exercised from Whitehall, and the jumble of regimes risks leaving mums and dads unsure where to go for help when they have concerns,” stated Simmonds. 

The LGA added that local authorities know their schools and the communities they serve and “strong local oversight by local authorities is needed to spot warning signs where schools are beginning to cause concern and tackle problems before it is too late”. 

There has also been a call to give councils powers to intervene in all underperforming schools quickly and effectively without the need to ask permission from Whitehall. 

PSE has asked the DfE for comment on the LGA’s proposal. However, at the time of publication there was no reply. 

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