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News - 17 June 2014

Councils call for powers to intervene in schools.

 In 2010, the coalition called for all schools in England to become academies, publicly funded schools outside local authority control. Parents were encouraged to set up free schools too, which were also run outside local-authority control and funded directly from central government.

 
However, in the wake of the Trojan Horse inquiry, the Local Government Association (LGA) has reacted and has called for powers to trigger Ofsted inspections and challenge governors.
 
Councillor David Simmonds, chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, said Whitehall "lacks capacity" and knowledge to oversee more than 3,500 academies and free schools in England, and that it was "not acceptable" that poor exam results or an Ofsted inspection were the only triggers to investigate a school's performance.
 
He said that rather than creating new bodies for oversight, the "barriers to council intervention should be removed immediately" so councils can use their "vast experience" to improve the system and intervene early.
 
In a statement, the Department of Education said: "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.
 
"We have consistently shown that we are tough on failure. We are strengthening the failure regime for academies through the new Regional Schools Commissioners and Head Teacher Boards.
 
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
 
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