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Can local schools flourish as local authorities wither?

9 Dec

Local authorities (LAs) appear to be withering on the vine.   Schools, which have chosen to remain with them for different reasons, are in a dilemma because of the increasingly “hands-off” approach the LAs are taking to their institutions.  In the past, whatever the quality of service that an LA offered, the structure was there for schools in an area to link and work together.  This can no more be taken for granted for two reasons.

(i)            First, the much reduced finances of LAs make it very difficult to provide the number of services once offered schools.

(ii)           Second, schools have been forced to compete with one another – for the purposes of attracting pupils – because more pupils mean more money for the school and the better the quality of the pupils admitted means that there is more chance for the schools to climb up the league tables in examination results.  Continue reading

Why do we need Local Educational Authorities?

24 Apr

I           Introduction

Let me come clean.  I used to be the Assistant Director of Education for a Local Educational Authority (LEA) nearly a score of years ago.   My last few years with the authority weren’t good ones because the constant restructuring caused me to watch my professional back to protect my being from redundancy.  In fact, in my final four years, I was made redundant thrice and on all three occasions the redundancy notices were withdrawn.  However, on the last occasion, I thought that I could be more useful working for schools than the local authority.   Since then, I have not looked back.

Despite this, I do believe that now more than ever, we need local authorities to steady the national education ship.   Let me explain why.  Continue reading