Annal Nayyar blogs LGA calls for academy intervention powers

The Local Government Association has called on the government to restore ‘stability’ to school governance by returning powers over school intervention to town halls.

Following an investigation by education watchdog Ofsted into extremism in schools in Birmingham, the umbrella group of local authorities said reestablishing local oversight of all schools was vital. The review by Ofsted found that some academies breached their funding agreements by failing to provide a ‘broad and balanced’ curriculum, and five schools were placed in special measures.

David Simmonds, chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, said that in particular, local authorities should have the power to trigger Ofsted inspections as well as challenging governors and scrutinising budgets.

Currently, schools that convert to academies, as well as free schools established by parents and other groups, are free from local authority control.

Councils support school choice and have worked with both their primary and secondary schools to convert to academy status if required, Simmonds said. However, far too many schools remain under notice to improve and councils want to be able help schools improve without negotiating bureaucratic hurdles and obtaining permission from Whitehall.

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