Interesting article today – Labour has pledged to put schools in local hands by appointing a team of regional education standards directors.

Interesting article today – Labour has pledged to put schools in local hands by appointing a team of regional education standards directors.

Plans assembled by shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt and former education secretary David Blunkett today outline how key centrally run functions could be devolved to local independent directors of school standards if Labour is successful in the next election.

Oversight of state funded schools, academies and free schools would also be handled at a local level.

‘To spread best practice, ensure probity and the equitable use of public funds, and to ensure transparency and accountability locally, we need a devolved schools system,’ Blunkett said.

Writing in the Guardian, the former education secretary said his recommendations offered a blueprint for a ‘major shift in English education – away from the centre and towards the frontline’.

Directors would be locally appointed and accountable, while councils would be once again allowed to open new community schools.

Hunt said: ‘Under Michael Gove schools are being left to “sink or swim” – more than 1.5m children are in underperforming schools. That’s why Labour will introduce new and robust local oversight of all schools to raise standards. That’s what new directors of school standards will bring.

‘Labour will spread the success of our “London Challenge” programme, which transformed London’s secondary schools from being the worst to the best performing in the space of a decade – Labour will deliver this focus on standards across the country.’

A Department for Education spokesman said the Government had ‘consistently demonstrated quick and decisive action if children are being denied the education they deserve’.

‘In contrast, local authorities have presided over schools which have been in special measures year on year and done nothing. There are currently 40 council-run schools that have been in special measures for 18 months or longer,’ the spokesperson added.

 

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