Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Council Counsel: Comment

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Council Counsel: Comment

Article excerpt

Our best school leaders demonstrate courage, moral purpose and a passion for school improvement. I have huge admiration for them and it is right that they are now in a powerful and pivotal position in the drive to raise standards.

The best local authorities are using their outstanding school leaders to drive area-wide improvement. The councils understand the new educational landscape and are determined to play a part in it.

Like outstanding heads, these councils make no excuses for underperformance. They work within the current tight financial environment and think creatively about school improvement. These authorities don't adopt a narrow ideological position on schools that are outside their formal control but see it as their duty to ensure that all schools deliver high-quality provision for all children.

However, some authorities don't think that way. They have been slow to encourage their best schools to become national support schools or teaching schools. They have failed to take the initiative and have held fast to old, centralised arrangements.

Whose ends are such authorities serving? Who is calling the shots in these areas? Who is championing the needs of local children?

Ofsted's last annual report highlighted stark and unacceptable disparities across the country when it comes to the chances of parents finding a good school for their children. In some areas, they have more than a 90 per cent chance. In other, seemingly similar areas, with the same demographics and the same levels of deprivation, it is barely 40 per cent. I vowed that Ofsted would investigate the reasons for these wide variations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.