Magazine article Public Finance

Teachers and Town Halls Up in Arms over School Plans

Magazine article Public Finance

Teachers and Town Halls Up in Arms over School Plans

Article excerpt

The government s education plans for its third term will threaten working relations between schools and local government, teaching leaders warned this week.

The forthcoming Education Bill, unveiled in the Queens Speech on May 17, promised 'further reform... to improve quality and choice' but attracted criticism from teachers and head teachers alike.

Proposals to extend foundation status to primary schools drew the ire of the National Union of Teachers, which said it was neither wanted nor necessary.

NUT general secretary Steve Sinnott said: 'Foundation status undermines productive co-operation between schools and local authorities.'

The Secondary Heads Association directed its criticism at plans to give Ofsted the power to close failing schools. 'There is no need for this,' said John Dunford, SHA general secretary.

'We are strongly opposed to giving powers to Ofsted to close schools. This should be done only by local authorities, which have the long-term strategic responsibility for school places and understand the needs of their local communities.'

The Local Government Association has been a persistent critic of moves to make schools more autonomous, which it says runs counter to councils' efforts to promote child welfare. …

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