Magazine article Public Finance

Kelly Consults Councils over School Reforms

Magazine article Public Finance

Kelly Consults Councils over School Reforms

Article excerpt

A new dawn of co-operation between central and local government broke this week as Education Secretary Ruth Kelly indicated her willingness to work closely with councils on her planned education reforms.

A white paper to be published later this year will facilitate the rollout of city academies, increase parental power and extend opportunities for charities and faith groups to participate in the school system.

In a keynote speech to the Local Government Association on September 6, Kelly said local authorities should abandon their traditional role as the providers of education and focus instead on representing citizens' interests and commissioning services.

'The new role is more complex, more demanding; but ultimately more rewarding,' she said.

'I want to hear from local government about the levers you need to play this new role. What are the constraints we should tackle - not rolling back the autonomy of schools but how do we help young people in your area achieve higher standards and greater equity?'

This challenge met with enthusiasm from the LGA. James Kempton, vice-chair of the Children & Young Peoples Board, said: 'A strong local authority acting as the champion for learners and for parents is essential. …

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