Education White Paper
Commenting on the government’s new education white paper, Alison O’Sullivan, President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said:
“As leaders of children’s services we have a moral imperative to ensure that all services improve outcomes for children, young people and their families. We know that effective and sustainable education services are best delivered through partnership working to ensure that all learners receive a good education, and that they, and their families, are treated fairly. A fully academised system eliminates parental choice and can create a sense of inequity. Take the new schools built miles away from where they are needed, for example.
“There is a clear case to ensure that the joint responsibility between central and local government for children is properly, and effectively, calibrated, that the local education offer responds to, and reflects, the needs of local communities and that accountability in the system is clear. We have previously raised concerns that the role Regional Schools Commissioner is on too large a scale to effectively oversee schools across large geographical areas, covering multiple local authorities. By removing well-established links between the local authority, local community and its schools we risk missing the opportunity to capture and make best use of capacity across the whole local system.
“We will be engaging fully and robustly with government on the review of local authorities’ functions and responsibilities including the consideration of the role of the Director of Children’s Services.”