Author: Laurie Thraves

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Are we sleepwalking into a centralised education system?

Research carried out by the LGiU in 2011 found that most secondary are expected to be academies or free schools by 2015. Ultimately, this could mean that up to 24,000 schools and governing bodies are accountable solely to the Secretary of State. Conversions to academy status, according to new data we collected over the summer,…

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Final Session of APPG Social Care Inquiry

  The final session of the Local Government All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into the future of social care met yesterday. Evidence was given by Stephen Dorrell MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee, Shaun Gallagher, Director of Social Care Policy at the Department for Health, Sarah Pickup, new President of ADASS, Cllr Ann Naylor, Cabinet Member for…

England & Wales Blog Post

The quango question

This article was first published by Public Finance. Local government seems to have a love/hate relationship with quangos.  On the one hand, councils have in general been supportive of the current government’s efforts to reduce the number of quangos (or arms-length bodies as they’re more correctly known).  But back at the town hall, councils are…

England & Wales Blog Post

APPG Inquiry into social care

An alliance of more than 40 charities, healthcare organisations and private operators published a joint letter in the Guardian last week, calling on the Government to ‘end the crisis’ in the social care system. The organisations called on health secretary Andrew Lansley to build on recommendations set out in the Dilnot Report to create a ‘sustainable…

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Age UK Care in Crisis 2012 report

Today’s Age UK Care in Crisis 2012 report leaves no-one in any doubt about the scale of the financial challenge facing adult social care services. It finds that that this year’s spending on older people’s social care in England has fallen by £500 million. Age UK project that by 2012-2013 the government would need to spend…

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Councils need more power to fulfil education role

LGiU Director Jonathan Carr-West has a comment piece in this week’s TES.  Jonathan argues that, whatever you think of academy schools, they’re not going away.  He argues that there’s a reasonable localist case for academies since true localists should be committed to devolving power to the lowest level possible.  In the case of education, that…

England & Wales Blog Post

Katharine Birbalsingh’s free school

Food for thought in the TES, Observer and Telegraph.  First off, a piece on a storm brewing in Wandsworth over Katharine Birbalsingh’s planned secondary free school.  There’s a little local difficulty over the fact that the school will open in a Borough that has spare places in its secondary schools but not enough space in…

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Sutton Council raising the cap on primary class sizes

The Guardian reports that Sutton Council is spoiling for a fight with Education Secretary Michael Gove over its plans to raise the cap on primary class sizes to more than 30 pupils.  The Chief Executive of Sutton Council Niall Bolger is reportedly contacting other local authorities to test support for raising primary school class sizes.  It’s…

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Michael Gove’s speech at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College

Michael Gove go a bit hot under the collar yesterday morning according to Politics Home.  The pace of his academies programme has resulted in some critics branding him an “ideologue” presiding over a massive shake-up of education with little regard for the long-term consequences. In a speech at Habersashers’ Aske’s Hatchem College, he refuted this charge…

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Special seminar: The Education Act 2011 – working it out

Yesterday the Education Bill gained royal assent. The legislation is designed to create an education system that delivers higher standards for all children. However, some measures will create significant new challenges for local authorities. The seminar is aimed at local government officers who already have a working knowledge of the main aspects of the legislation.…

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