All aspects of the Act are of interest to local government including student finance: local government wants all residents to succeed in their education and reach their potential irrespective of parental income or personal wealth. Listed below are specific issues which local authorities may wish to consider. There will be others.
School place planning: does the Act enable the local authority to secure that there are sufficient schools to meet the needs of the local population especially with the much strengthened presumption in favour of academies? Will there be the ability to remove school provision if there are too many school places for the system to run efficiently? How much longer will local authorities have to plan ahead in order to meet the new hurdles to secure school places?
Admissions: with the abolition of the admissions forum, will the local authority have sufficient levers over Academy admission arrangements in order to guarantee fair access to school places for the local population? Will the local authority have to resort to referring admissions arrangements to the adjudicator in order to achieve compliance?
Alternative provision: what is Government policy on alternative provision, especially for pupils over 13 to 14 years of age? Is the intention that such pupils are unlikely to return to mainstream provision and that they remain in alternative provision until they reach school leaving age and/or are relieved of the duty to participate?
Excluded pupils and pupils not in school (particularly those not on a school roll): are there sufficient powers for the local authority to secure educational provision for excluded children whether in maintained schools or academies? Will the amount that maintained schools and academies have to pay be sufficient to meet alternative provision?
Supply of teachers with QTS: what will be the effect of removing the register of teachers, especially when ascertaining that a teacher is eligible to undertake the specified tasks? (The Government has said that it is investigating whether to retain a list of qualified teachers.)
School governance: will the reduction in LA and the potential loss in community representation have an effect on schools’ links with their communities?
LA school improvement role and OfSTED inspection: while welcoming proportionality in inspection, how will the LA know that an “exempt” school is getting into difficulties if it no longer has to be inspected by OfSTED and there is no contact through School Improvement Partners?
14-19 co-ordination: will the loss of the LA role lead to inefficiencies in the supply and appropriateness of courses for this age group, particularly for the most vulnerable?
Careers and the Connexions services: the duties to provide a Connexions service will remain although the funding has on the whole gone and schools will have a duty to provide ‘impartial’ careers guidance for their pupils in years 9 to 11 from September 2012. What are the implications for LA services?
What do you think? Get in touch or leave a comment below
Working it out
We’re running a special seminar on Thursday 24 Nov aimed at local government officers who already have a working knowledge of the main aspects of the legislation.
The seminar will briefly go over the legislation, consider the implications of changes to the Bill during its passage in Parliament and discuss what it means for the work of local authorities. There will be a final session to discuss the implications of the new legislation as a whole. It will be led by John Fowler, an LGiU policy manager. John is the co-author of the LGiU’s Academies Act 2010: a concise guide. He has produced several detailed briefings on the Bill and led and contributed to a number of seminars on it.
Date/Time 24/11/2011 12:00-16:00
Venue LGiU, 22 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0TB
Rates One free place per LGIU/CSN member authority (subject to availability); additional places for LGIU/CSN member authorities: £100. Others: £200
To book online, please click here or for further information, please call 020 7554 2800