Beds comfortable with its progress

THE Office for Standards in Education produced a draft paper for consultation on local education authority support for school improvement. As the draft document it is likely to change before it is finalised.

Within that document there is a section that looks at the impact of LEAs' on school improvement. Bedfordshire was listed as having weaknesses. This should not be misrepresented as a statement that the LEA is in any sense, "failing".

Bedfordshire was inspected as a pilot authority more than three years ago before the framework for inspection was in place and prior to the introduction of the Schools Standards and Framework Act which introduced education development plas.

The overall judgment on Bedfordshire, at that time, in terms of its effectiveness in discharging its functions was "satisfactory, strengths outweigh weaknesses".

No further inspection evidence on the LEA has been collected since that time, and there has been no intervention by the Secretary of State. There is no reason for believing that the weaknesses originally identified have not been fully addressed, or that the LEA is not supporting its schools competently.

David Singleton

Head of LEA inspections

OFSTED

Paul Brett

Strategic director (learning)

Bedfordshire County Council

County Hall

Cauldwell Street

Bedford


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