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Bill welcomed;Letter

Your article on the way people perceive the Education Bill (March 13) in removing the role of local authorities from education is not based on the clauses in the Bill but the rhetoric of the grant-maintained schools and the views of Chris Woodhead, the chief inspector.

I have always said that Pauline Latham of the grant-maintained movement did not appreciate how the relationship between schools and local government had changed since 1988.

Local authorities do not run schools nor do they wish to. Community schools like any other will be under local management, that is, run by heads and senior staff.

LEAs quite rightly have powers to intervene if things go wrong but in addition are expected to work with all schools to raise standards and create a learning community. That is not done by interfering in the daily management of a school nor is it right to do so since the school has to be accountable to the community for its actions. A strategic role for the LEA is a far more demanding one than "control" and the Education Bill defines that role more clearly than ever before.

Many of us welcome the opportunities to work in partnership with schools and colleagues and do not share the view that the Government has devalued our role. It has done the opposite.


Education chair Local Government Association 110 Humberstone Road, London E13

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