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Lessons from Liverpool

As the education portfolio holder since my party took control of Liverpool in May 1998, I thank you for the positive report on the outcome of our recent Office for Standards in Education inspection (TES, January 16).

However, there is one significant aspect to this which has been largely overlooked. Of the dozen or so authorities identified in the initial round of Ofsted inspections in 19989 as failing, Liverpool is undoubtedly the most successful intervention in a failing LEA by the Department for Education and Skills and probably the least expensive.

What is significant, especially in light of current debate on the future of LEAs (if they have one) is that this was the only intervention which did not involve partial or total outsourcing of provision to the private sector.

There are surely lessons there to be learned from this by a Government which claims its policies are evidence-based.

Paul Clein

Executive member

Education amp; lifelong learning

Liverpool City Council

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