These are the facts:
* The 2001 Office for Standards in Education re-inspection found that there has been a significant improvement in the strategic capacity of the LEA.
Its strategic management is now sound and partnership with schools has significantly improved. Moreover, the revised educational development plan is a marked improvement on its predecessor.
lThe Department for Education and Skills decided the Partnership Board had completed its work and stood it down in June 2002. The board's final report to the DfES states "the LEA has advanced significantly... The overall leadership by senior officers of the LEA was recognised as one of the strengths in the follow-up inspection".
lThe recent White Paper Schools achieving success cites Leicester LEA improvement as among the best.
lThe comprehensive performance assessment awarded Leicester City LEA two stars for its performance - making education the city's top service.
lPerhaps most importantly, key stage tests, GCSE and ASA-level performance is all trundling upwards. The 2002 GCSE performance was the highest ever and improving at a much faster rate than the national average. Moreover, three city schools were identified by the chief inspector in his last annual report as being particularly successful schools.
Steven Andrews Corporate director Leicester City Council Education and lifelong learning Marlborough House 38 Welfare Road Leicester