The inspectors acknowledged that Milton Keynes inherited many problems when it became a unitary authority in 1997. They also said it was having to cope with a rapidly-rising child population - the area has the fastest population growth in the UK.
But they concluded that progress in too many areas had been inadequate, especially in special needs, strategic management, access to school places and aspects of social inclusion.
These weaknesses, as well as a lack of common purpose across different services had made it harder to provide coherent support for schools.
Although support was targeted effectively at the weakest primary and special schools, less help had been provided for the weakest secondaries.
The council's low spending on schools had also convinced the inspectors that it lacked commitment to education.
However, the authority was cedited with a clear development plan that was generally being well implemented and supported by schools .
The national numeracy and literacy strategies had also been successfully implemented.
The inspection team concluded that the LEA could carry out their recommendations for school improvement, but could not, as things stood, make the necessary changes to special needs and admissions.
Another inspection will be carried out in 18 months.
Literacy and numeracy
Support for weak special, primary and middle shcools
Support for new teachers and induction of heads
Provision for those with no school place
Support for children with behavioural difficulties
Support for those in care
Measures to combat racism
Support for weak secondaries
Performance management and the use of Best Value