Authorities applauded for good relations with schools

28th September 2001 at 01:00
Inspectors put pressure on Kingston upon Hull over A-level results but praise other authorities, reports Sue Learner

INSPECTORS have praised three education authorities for building up a good relationship with their schools and for their strong leadership.

Bracknell Forest education authority was particularly commended for its clarity, coherence and the consistency of its planning and performance management processes. The Office for Standards in Education found it had made a good start since it was set up in 1998. Elected members have established a clear vision and strategy for education and the senior management team provides excellent leadership.

The report said Bracknell Forest's support for pupils with special educational needs was a significant achievement, its consultation with schools effective and its support for improvement good.

On the downside, inspectors found that the LEA's progress in raising standards is no better than average and ought to be better for pupils at key stage 4. Bracknell Forest needed to provide more effective support for its most vulnerable pupils, they said.

Peterborough was praised by OFSTED for coming a long way in a short time. Inspectors found rapid improvements in its education service.

When it was first set up in 1998, its early progress was dogged by high turnover among senior staff. This led to poor planning and many schools lacked confidence in the education service. But OFSTED found much had been done to address these weaknesses and elected members and officers are now providing clearer leadership.

Harrow education service was also praised for setting a clear agenda for school improvement and for building up a good relationship with its schools. Inspectors said the director of education and his senior team had created a strong culture of trust, and consultation with schools and partners was good.

The authority's strengths are mainly in services which support school improvement but it has significant weaknesses in aspects of its special educational needs provision.

BRACKNELL FOREST

Strengths

* services to support school improvement

* support for schools causing concern

* support for school management and governors

* strategy and provision for special educational needs

Weakness

* provision for pupils who have no school place

HARROW

Strengths

* planning for school improvement

* leadership of services to support school improvement

* support for literacy and numeracy

Weakness

* Leadership in provision for school places

* support for children in public care

PETERBOROUGH

Strengths

* leadership provided by denior officers and elected members

* support for literacy and numeracy

support for schools causing concern

Weaknesses

* support for improving behaviour

* support for ethnic-minority children

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