Authorities need to tackle racism

21st September 2001 at 01:00
INSPECTORS have criticised four education authorities for not doing enough to combat racism and support ethnic-minority children.

West Berkshire and Southend education services were pulled up by the Office for Standards in Education for failing to implement suitable measures. Dorset offers poor support for its ethnic-minority pupils, and Stockport needs to promote racial harmony and bring in target-setting.

Inspections of five education authorities found only Redcar and Cleveland gave support to ethnic-minority children and made an effort to combat racism.

Inspectors found that West Berkshire education authority had no schools in special measures or with serious weaknesses.

It said the council's strengths significantly outweighed its weaknesses. It is commended for strong leadership and its support for school improvement, literacy and numeracy and schools causing concern. Its weaknesses included poor financial services.

Southend education service was seen as having significant strengths and weaknesses but OFSTED said it discharged most of its functions adequately. It has met with some success at raising standards but it has not been consistently effective. Its strengths include support for literacy and early years.

Its weaknesses include a poor relationship between the LEA and some foundation secondary schools and poor support for children in public care.

Dorset education authority was carrying out most of its functions satisfactorily. Senior staff were providing strong leadership. Its strengths lie in support for governors, children in public care, literacy and management. The number of schools requiring special measures is small.

Stockport has a strong commitment and sound administration. Communication and consultation with schools are good.

Inspectors found Redcar and Cleveland authority to be effective and well run and strongly committed to school improvement. Its many strengths include support for literacy and numeracy, early years and gifted and talented pupils.

Its weaknesses include poor strategic planning of school places and poor maintenance of school premises. No school in the authority has been found to require special measures.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Redcar and Cleveland Strengths:

* literacy and numeracy

* support for early years and pupils educated outside school

* support for ethnic-minoritychildren

Weaknesses:

* planning for school places

Stockport

Strengths:

* literacy and numeracy

* management and governance

* support for early years and gifted pupils

Weaknesses:

* target-setting for minorities

Dorset

Strengths:

* support for governors

* support for ICT

* support for children in care

Weaknesses:

* numeracy and behaviour

Southend

Strengths:

* literacy and early years

* planning for school places

* financial delegation

Weaknesses:

* relationship between LEA and some foundation schools

* support for ICT

West Berkshire

Strengths:

* staff expertise in supporting school improvements

* literacy and numeracy

* provision for SEN

Weaknesses:

* financial services

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