Balls ends privatisation of education in Bradford

1st January 2010 at 00:00

Schools secretary Ed Balls will hand the running of Bradford education services back to the local authority, dismantling the country's biggest local education privatisation.

Education Bradford, the trading name for global service company Serco, will not see its #163;360 million contract renewed in 2011, a decade after the Government insisted local politicians could not be trusted to run the service.

Serco was brought in to take over the running of Bradford's schools after a damning Ofsted report in 2001, claiming it could bring the city's schools up to the national average by 2006. The city has yet to hit that benchmark.

In its first year the company met only five of 50 targets and earned just #163;8,450 in performance-related bonuses out of a possible total of #163;870,000. It was later criticised for negotiating lower targets to make it easier to earn bonuses.

Mr Balls said: "I will do what I can to support local authorities and to strike the right balance between support and intervention.

"I don't want there to be formal intervention in any local authority for any longer than is absolutely necessary and it will always be a last resort. One of the ways that local authorities can help make this happen is by driving improvement from within the sector."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today