Brighton leaves its peers behind

9th June 2000 at 01:00
IT'S a story of improvement, effective leadership and well-run partnership in Brighton and Hove.

Inspectors say strengths outweigh weaknesses and most of what the authority does, it does well.

The findings are encouraging for a service which began from scratch three years ago, when the authority was formed after local government re organisation.

There is still work to do but the authority is not quibbling about its first inspection report by the Office of Standards in Education.

"There is welcome and deserved praise in this report for everyone who has worked hard to create the new education authority," said Frieda Warman-Brown, executive councillor for education.

Inspectors say Brighton and Hove has worked vigorously to address problems it inherited. They say that the authority has acted promptly to reduce surplus primary places and to tackle inequalities and varying standards of achievement across its schools.

Changes in leadership, organisation and management have combined to improve significantly the authority's support for schools and its communications with them.

Overall primary-school performance is broadly in line with he national average, but about a third of schools are still underachieving.The LEA is aware of this and is challenging these schools to improve.

Tameside.

Strengths.

* Support for numeracy, governors and attendance.

* Support for schools causing concern.

* Management of admissions and appeals.

* Collaboration between agencies.

Weaknesses.

* Planning of education budget.

* Support for target-setting and supply of performance data.

* Information and communications technology.

* Support for school management.

* Planning, monitoring and evaluating services and deployment of resources.

Brighton.

Strengths.

* Strategic management.

* Literacy and numeracy.

* Work in early years, lifelong learning and social inclusion.

* Support for children in care.

* Support for pupils with English as an additional language.

Weaknesses.

* Information technology.

* Arrangements for secondary pupils temporarily without a school place.

* Quality assurance for externally-provided services to schools.

* Monitoring services supporting behaviour and attendance.


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