Confine reformed schools status to two categories

17th October 1997 at 01:00
Clare Dean reports that the Local Government Association is calling for a revision of the proposed foundation category of school because the battles over structure will impede the drive to improve standards (TES, October 3).

This is absolutely correct. Anyone who remembers the harsh battles in schools seeking grant-maintained status a few years ago will be dismayed that similar battles will now occur in many current GM schools over the proposed reversion to "community" status.

With the levelling of funding arrangements between locally managed and grant-maintained schools, there is little to distinguish between the two types of school structure so that any arguments will be based mainly on "do we or do we not like the our local authority?" The most effective way of overcoming these potential disasters is for the Government to decree that the only categories needed are community or "aided" - either of which will have a measure of local authority support similar to that proposed in the White Paper. The kind of local authority controls which the Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett and I enjoyed when we were chair of our respective education committees has long since gone.

Local management of schools gives all the independence a school needs.


84 Norton Road Wembley Middlesex

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