COUNCILLORS at a local authority - castigated as one of the worst in the country - are attempting to stave off a move to have its education services handed over to an outside partner.
Members of Bradford council's scrutiny committee voted by a margin of five to four to ask the Government to put its plans on hold for at least 12 months.
If accepted by the full council, this would be the first time an authority has attempted to thwart ministerial intervention following criticism from the Office for Standards in Education.
Members of the committee believe the Government should give the council more time to build on impovements made since the OFSTED report's publication in May, particularly as its schools had just undergone extensive re organisation.
Three of the councillors backing the resolution broke ranks from the Labour group, which has always supported intervention.
However, David Ward, Bradford's education spokesman, said that the proposal was unlikely to gain final approval by the full council. And, he said: "It is school standards minister Estelle Morris's decision. If we challenged her, I think she would be likely to say that you have not done enough in the past five months to convince me that things have changed."