Funding delay irks officers;Conference;Association of Chief Education Officers

1st May 1998 at 01:00
The chief inspector is not popular with the new leader of the CEOs' association. Karen Thornton reports

CHIEF education officers are frustrated by the Government's failure to tell local authorities how much money they will have to delegate to schools.

Frustration at the delays in the publication of the draft local management of schools scheme was apparent at the officers' conference in Warwick last week.

Delegates said it was difficult to plan to meet the demands of the school standards and target-setting agenda - including education development plans - without knowing what money they will have to set aside for schools.

Ministers have already said that they favour maximising delegation to schools along the lines of the grant-maintained sector, which worries local authorities.

Jitters about the contents of the paper were not soothed by comments from Roy Jobson, outgoing chairman of the Association of Chief Education Officers and a member of the Government's working group on LMS.

He told colleagues: "Many people weren't overjoyed about the code of practice (on school-education authority relationships). You will be even less overjoyed by the LMS paper. On the other hand, you should have seen it when we started."

Mike Lusty, Swindon's chief education officer, said: "LMS is the missing part of the jigsaw. Without it, it is very hard to manage forward planning in the other areas.

"Everyone is strongly committed to what the Government wants to achieve, but is asking for the means to be able to do it."

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