Lib-Dems press for maximum autonomy

20th October 1995 at 01:00
The Liberal Democrats, who pioneered local management in Cambridgeshire, now want every school to be given 100 per cent delegation of its potential budget, provided the head and governing body want it.

Paddy Ashdown, the party's leader, said he was looking for maximum freedom and autonomy for all schools.

While the party's policy is to return grant-maintained schools to local authority control within a "light-touch" strategic planning framework, it wants their financial flexibility extended to all schools.

And said Mr Ashdown: "I would like to see 100 per cent delegation but it would be silly to impose it on schools that were not ready for it. I want to see how far we can practically go with this."

He added: "When Government reforms put the purse-strings in the hands of centrally-appointed quangos and the power to close schools in the hands of the Secretary of State, the rhetoric of devolved power is a complete fraud. "

The Liberal Democrats believe the LEA should have two primary functions - admissions and responsibility for fair funding. And while they want maintained schools to have the financial flexibility of the GM sector, that would not extend to disposal of assets.

Mr Ashdown insists that the proceeds of sale of assets should go to the local council.

The Government is consulting on a proposal from John Major that opted-out schools retain all instead of half the proceeds as at present.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now