Redwood calls for scrapping of LEAs

18th August 1995 at 01:00
Schools should be financed directly from central government on a pupil by pupil basis, according to John Redwood, writes Frances Rafferty.

The former Welsh Secretary, who unsuccessfully challenged John Major for the leadership of the Conservative party last month, this week launched his think tank, the Conservative 2000 Foundation.

He told The TES that the present funding arrangement for education was far too complicated. "It must be made more simple, for example money should be allocated by pupil and follow the pupil."

He believes that the funding councils for schools, colleges and universities should be scrapped as unnecessary bureaucracies. Local education authorities are also seen as unnecessary.

In The Times this week, Mr Redwood described school governing bodies as "models of local, devolved power", and governors as having the best sort of interests in the running and success of school rather than political LEAs.

Members of the foundation, including Mr Redwood and Hywel Williams, its policy director, will visit the United States later this summer, where they hope to meet Newt Gingrich, the radical Republican whose idea of reducing the role of government, and stress on moral responsibility, chimes with right-wing Tories.

Mr Redwood described his foundation as "broad church and open door". But it is being seen as his bid for the Conservative leadership at a future date. The foundation's constitution states its objective is to develop Mr Redwood's policies as set out in the leadership campaign in June and July. Its first document calls for more opted-out schools, the expansion of popular schools, cutting truancy, and encouraging better teaching techniques.

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