Reforms may damage standards

17th October 2003 at 01:00
Sweeping changes to local government designed to prevent child abuse could damage the drive to raise school standards, senior local government figures warned this week.

Councillors and education officers fear that school improvement experts may be sidelined as councils switch their focus from education to other children's services.

Their comments reflect growing concern in schools and councils about the Children's Green Paper, which aims to promote closer working between social services, education and health.

Under the proposals, education and children's social services departments could be merged and led by a new director of children's services.

John Chowcat, general secretary of the National Association of Educational Inspectors Advisers and Consultants, said the Government must provide training for council officials to ensure that career paths for school improvement specialists are safeguarded.

Graham Lane, the Local Government Association's chair of education, said:

"There is a real danger that we may find the focus and money moving onto the care agenda and away from the standards agenda. Ministers need to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach and allow councils to adopt the approach that best suits their circumstances."

The National Union of Teachers said it is concerned that teachers may be made to be the lead professional, the individual responsible for a child causing concern. But the Department for Education and Skills said support staff are expected to take on that role.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today