Second visit for Milton Keynes

2nd February 2001 at 00:00
Milton Keynes education authority faces a re-inspection following a critical inspectors' report on its school services.

The inspectors acknowledged that Milton Keynes inherited many problems when it became a unitary authority in 1997. They also said it was having to cope with a rapidly-rising child population - the area has the fastest population growth in the UK.

But they concluded that progress in too many areas had been inadequate, especially in special needs, strategic management, access to school places and aspects of social inclusion.

These weaknesses, as well as a lack of common purpose across different services had made it harder to provide coherent support for schools.

Although support was targeted effectively at the weakest primary and special schools, less help had been provided for the weakest secondaries.

The council's low spending on schools had also convinced the inspectors that it lacked commitment to education.

However, the authority was cedited with a clear development plan that was generally being well implemented and supported by schools .

The national numeracy and literacy strategies had also been successfully implemented.

The inspection team concluded that the LEA could carry out their recommendations for school improvement, but could not, as things stood, make the necessary changes to special needs and admissions.

Another inspection will be carried out in 18 months.

MILTON KEYNES

STRENGTHS

Target-setting

Literacy and numeracy

Support for weak special, primary and middle shcools

Early years

Support for new teachers and induction of heads

Educational psychology

WEAKNESSES

Special needs

Provision for those with no school place

Support for children with behavioural difficulties

Support for those in care

ICT

Measures to combat racism

Support for weak secondaries

Performance management and the use of Best Value


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