THE chairman of Leeds United football club is to run the new joint venture company that will support the city's schools following a critical inspection report.
FA Board member Peter Ridsdale, an active member of the education advisory board in Leeds, has been influential in promoting links between the football club and local schools.
He will chair the company being set up next year to run education support services in place of the local authority following criticism from the Office for Standards in Inspection.
The joint venture firm will be led by a board of direcors including two representatives from Leeds City Council, two from a yet-to-be-identified partner organisation and Mr Ridsdale.
Education Secretary David Blunkett described the appointment of Mr Ridsdale as excellent and said: "This is very good news for the schools, parents and pupils in Leeds. Leeds is a great city and deserves an education service to match."
The council and Department for Education and Employment are expected to appoint a partner organisation in the new year, with the joint venture company taking over services to schools from April 2001.