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Tumbrels on hold

JOB security has not been a strong point at Calderdale, which has seen three chief education officers in eight years. Now West Yorkshire's town halls are rife with grizzly claims that further heads must roll if the beleaguered borough is to avoid becoming the first education authority taken over by a Government hit-squad.

Although it restored order to the troubled Ridings school, Calderdale - better known as Halifax - has taken a pasting from the Office for Standards in Education over its weak management and poor relations with schools. The authority has until September 14 to present an action plan and persuade ministers to keep the punishment squad at bay. At the moment Calderdale's efforts look doomed - since they don't involve P45s.

The DFEE provided scant reassurance. "It is for Calderdale to decide how it goes forward," said the man from Sanctuary Buildings. "It doesn't necessarily involve people being sacked."

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