Over on the the ‘Half our pupils are missing’ education thread, there’s a clear divide opening up.
It’s between those who would abolish the LEA immediately and hand more autonomy to schools locally and those who believe that there’s nothing wrong with the LEA system per se – they’re just enacting poor government policy. The argument here seems to be that with the right kind of liberals in charge, our local LEA would deliver better results. Hmmm.
However If LEA’s are just toothlessly delivering government policy how do these people explain away the disparities in results between different LEAs then?
If you compare Bristol to Buckinghamshire they spend similar amounts on LEA administration (Bucks 16% of their total education budget and Bristol 14%), yet Bucks GCSE results are vastly superior to Bristol’s. How so if it’s all the work of central government?
Bucks is of course the authority that’s trying to get the first grammar school in 50 years built in the UK. Which most of us probably disagree with. However what it does show is that an LEA does not have to slavishly follow what the government says.
Perhaps if Heather Tomlinson and the Pickups spent a little less time implementing every daft new citizenship missive from the government and a little more time focussing on, er the fundamental skills, like Bucks manages to do, things may improve?