“Fundamental damage” claim if education services taken away from councils

Local democracy and accountability would be “fundamentally damaged” if education services are taken away from councils, it has been warned. The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) says it would fiercely resist any moves by the Welsh government to strip councils of their current powers. This is from the BBC…

It follows the review announced by Education Minister Leighton Andrews.

He said he was not ‘ruling anything out’ including scrapping education authorities.

In his statement to the National Assembly on Tuesday, Mr Andrews said: “I have given local authorities time and money to get their house in order, but the evidence is overwhelming that this has not occurred.”

He said the “fragmentation” of education services with the creation of 22 councils in the mid-1990s was a factor behind a downturn in performance by pupils a decade later.

The Welsh government launched a programme of reform in education following disappointing results from an international comparison of school standards in 2009.

LEAs have been grouped into four regional consortia that have been charged with a responsibility to improve schools.

They have been up and running since September, but Mr Andrews told the Senedd chamber that “overall progress is, to put it mildly, patchy”.

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