Tuesday 19 April 2016

White Paper says local authorities will 'ensure' academies take every child. How?

Look at this from the White Paper. It means, I think, that local authorities will run about making sure that the academies in their area take all the children in their area. But how? Local authorities have no power over the academies. Why would the governing body of an academy or MAT necessarily say yes? Chaos, children-dumping and risk to follow:

4.77. In future, local authority education duties will be focused on three areas:

Local authorities play an important role in the education system: ensuring every child has a school place, that the needs of all pupils are met and championing parents and families. They will step back from running schools and school improvement
a. Ensuring every child has a school place:including that there are sufficient school, special school and alternative provision places to meet demand.

Local authorities will retain responsibility for this in a fully academised system. The government will support them by continuing to provide substantial funding to allow them to deliver sufficient places, as well as by creating places through the free schools programme. As in the past, we expect that they will use their strong relationships with local schools to deliver the places needed in a local area, including planning ahead where necessary to support applications through the central free schools programme or to seek proposals for presumption free schools. Where local authorities are failing in this duty, the government will not hesitate to intervene. Local authorities will also work with schools and parents in developing local school transport policies, giving schools the opportunity to provide school transport services where that makes sense locally; and take a lead in crisis management and emergency planning