Spending Review reveals government goal of “ending local authorities’ role in running schools”

In today’s Spending Review, chancellor George Osborne made the strongest statement yet that the government wants to see the end of local authority schools.

During a speech at the Conservative Party Conference in October the prime minister said he wanted to see local authorities “running” schools become a “thing of the past”.

But the direction of policy has been the encouragement of schools to “opt-in” to become academies rather than policies focused on limiting the ability of local authorities to take part in school services.

The Spending Review details, laid out in Treasury documents, state: “The Spending Review and Autumn Statement represents the next step towards the government’s goal of ending local authorities’ role in running schools and all schools becoming an academy.”

The document also details that the Education Services Grant – given to local authorities on a per-pupil basis – will be ended. Schools will be supported to “make efficiencies”.

It continues: “The government will reduce the local authority role in running schools and remove a number of statutory duties. The government will consult on policy and funding proposals in 2016.”

At present local authorities have a small number of statutory duties towards all schools including strategically planning education provision and monitoring attendance.

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  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone – anyone! – pointed out that under Local management of Schools, councils haven’t “run schools” since the late 1980s.

    That “remove an number of statutory duties” – presumably the RSCs will get those – all chosen by the Secretary of State. RSCs will be more powerful than any LA education director has been for decades. Oh, the irony…

    Meanwhile, the government has a policy of devolved government…not in education clearly!

  2. Dorastar

    Stupidly short sighted in terms of provision and cost to schools in long run. Who will fund/run SEN support, Ed Psychs, family interventions and all the things that support children in schools. Subsidies from LA mean these are affordable at same cost to all LA schools, cost of using private will be astronomical. Children will be directly affected and with local govt cuts there will be more slipping through the net and greater deprivation and need.