Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

No to new LA proposals

ASCL has publicly condemned the government's proposals to increase the powers of local authorities over schools, including a 15-day notice to improve. The plans are outlined in the DfES document Guidance on Schools Causing Concern.

ASCL warned government that the proposal's primary effect will be to discourage greater numbers of school leaders applying for headship.

In a statement to the media, John Dunford said: "This guidance is extremely worrying. It is a far cry from the Prime Minister's vision of schools being more independent from local authorities."

"The 15 days' notice to improve or be sacked only adds pressure which will make the job of leading schools more difficult than it is already. It will undoubtedly make it more difficult to recruit heads at a time when the numbers applying for secondary headships are lower than they have ever been.

"The guidance states that the existing relationship between the local authority and schools has been working well in recent years. Why, therefore, does the government feel the need to change it, and in particular why are they abolishing the principle of 'interference in inverse proportion to success'?

"There is little point in establishing a review of school leadership under Price Waterhouse Coopers, as the government has just done, if the conditions under which school leaders work are not improved."

His comments were quoted by the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and Times.

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