Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, responds to Department for Education figures published today which show the proportion of state-funded schools in England over capacity has fallen.
“Councils have an excellent history of ensuring a sufficient number of good school places are available.
“It is good that school standards are rising but, while there are examples of successful sponsor-led conversions to academy status, the evidence shows that converting to an academy is not always the best solution for a struggling school.
“As well as improving standards in all schools, councils have an excellent track record in turning around failing schools, with 9 out of 10 council-maintained schools now rated as good or outstanding – compared to 8 out of 10 for academies.
“This is a demonstrable record that councils are doing everything they can to rise to the challenge of ensuring every child has a school place and receives an excellent education.
“The Government should recognise and credit the unique role of councils in school place creation and improvement and should give councils the necessary powers to ensure they continue to play a leading role in providing school places for children.”
Notes to editor
- In response to sharply increasing demand, councils have secured the creation of an extra 825,000 school places since 2010, made up of 557,000 primary and 248,000 secondary places. You can view more data in our report ‘Improving schools: Moving the conversation on’
- Comparison with previously maintained schools that became a sponsored academy shows that since 2013, a larger proportion of council-maintained schools (75.7 per cent) are now good or outstanding, compared to sponsor-led academies (59.4 per cent).
#CouncilsCan: Spending Review 2019
With the right funding and powers, councils can continue to lead local areas, improve residents’ lives, reduce demand for public services and save money for the taxpayer. Securing the financial sustainability of local services must be the top priority for the Spending Review.