Cllr Judith Blake responds to OFSTED's annual report on the overall quality of education and care in England
Responding to Ofsted’s annual report on the overall quality of education and care in England, Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:
“We are pleased that Ofsted is echoing our calls for more transparency and accountability in academies and multi-academy trusts to ensure disadvantaged children can get an education of the highest quality that they deserve, whether that is in an academy or a council-maintained school.
“Evidence shows that council-led interventions have an even better record in terms of turning around failing schools with 89 per cent of maintained schools being good or outstanding.
"With the right powers, councils can play a leading role in school improvement yet again and help the Government meet the challenges currently facing the education system.
“The on-going review on the system for children with special educational needs to take on board the views of councils to make sure it works more effectively for everyone.
“The Government also needs to stress the importance of Ofsted assessing inclusion of schools during inspections – rather than focussing primarily on academic results - and hold schools with low numbers of children with SEND to account.
“We agree with Ofsted that there should be a tougher crackdown on illegal schools, which is why we are calling for the Government to enforce a register so councils can make sure every child not in school is getting the best possible start in life.
“Ofsted has rightly recognised the pressure councils are under to ensure children are getting the best support. The number of children in care is rising every year, in particular amongst older children who are more likely to require accommodation in children’s homes. However, shortfalls in funding for children’s services are making it incredibly difficult to develop and maintain the right provision locally that meets the needs of young people.
“Councils want to work with the government to ensure they fulfil their promise to review the care system to understand these pressures along with sustainable funding so the right homes are available for all children in the right place whatever their needs.”