Headlines: November 12th, 2001

Next year will see a new era of partnership between local education authorities and external providers, ranging from private companies to voluntary bodies and non-profit-making organisations. Partnerships between education authoritities will also be encouraged. Broadening the range of partnership working will, for example, allow ‘outsiders’ to be brought in assess special educational needs and to prepare a whole range of plans. The Department for Education and Skills is also funding the development of new models for the delivery of LEA servicesMany LEAs are already using partnerships to deliver better services and the aim in creating greater freedom is to increase the capacity, quality and responsiveness of local education services. Imaginative arrangements to deliver local services will be encouraged and the increased freedom will set LEAs free to decide how best to provide pupils with first- rate education. The freedom will be delivered by making an Order of Parliament under existing legislation.

New powers will be sought in the forthcoming educational bill to direct LEAs to make use of an external partner as an adviser where it is the best way to turn around a failing school. The partner may be a voluntary body, another school, another LEA or a private company.