School freedoms must be linked to broader responsibilities, managers say

Schools’ three-year funding guarantee needs to be
conditional on them taking responsibility for children and young
people in their area, a conference heard last week, writes Amy

Speaking at a Children Bill conference Christine Davies, lead
for children’s services at the Confederation of Education
Services Managers, said that the funding guarantee, outlined in the
government’s five-year education strategy , put schools in a
“privileged position” and with that came

She said that the funding should be conditional on schools
working in partnership with all the other local schools to take a
“collective responsibility” for children and young
people in their area.

Davies added that this was particularly important in terms of
school admissions and exclusions. She said that between them the
schools needed to ensure they were taking in all the children and
young people living locally.

Although there is a duty on schools to promote wellbeing in the
2002 Education Act the duty to co-operate to improve wellbeing in
the Children Bill does not apply to schools.

Davies went on to warn that there was a danger that the new
children’s services agenda could cause new groups of
professionals being created when the opposite should be

She said that instead groups needed to be
“collapsed” so people sat around the table once rather
than numerous times talking about the same issues.



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