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
    Taylor.

    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
    responsibility.

    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
    happening.

    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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