Concerns persist over ‘semi-detached’ schools

Schools minister Jacqui Smith has denied that giving schools
more freedoms will be detrimental to collaboration between schools
and local authorities.

Confirming the introduction of three-yearly ring-fenced schools
budgets from 2008, Smith insisted at a Local Government Association
conference in London: “There is better collaboration where
schools are confident and autonomous.”

But John Bolt, assistant director of life long learning at Hounslow
Council, warned that valuable informal networking between local
authorities and schools could be lost if schools became more

The LGA said it had always lobbied hard against ring-fencing
because it “hurts councils’ budgets and removes their
ability to lead schools in a way that reflects the wishes of their
residents and council tax payers”.

An LGA spokesperson added that the final say on spending on
children’s services should be had by councils rather than
individual school forums, which would not have the “same
levels of democratic accountability to local

“We would prefer that current arrangements were maintained,
and schools forums worked in an advisory capacity,” he

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.