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Further centralisation of powers as complaints procedure transferred to the DfE

31 July 2012

From tomorrow, the Department for Education (DfE) will take over from the Local Government Ombudsman to investigate complaints about the internal management of schools.

This move appears to be one more step towards centralisation in education which started with the academies programme giving authority directly to schools, monitored centrally by the DfE.

A recent research report commissioned by the government recognised that a main concern in the evolving educational landscape is the ability of the DfE, from their centralised position to monitor schools effectively at a local level. The complaints procedure forms an important part of this process.

There is call for some form of “middle tier” between the DfE and academies. The government have not clarified what form, if any, this middle tier will take but as more powers are taken back by the DfE they will need to consider this quickly to ensure that schools, and inevitably children’s education, don’t suffer as a result of loss of support at a local level.

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