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Ofsted targets under-performing local authorities

17 January 2013

Today Ofsted will kick off a wave of inspections of schools in local authorities where standards are considered too low. This follows Ofsted reporting in November on the vast difference in standards across different authorities, findings which Chief Inspector Michael Wilshaw deemed unacceptable.

A large focus of these inspections will be the local authority’s role. Schools can expect to be asked how the local authority supports the school and how it challenges the school to raise standards. 

The Local Government Association accepts it is right to question underperformance but argues that local authorities are increasingly powerless in a sector focussing on departure from local authority control. However, under legislation it remains the case that school intervention powers exist – for example an authority can issue a warning notice where performance is poor. Use of such powers will trigger a school becoming 'eligible for intervention', a status which paves the way for forced academy conversion.

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