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A need for local education authorities?

4 November 2013

A poll of parents of children at free schools has indicated overwhelming support for a continuing role for local authorities in education despite the rise of academies and free schools which sit outside local authority (LA) control. 91% of parents indicated that the local authority had a key role in ensuring high standards and 78% thought that the local authority role in admissions made the system easier. The survey is published against the backdrop of a number of problems emerging from free schools around finances and standards and the wider context of a reducing role for local authorities in education generally.

The survey responses on the LA role may be supportive but may also be based on the absence of a credible alternative 'middle tier' in the parent’s view. School leaders may have different views as our recent thought leadership document indicates – effective academies should step up and act as local leaders to raise standards rather than increasing the role of external bodies.

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