Agenda item


Reports and appendices attached:-


A report from Cabinet Member Children & Young People is attached

-      Appendix attached

A report from Cabinet Member – Communities is attached

-      Appendices attached



the changing educational landscape – governance arrangements and performance.


Paul Cooke, Strategic Lead (Schools, Academies & Colleges) presented a report from the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People providing background and context to the evolving governance of school improvement in a changing educational landscape.


Government set out its ambitions for a school led system of school improvement in the 2010 paper ‘The Importance of Teaching’. The paper set out a school led system of school improvement , with governors, head teachers and teachers  all having responsibility for improvement, to be accompanied by a changing role for local authorities.


A more clearly defined role for local authorities was set out giving them a  remit to concentrate on delivering their core functions:


·         Ensuring every child has a school place

·         Ensuring the needs of vulnerable pupils are met

·         Acting as champions for all parents and families


This was accompanied by an expectation that local authorities would step back from maintaining schools with a shifting responsibility for school improvement to schools.


The school led model has evolved in Bury since 2010 bringing together the key stakeholders with an interest in the education system across Bury.


In May 2018 the Secretary of State published a consultation document on the principles for a clear and simple accountability system and linked to this the DfE set out its initial plans to support underperforming schools.

The local authority continues to have a role in education but as a champion, convener and commissioner in relation to the education system and with a diminishing role in the direct delivery of school improvement services as this aspect is taken up by Teaching Schools, Multi Academy Trusts and others.


The Government has also sought to clarify the respective roles of Regional School Commissioners, Department for Education, Ofsted, Multi Academy Trusts and Teaching Schools in terms of accountability.


A revised Bury Strategic Education Board will provide strategic direction, governance and accountability across the local system and connect to wider regional and sub regional systems and partners.


Appended to the report was a presentation setting out performance against a range of measures with comparison with local, regional and national data.


Those present were given the opportunity to ask questions and make comments and the following points were raised:


·         Councillor Hankey referred to schools transferring to academies and asked at what point the Council stops having responsibility.


Paul explained that the Council’s role will increasingly be a facilitation one and focus on the quality assurance of the school to school support and intervention. The Local Authority does remain statutorily responsible for overall performance. The Council will produce strategies that will set out the Council’s ambitions and priorities in relation to:


·         School readiness

·         Special education needs

·         Inclusion

·         Education

·         Governance


The Local authority has developed and introduced a new risk assessment process to assess each schools performance and enable appropriate support and intervention to be brokered for school leaders and governors.


·         Councillor N Jones referred to school budgets and the fact that a number of schools were in deficit. Councillor Jones asked what could be done about this issue.


Paul explained that the Council was working with schools on a deficit recovery plan.


·         Councillor Harris asked whether governance arrangements could be put in place that schools and the local authority can work with.


It was explained that everybody involved with provision of education across Bury were working to a common objective and appropriate governance would need to be in place. All schools and trusts were committed to this and the Local Authority were working with schools, governors, academies, regional schools’ commissioner and MATs to ensure that this work was done.


It was agreed:


1.    That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee receive annual report at an appropriate time


2.   That Paul be thanked for his attendance at the meeting

Supporting documents: