Review could remove councils from education services

Stephen Smith's picture
 3
This in Wales.

Very interesting this - Review could remove councils from education services http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-20414626 it seems that as we're given supposed local democratic accountability over the police force via the new PCCs, we may be about to lose local democratic accountability over schools.

Wonder where academies fit in ?

Oh and free schools ?
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Janet Downs's picture
Wed, 21/11/2012 - 12:54

A Welsh politician against the idea asked "Do we honestly think that centralisation is the best course of action?"

This politician obviously believes there is a need for local authorities and putting schools under central control is not a good idea. This puts her out-of-step with her colleagues in Westminster - the words were spoken by Welsh Conservative Assembly Member, Angela Burns.

Sally Davenport's picture
Wed, 21/11/2012 - 14:48

Did somebody just mention flippin 'Free Schools'? That's really spoilt my day.

.....that reminds me that I've got to start my story for LSN with the very uncreative:

I'm a Celebrity. Get Me a Free School over here!


xxx

Tony Chuan's picture
Sat, 24/11/2012 - 10:08

Local government is expensive and inefficient for all sorts of reasons:

'we created a system of government long ago, with organisational approaches and technologies for processing information that were the best we could do at the time.

......there are at least 40 different and substantively important ways of organising the inter-relations across tiers of government in most areas in the UK.

....we have invested so heavily in these departments, agencies and local authorities that we cannot bring ourselves to disinvest or reorganise in more radical ways that might now be feasible, given modern ways of accessing, handling, storing and processing information.'

The UK government tax take is maxed out but the population is not receiving value for money in return.

'Essentially it seems doubtful if the UK as a country can any longer afford to fund and sustain an overly complex architecture of services provision that was already tangled in
the early 1980s and was made far worse by the whole new public management
episode from 1985 to 2005.'

The advances in information processing power offers a solution:

'The ability to hold and access the world’s information in digital form......is now clearly an objective.......that will in some form be reached in the next decade.

The ability to collect information from more and more data points and to systematise it and analyse it in real-time in ever more sophisticated ways has tended to mean that in modern businesses increased spans of control are possible.

Higher tier decision-makers can now keep tabs on more subordinates...... be periodically involved in more decisions....

The consequences of such changes have been a widely noted thinning out of middle management in modern corporations, a substantial de-layering that has lead to flatter, wider hierarchies.

Yet in exactly the same period, and in an equally strong way, a second trend
in ICT developments has been for modern databases to be strongly decentralising.

Modern workers can now access far more information immediately than their
predecessors.........grassroots workers can now handle far more problems themselves, without appealing to superiors.......

Equally lower-tier managers can now handle a wider range of issues without asking for guidance from higher tier offices.

Thus the same staff can now handle multiple problems and issues, so long as they have extended ICTs supporting them.

This effect tends to strongly shift the locus of decision-making down the organisational hierarchy.'

For the educational sector this clearly means empowerment of schools themselves, resourced directly from a central government mandated to improve educational outcomes at lower cost to the taxpayer.

'So far the digital wave has only lapped against some of the roughest edges of public services. It has a great deal of momentum still to run in helping to simplify the landscape of public services in which citizens and businesses operate,'

The educational sector should lead the way in best utilising and indeed teaching the benefits now manifesting themselves as a direct result of the information revolution.

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