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BRISCOE RESPONDS TO LEA 'KICKING'

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Local Government Association chief executive Brian Briscoe has written to education department permanent secretary ...
Local Government Association chief executive Brian Briscoe has written to education department permanent secretary Michael Bichard to say he was 'disappointed' at the poor media coverage local education authorities in general received over the Hackney task force last week.

The letter read: 'I was a little disappointed to see the press coverage did not acknowledge our support . . . as I thought that was your intention.

'It was not appropriate before your announcement for us to make public our involvement, but the coverage today condemns LEAs generally (and by implication local government) by not acknowledging that we are trying to be helpful when - as occasionally will happen - things go wrong in some places.'

An LGA spokesman said local government got 'a kicking' in a Daily Telegraph leader.

'The point Brian Briscoe is trying to get across is that maybe the Department for Education and Employment didn't make it sufficiently clear how involved local government was,' he said.

But a DfEE spokesman said: 'The media does not necessarily report everything we say. The important story of the day was Hackney LEA and how it was in turmoil, not the recommendations made to the government by the LGA.

'It would be great if we could force the media to write what we wanted, but we live in a democratic society and to do that would not be very democratic.'

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