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An influential coalition of fifteen organisations from across the children's sector has been accused of 'breathtaki...
An influential coalition of fifteen organisations from across the children's sector has been accused of 'breathtaking arrogance' by the NASUWT for issuing a statement calling for schools to be given a statutory duty to participate in the new arrangements set out in the Children Bill.

The coalition has issued the following statement in response to the comments from Chris Keates, acting general secretary of the NASUWT:

'The coalition of organisations that signed up to the statement entirely agrees with the NASUWT that schools should not be singled out as the only agency to be given a duty to co-operate with other services around the needs of children. Our concern is that schools have been singled out as the only key agency not to be given this new duty in the Children Bill. Schools are at the heart of services for children and their omission from the duty to co-operate is astonishing.

'We do not doubt that many schools will recognise the importance of working co-operatively with other agencies, aware of their responsibilities in relation to the welfare of their pupils. Indeed many schools are already demonstrating excellent work in this area. However, the Bill presents a once in a life-time opportunity to create a shared agenda for all agencies with a role to play in improving the life chances of children, within the same statutory framework. This could all be put at risk unless schools are brought firmly into this agenda. This is of particular concern at a time when the government is proposing to increase schools' financial freedom and independence from other local authority services.'

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