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Dorset local education authority (LEA) fulfils most of its functions ...
Dorset local education authority (LEA) fulfils most of its functions

satisfactorily, and its services are improving, according to a report

published today by the Office for Standards in Education.

Inspectors say that many services are providing satisfactory or good

support for school improvement. However, there are weaknesses in the

quality of education planning and evaluation, and in the rigour with

which Best Value principles are applied. Dorset CC made slow

progress in developing the national agenda for education following

local government reorganisation. In the past two years senior

officers and elected members have made strenuous efforts to catch up

the lost ground and this work is beginning to have an impact.

The director of education has set a new climate for change and

development and there is a mood of optimism in many schools. Senior

staff provide sound and thoughtful leadership. They have a strong

commitment to school improvement and have established appropriate

structures for the future which are beginning to take shape. Areas

where the LEA fulfils its functions satisfactorily include progress

in implementing the Education Development Plan, support for literacy

in primary schools, and support for school management and attendance.

The authority exercises the following functions well:

support for information and communication technology in the


- support for governors;

- statutory provision for pupils with special educational needs;

- support for children in public care.

The LEA does not fulfil its functions satisfactorily in the following


- support for numeracy and for behaviour;

- the strategy for special educational needs;

- performance management and processes for securing Best Value;

- measures to combat racism and support for minority ethnic pupils.

Chief inspector Mike Tomlinson said:

'Dorset local education authority is well led. Elected members and

the senior management team are determined to move forward, and the

LEA has the capacity to improve further.'

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