satisfactorily, and its services are improving, according to a report
published today by the Office for Standards in Education.
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.'