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EVERY SCHOOL MATTERS TOO

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The local school is key to delivering the new national agenda for children and young people arising from the govern...
The local school is key to delivering the new national agenda for children and young people arising from the government's green paper, Every Child Matters, and school governors, headteachers and other school staff need to be more widely engaged in the discussion of developing policy, according to a new polemical pamphlet published by The Education Network (TEN) today.

Every school matters argues that despite the fact that schools provide the only universal service that is in regular contact with children for five days a week, 38 weeks a year, Every Child Matters was not widely distributed to school staff or governors. The resulting Children Bill, currently going through parliament, lacks reference to schools, their staff, governors and parents. However, 'Schools are paid for by the community to meet the needs of all their children...The local authority, which is responsible for children's services, will rely on schools to play a crucial role in serving the community's children.'

Every school matters poses twelve questions about the role of schools.

1. How important is the school in its local community?

2. Should schools be among the list of bodies in the Children Bill under a duty to co-operate with authorities over children's services?

3. Should each maintained school have a lead governor for children?

4. Should each school have a written policy on the broader children's agenda and its links with its local community?

5. What measures should be taken to ensure that independent schools are fully involved in the provision of integrated children's services?

6. Should each independent school appoint a lead governor (or equivalent ie trustee or director)?

7. Should each school set out how it plans to meet the needs of all pupils with regard to children's services?

8. Should government policy place greater emphasis on encouraging schools to recruit pupils from the local area?

9. Should schools inspections and joint area inspections take particular note of the role of the school (maintained and non-maintained) in the delivery of services to children?

10. Should schools be required to identify specifically how they deploy their resources to ensure that they are able to play their part fully in the delivery of integrated children's services?

11. Should each school be required to review its staffing structure to take account of the new children's agenda as well as workforce reform?

12. What are the implications for the training of school staff of the new methods of delivery?

The pamphlet was written by Chris Waterman, executive director of ConfEd (Confederation of Education Service Managers).

Notes

1. The Education Network (TEN) is an independent policy, research and information organisation set up to develop, promote and disseminate the role and good practice of local authorities in raising educational aspiration and achievement. Around 90 per cent of local education authorities in England and Wales subscribe to TEN.

2. A pdf version of Every School Matters can be downloaded here.

3. The printed version of Every school matters is available for£5 each from Central Books on 0845 458 9910, 0845 458 9912 (fax) or e-mail mo@centralbooks.com

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