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LEAs ARE GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY

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The publication of the comparative tables of Local Education Authority (LEA) expenditure confirms that the vast maj...
The publication of the comparative tables of Local Education Authority (LEA) expenditure confirms that the vast majority of LEAs offer good value for money. Strategic management costs are falling and delegation to schools is rising. All authorities, but one, have met the minimum requirement set for 2000-2001 and most are on track to achieve, or have already met, the 85% delegation target likely to be set for 2001-2002.

It must be remembered that, in parallel with the delegation of resources to schools, goes responsibility for ensuring that those services, once delegated, are managed effectively. The capacity of many primary schools to undertake further work is unlikely to be as great as most secondary schools and headteachers, from both phases, are already under considerable pressure from other demands.

Fair Funding has provided LEAs with a clear mandate and the best value regime should ensure greater efficiency. Any moves therefore to increase delegation beyond 85% should be viewed with extreme caution. Failure to exercise such caution could result in LEAs having insufficient resources to deal with key issues such as special needs and raising standards, and headteachers would be at risk of distraction from their main task of raising pupil achievement in accord with government policy.
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