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MEDWAY LEA HAS MADE A GOOD START

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Medway Local Education Authority (LEA) is strongly customer-focused ...
Medway Local Education Authority (LEA) is strongly customer-focused

and has well-developed mechanisms for consulting the community. Good

progress has been made in building partnerships with external

agencies and in establishing relationships with schools and the

Education Action Zone, according to a report published by OFSTED.

OFSTED reports that the strategy for school improvement is developing

steadily. Although the LEA, like its schools, is facing difficulties

in recruiting and retaining staff.

Resources are targeted appropriately, members provide satisfactory

leadership and decision-making is open and transparent.

Inspectors reported that the LEA performs almost all of its functions

at least satisfactorily and many of them well. Particular strengths

of the LEA include:

- support for early years education;

- support to school governors;

- the strategy and support for the development of information and

communication technology within the curriculum;

- the clarity and consistency of corporate plans;

- the leadership of senior officers and the advice given to elected

members;

- measures to raise expectations and combat the effects of social

disadvantage;

- support to raise the attainment of young people in public care;

- provision of personnel services to schools;

- support provided by the education welfare service.

There are weaknesses, but these are greatly outweighed by the overall

strengths of the LEA. Weaknesses are:

- the implementation of the strategy for special educational needs;

- the strategy for supporting ethnic minority pupils;

- inadequate catering services.

The inspectors also reported that the authority has the energy, drive

and ambition to make a difference and that senior officers provide

effective leadership.

Chief inspector Mike Tomlinson said:

'Medway LEA has made a good start, tackling some inherited

challenges. It can achieve more, and I am confident that the LEA is

capable of responding to the recommendations in the report, and of

continuing to make progress.'

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