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
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
- measures to raise expectations and combat the effects of social
- 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
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.'