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News round-up 27/11: School leagues tables help parents, says LGA

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Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government

School standards

Speaking on the Today Programme, David Simmonds (Con), chairman of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said that parents and head teachers wanted clear and useful information to judge the quality of schools in their local area.

Cllr Simmonds remarked that in recent years the vast majority of school improvement work had been directed from central government and it had been many years since local councils had control of schools in their area. He was unsure how local accountability could fit into this model.

The most successful schools were those that took responsibility for their own “improvement journey”, he continued, and local league tables could be a useful guide for parents

 

Flooding

The government came under increasing pressure yesterday over cuts to flood defences and its apparent impasse with the insurance industry as the number of properties damaged by recent downpours approached 1,000, reports the Guardian.

Ministers were accused of cutting almost 300 flood protection schemes. They were also put on the back foot when insurance companies claimed talks between the industry and the Government had stalled, leaving 200,000 householders faced with the prospect of losing cover, the paper says.

However, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson described the claim as “complete nonsense.”

Toll roads

The LGA has warned that the Government must consider tolls or pay-as-you-go pricing to raise money needed to repair crumbling roads, writes the Daily Telegraph.

The paper says the ministers are due to publish the results of a joint Treasury-Department for Transport review into the major road network within weeks. One option Ministers are considering is privatising the Highways Agency on similar lines to the water and electricity industry.

 

Education

London mayor Boris Johnson has criticised the government’s crackdown on abuse of student visas claiming the move was “inflicted damage” on London’s reputation for excellence in higher education, the Financial Times reports.

Meanwhil, a review of the world’s education system has found that Britain has the second best education system in Europe, behind Finland, the Financial Times says.

 

Skills and employment

A government commissioned report into apprenticeships has concluded that employers should be funded by the state to buy the training they think works best, the Financial Times reports.

Meanwhile, only one in three people starting the Work Programme have found a job according to statistics from the firms involved, the Independent reports. Ministers are set to tell the suppliers to “raise their game” as the data shows the programme has made “a disappointing start”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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