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WHITEHALL WARNED TO KEEP OUT OF EDUCATION

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Fears that Whitehall will try to tighten control over education have spurred the Local Government Association to is...
Fears that Whitehall will try to tighten control over education have spurred the Local Government Association to issue a strong defence of councils' roles.

A leaflet entitled Councils - top of the class for improving education argues that any attempt to manage local schools from the Department for Education & Skills would be bound to end in failure.

'Funding 25,000 schools and nine million pupils from Whitehall will not lead to an inclusive and effective education system to meet localities' and pupils' needs,' the association said.

The local management of schools system and 'years of restricting regulations' have made it impossible for councils to target funds to the schools most in need, it added.

The pamphlet calls for an end to these restrictions and for a simpler funding system. Tension has risen since the 'missing millions' affair last spring (LGC,25 April), when education secretary Charles Clarke blamed the funding crisis that hit many schools on decisions by councils to divert funds to other budgets.

Councils insisted that the money had gone to non-school activities within their education budgets.

This prompted Mr Clarke to issue a guarantee that all schools would receive at least a minimum increase next year.

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