Morris attacked over LEA privatisation threat

18 Nov 99
The Local Government Association has accused education minister Estelle Morris of 'scaremongering' after she warned that a further 15 local authorities might have their services privatised in a drive to raise standards.

19 November 1999

Speaking at a conference of chief education officers in Warwick, Morris pressed local authorities to consider the private sector when trying to maintain service levels, even when they have not been criticised by Ofsted.

But LGA education chair Graham Lane said Morris's comments were 'misleading': 'The first 50 education authorities inspected were areas known for high levels of social deprivation and cannot set a trend for predicting the performance of dissimilar LEAs.'

He added: 'It is misleading to claim that one in ten LEAs will need intervention simply because four of the 50 authorities chose to work with the DfEE and external consultants to achieve remarkable recoveries.'

The government has already intervened in four authorities and is considering expanding the list of ten registered private sector providers.

In a further blow to councils' attempts to stage-manage their image, Ofsted chief Chris Woodhead said he would in future publish all reports on education services. Currently, inspection reports are only published when schools need urgent action.


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