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News archive - March/April 2017

Councils should be able to set up multi-academy trusts, says LGA

Councils should be able to set up multi-academy trusts, says LGA

LOCAL authorities with a track record of strong educational performance should be allowed to set-up their own Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs), says the Local Government Association.

The LGA believes that schools should be given the freedom to choose - in partnership with parents and councils - whichever structure is most appropriate for local children; and if that means councils setting up their own MATs then they should be able to do so.

With 91% of maintained schools now rated as either outstanding or good by Ofsted, this was also the conclusion reached in a recent report from the House of Commons Education Committee (28 February).

Richard Watts, chair of the LGA's Children and Young People Board, commented: “The LGA has long been concerned about the lack of local accountability, financial oversight and governance arrangements that exist for Multi-Academy Trusts.

”If parents are concerned about an academy, at the moment all they can do is raise their concerns with a distant regional schools commissioner or the remote Department for Education. Allowing local authorities to set up MATS would ensure the council and its directly elected councillors, who know their local schools and the communities they serve better than anyone else, will be able to step in and help.”

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