Education | LocalGov

Over 10,000 children missing from education system


Local authorities in England have no idea what has happened to over 10,000 children who have left state education.

Sharp increase in home schooling, survey shows


A survey of councils in the south of England shows a sharp rise in the number of children being educated at home.

School leaders call for Ofsted exemption due to RAAC


School leaders have called for all schools impacted by the dangerous concrete scandal to be exempt from Ofsted inspections until they are ‘fully operational’.

New £4.9m bonus scheme amid childcare expansion concerns


The Government has launched a recruitment drive ahead of its free childcare expansion, but a major early years organisation has warned it will do little to boost staff numbers before rollout.

Children with SEND impacted by psychologist shortage


The lives of children with SEND are being negatively affected by the shortage of educational psychologists, the local government ombudsman has warned.

Divided education system ‘unsustainable’, think tank warns


An education system divided between academies and council-maintained schools has become ‘undesirable and unsustainable’, according to an education think tank.

Schools face ‘impossible choices’ as demand drops


Falling demand for school places across London will have major implications for the future of education provision in the capital, a new report says.

North Northants fined £1,500 after girl misses school


The leader of North Northamptonshire Council has apologised to the family of a girl who missed part of her education because of her health.

Devon and Torbay devolution deal announced


Devon County Council and Torbay Council are set to enter a level 2 devolution deal with the Government.

Pupils leaving RAAC schools, heads warn


Students are increasingly being taken out of schools that are affected by a crumbly form of concrete, headteachers have warned.

Council concerned about Dyson’s £6m school donation


Wiltshire Council has raised concerns about the impact of a £6m donation to a local school by billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson.

Schools blunder to cost council £60m


A report has found that Renfrewshire Council, whose ‘gross incompetence’ left a community short of hundreds of school places, has again failed to be transparent with residents on school provision.

New £1.5m package to support school leaders launched


The Government has announced a new £1.5m package to help support the mental health and wellbeing of school and college leaders.

Council slammed over complaints response


A watchdog has been ‘compelled’ to publicly highlight Bury Council’s failures after the authority took too long to remedy complaints.

Labour outlines plans to boost attendance


Local authorities would be required to keep a register of all children not in school under a Labour government, the shadow education secretary announced today.

Nine million adults lack essential skills


Nine million adults lack essential skills with skill level disparities within local areas far exceeding those between local and combined authorities.

Half of teachers work with homeless children


The ‘nightmare of child homelessness’ is damaging children’s education as they suffer exhaustion, hunger and poor mental health, Shelter has warned.

Unions call for school inspections to be suspended


School inspections must be suspended until Ofsted implements recommendations to reform the system following the death of head teacher Ruth Perry, unions say.

Oxfordshire publishes SEND ‘action plan’


Oxfordshire County Council has published an ‘action plan’ for improving care for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

£450k to kick-start library transformation


A Manchester library has been awarded £453,964 to transform its Grade II Listed building and preserve its historic collections.

'Critical' to maintain progress, Dundee told


A finance watchdog has said Dundee City Council is ‘well-run’ but ‘long-standing difficulties remain’ to be tackled in its improvement journey.

Blackpool Council welcomes new £65m campus plan


A plan for a multi-million-pound campus in Blackpool has been submitted, in what the council has described as a ‘game changing’ addition to the town centre.

Plan for schools needs local government ‘at its heart’


England’s children’s services chiefs have set out a future vision to fix an ‘incoherent and fragmented’ education system.

School support staff paying for pupils’ essentials


The cost-of-living crisis is forcing school support staff to use their own money to help pay for pupils’ food and clothing, union reveals.

MPs slam ‘beyond unacceptable’ condition of schools


Thousands of children are learning in potentially unsafe buildings, with MPs ‘extremely concerned’ about the Department for Education’s understanding of the risks, a new report says.

Councils hit by improvement notices


Oldham MBC and Oxfordshire CC have received improvement notices for their services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Public support more focus on poor health causes


The Government should invest more in public health to address the roots of poor health, according to a poll for the charity Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH).

One in 20 children sleeping on the floor, survey finds


More than a million British children may be sleeping on the floor or having to share beds, a children’s charity has found.

MPs call for SEND support to tackle school absences


MPs have called for more support for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) to tackle school absences and a consistent approach to the issuing of fines.

Unions call for £4bn investment in school estate


In response to the RAAC crisis, trade unions have written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging him to invest £4.4bn per year to improve the school estate.

Councils ‘wasted’ £46m on SEND tribunals


Councils ‘wasted’ £46m on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) tribunals in 2021-22, economists have reported.

Over 900 children in Stockport receive free school meals


Over 900 children in Stockport are being provided with free school meals thanks to a council-run scheme.

Ministers fear public building disruption after school closures


Some ministers fear disruption and huge costs if public buildings with RAAC are held to the standards the Department for Education set by closing schools.

Why we should be concerned with the SEN2 survey


Gareth Copeland, education consultant, OLM Systems, looks at the SEN2 survey and argues there is a disconnect with what really counts.

Surge in upheld SEND complaints


A growing number of complaints involving special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision and education, health and care (EHC) plans are being upheld by the local government ombudsman.

County leaders call for ‘adult education revolution’


County council leaders have urged the Government to ‘fast track’ devolution deals to help boost the number of people taking part in adult education.

Council to compensate family over missed schooling


Leeds City Council has been ordered to pay £1,500 to a mother whose child could not attend school for 18 months because of delays to an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Three schools closed over safety concerns


Three schools in England built by the same contractors have been advised not to reopen their buildings ahead of the new school year because of ‘structural irregularities’.

Seven new special free schools announced


Seven new special free schools are set to open amid a critical shortage of places for pupils with special educational needs, the Government has announced.

Children referred to social services twice as likely to fail GCSEs


Children who have been referred to social care are twice as likely to fail an English or Maths GCSE than their classmates, a children’s charity has found.

Government to install 100 chess tables


One hundred new chess tables are set to be installed in public spaces across England as part of a £1m package, the Government has announced.

New ‘Brit School for the north’ gets go-ahead


The Government has approved plans for a new Brit School in Bradford, based on the renowned creative college in south London.

Virtual school service risks becoming ‘victim of own success’


County council leaders have praised virtual schools as ‘education’s hidden asset’ but called on the Government to provide them with additional resources.

Thousands of education workers vote to strike in Scotland


Thousands of workers in education and early years services across 10 local authority areas in Scotland have voted to go on strike.

20,000 vulnerable children taught in unregistered settings


Tens of thousands of children are being taught in unregistered settings, some of which do not meet safeguarding standards and one which had a firearm on site.

LGA: council-maintained schools outperforming academies


Schools that are still maintained by local authorities receive better Ofsted outcomes than schools that have become academies, according to new research.

Third of children in care face exclusion


Pupils who have a history of receiving social care or support from special educational needs services are much more likely to be excluded, UCL study reveals.

Education and children's services top complaints to Ombudsman


The Ombudsman’s annual complaints statistics have revealed education and children’s services as the key areas of concern, making up a quarter of the workload.

Free childcare funding formula published


The expansion of free childcare in England is set to be backed by ‘fair funding for all age groups’, the Government has announced.

London boroughs call for more powers to oversee in-year school admissions


Pupils who change schools during term-time run the risk of missing out on education because of a complex in-year admissions system, London boroughs warn.

Government backtracks on ‘employment only’ adult education outcomes


The Department for Education (DfE) has scrapped its plans to end funding for adult education courses that are not directly linked to employment outcomes.

Investigation reveals complaints backlog in Kent


Kent County Council has a backlog of 170 unanswered children’s services and education complaints, an investigation has revealed.

Children with special needs support plan has more than doubled


The number of children with a special needs support plan has more than doubled in the last eight, according to council leaders.

Nine councils to receive £10m for traveller sites


The Government has announced a £10m cash package to improve sites for travellers and give the communities easier access to healthcare and education.

Water shortages in East Sussex force school closures


Water shortages caused by the hot weather have forced two schools in East Sussex to close.

MPs warn of 'lost decade' for disadvantaged pupils


The educational gap between disadvantaged pupils and others could take a decade to return to pre-pandemic levels, MPs warn.

COVID impacted GCSE success rate for poorer children


Children whose families used food banks during the COVID pandemic did worse at their GCSEs than expected, according to a study.

Bristol council faces bankruptcy


Bristol City Council has been warned it must take urgent action to avoid bankruptcy over the spiralling cost of special educational needs and disabilities.

Hundreds of children in care missing school


Hundreds of children in care are missing school and not receiving any kind of education, according to new research.

Council chiefs welcome £165m skills fund


Local authority leaders have welcomed the launch of a £165m skills fund but say councils should be given more powers to help people into employment.

Union calls for information on state of school buildings


Local government union Unison has backed a Labour demand that information on the state of school buildings must be published.

Over £450m to improve school estate announced


School buildings across the country are set to receive a share of over £450m of funding to help improve their condition.

Embracing the local library


Libraries play an important role in communities. Isobel Hunter, chief executive, Libraries Connected, argues that councils should promote their benefits more.

MP calls for home schooled children to be registered


Parliament is facing a call for a new law saying councils must log information on home-schooled children in their areas.

Greater Manchester unveils skills devolution plan


The shape of skills devolution in the trailblazer devolution deals has been outlined by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Poor quality housing barrier to school attendance


A rising number of children are absent from school because of the poor quality housing they live in, according to an educational charity.

Students offered £5,000 to study planning


The Government is encouraging students to pursue a career in planning with a bursary that will cover half of their university fees.

School cuts cost pupils £5,000 each


Cuts to school funding over the last decade and a half have cost pupils £5,000 each in lost education, new research reveals.

School support cuts impacting attendance, council chiefs warn


Cuts in pastoral support in schools are making it harder to encourage children to return after the COVID pandemic, council leaders have told MPs.

Schools report 60% increase in safeguarding referrals


Schools in England saw a 59% increase in safeguarding referrals and re-referrals made to children's services between 2020-21 and 2021-22, according to survey.

Islington Council scraps library fines


Islington residents who have an overdue library book can now return it without fear of being penalized, the local authority has said.

Number of ‘severely absent’ pupils up 50%


The number of children absent from school for long periods has continued to rise to record levels, according to the latest figures.

Teacher vacancies nearly double


Vacancies for teachers have nearly doubled this year compared to before the COVID pandemic, according to the latest figures.

Head teacher’s death prompts call for Ofsted inspection pause


Education unions have called for Ofsted inspections to be paused following the death of a head teacher who was waiting for a report on her school.

Cambridgeshire receives £49m to improve SEND provision


Almost 600 school places for children with additional needs will be created in Cambridgeshire after an agreement between the council and Government.

Suffolk CC warned again about poor alternative education provision


The local government ombudsman has issued another warning to Suffolk County Council to improve provision for children who can’t go to school.

Government accused of eroding local support services for children


The leader of the school and college leaders’ union has accused the Government of eroding local support services for children.

Welsh council chiefs welcome free school meal extension


Councils in Wales have welcomed the Welsh government’s announcement that free school meals will continue for children from lower income families over holidays.

Projects to tackle drug use given £5m boost


New projects aimed at reducing drug use have been given a cash boost in the first allocation of a £5m Government grant.

Westminster City Council offers free school meals to 14,000 more children


Children aged three to 14 in Westminster will be given free school meals in what the council is claiming as the most ambitious scheme of its kind in London.

Half of homeless children forced to move schools


Almost half of school age children who have become homeless have been forced to move schools as a result of living in temporary homes, charity reveals.

Third of parents worried about losing their home, charity warns


A third of parents are worried about losing their home because of the cost-of-living crisis, according to campaigners.

Autistic children face discrimination in care system


Marginalised families with autistic children face serious problems in the health, care, and education systems, according to new research.

New SEND plan fails on ‘fundamental’ issues, council chiefs say


New plan to support children with special educational needs and disabilities fails to address ‘fundamental cost and demand issues’, council chiefs say.

Council chiefs call for devolution of skills powers


Local authority leaders have called for the devolution of skills budgets and powers to help them support young people into education, employment or training.

Over 200,000 children missing out on free school meals


Local authority leaders have called for the introduction of an automated sign-up system in order to expand access to free school meals to 215,000 children.

Surrey council agrees to review SEND support


Surrey CC has agreed to review its SEND support for children and young people following an investigation by the local government and social care ombudsman.

Teaching unions’ rejection of pay offer ‘disappointing'


Local government leaders in Scotland have described the teaching unions’ rejection of their latest pay offer as ‘very disappointing’.

Scottish councils take legal advice over teacher cuts


Scottish councils are taking legal advice on the SNP government’s threat to penalise them if they cut teacher numbers.

Holyrood to order councils to stop teacher cuts


The Scottish government is considering ordering councils to stop cutting teacher numbers after local government body COSLA expressed concerns over funding.

Council chiefs welcome call to address creative skills ‘blind spot’


Council leaders have welcomed a call for a Government focus on fixing the educational ‘blind spots' and digital skills shortage impacting creative industries.

SEND advice service requires 'drastic' overhaul


A SEND advice service has been savaged in an independent report that found it had contributed to a £10m tribunals bill for Birmingham City Council.

Falling pupil numbers force school mergers as numbers fall


A London council is considering plans to merge up to 16 primary schools as pupil numbers fall throughout the country.

Teachers cooking and cleaning for students, survey reveals


Cost of living crisis has driven a large proportion of teachers to cook and clean clothes for their students and to provide them with supplies, poll reveals.

SEND pupils ‘unfairly excluded’, charity says


Pupils with additional needs have said they are unfairly excluded from mainstream schools because of racism and a lack of understanding from professionals.

Council fined £5,000 after autistic boy left without education


Oxfordshire County Council has been told to pay £5,000 to the mother of an autistic boy to make up for a year of missed education.

Early years spending ‘seriously eroded’


Spending on early years and higher education has been ‘seriously eroded’ by higher-than-expected inflation, financial experts have warned.

Labour outlines huge devolution push


Labour proposes removing ‘dead hand of centralisation’ by devolving to local government wide-ranging powers over employment, growth, transport and education.

Charity calls for SEND funding to be protected


The Government has been urged to make a public pledge that SEND funding and families’ legal rights to get support for their children will be protected.

Ofsted downgrades over 300 ‘outstanding’ schools


Hundreds of schools that had a graded inspection last year did not retain their outstanding grade, an Ofsted report has revealed.

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