Whitehall cuts result in ‘lost generation’ of deaf children


England’s deaf children are falling a whole grade behind their hearing class mates despite deafness not being a learning disability, a charity has warned.

Council rolls scooters out in bid to tackle pollution


Children in Leeds will soon be travelling to school on scooters instead of in cars as part of the council’s push to clean up the city’s air.

MSPs urge councils to provide free music lessons


Local authorities have been urged not to charge for music tuition in schools, in a new report published by MSPs.

Cash-strapped school launches £20,000 crowdfunding campaign


A Worcestershire school has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £20,000 in order to supplement its ‘squeezed’ budget.

Education watchdog calls time on ‘teaching to the test'


Ofsted says it is moving away from its focus on performance data as the watchdog launches a consultation on proposals for changes to its inspection framework.

Nearly one in three council-run secondary schools are in the red


Almost one in three local authority maintained secondary schools were in a financial deficit in 2017-18, new research has revealed.

Academy chains perform ‘below average’ for disadvantaged pupils


Two-thirds of academy chains perform below average for disadvantaged pupils, according to new research.

New mental health teams set to support 500,000 children


Half a million children and young people are set to benefit from new mental health support teams, secretary of state for health and social care has announced.

Early learning gap widens in 50% of council areas


The early learning gap between children in poverty and their peers has widened in half of the local authority areas in England, children’s charity reveals.

Teachers warn of ‘Dickensian’ levels of poverty


Teachers have warned they are seeing increasing levels of 'Dickensian' poverty among children in their classrooms.

Council chiefs call for ‘emergency cash’ to support children with special needs


The Government has announced it will provide £350m to support children with complex needs and disabilities.

Access to secular schools ‘restricted’, report reveals


Almost a third of families in England live in areas where most or all of the local primary schools are faith-based, new research has revealed.

Children in care to receive scholarships to independent schools


The Government yesterday launched a new scheme to help children in care receive mentoring and scholarships from independent schools.

Vulnerable children at risk due to school support staff cuts, union warns


A quarter of school support staff go home worried every day having spoken to pupils about the issues that trouble them, according to their union.

Union calls for action to prevent violence against school support staff


The union for school support staff has called on councils and schools to sign a charter of demands to help prevent violence against support staff in schools.

Nearly 500 underperforming schools ‘betrayal of children’s futures.’


The chief inspector of Ofsted has warned that the existence of nearly 500 ‘stuck’ schools is ‘nothing short of a scandal.’

International education spending: a statistical minefield


Mark Whitehead investigates the Government's 'seemingly casual' approach to data when it comes to education spending.

Whitehall accused of using ‘distorted information’ on education spending


Head teachers have attacked the way the Government has used statistics to defend its spending on education as 'shocking and disturbing'.

Schools to suffer ‘real terms cuts’, council chiefs warn


The latest spending plans show schools will suffer real terms cuts in funding, local government leaders have warned.

Labour pledges to scrap new academies


Councils would be given control of academies and have new powers to build more schools if Labour were elected, the party conference heard yesterday.

Cash-strapped schools relying on donations from affluent parents


Government budget cuts are forcing many schools to rely more heavily on financial contributions from parents, a charity focusing on social mobility finds.

Ofsted ‘fig leaf’ for Whitehall failures on school standards


Ofsted is not providing the level of independent assurance about the quality of education that schools and parents need, MPs warn.

Number of infants in overcrowded classes ‘doubled’ under Tories


The Government denies accusations that the number of primary school infants in classes over 30 pupils has nearly doubled under the Tories.

Whitehall publishes guidance to save schools £1bn


The Government has published guidance aimed at helping schools reduce the £10bn bill they pay annually on non-staffing costs.

Councils warn of secondary school places 'emergency'


Half of all councils England may be unable to meet demand for new secondary school places within five years, town hall chiefs have warned today.

Hackney raises £100,000 a week from controversial traffic camera


It is the ‘responsibility of drivers’ to read signs, Hackney Council argues in response to criticisms that its new traffic cameras are inadequately signposted.

Council fined for ‘unfairly’ changing school admission arrangements


Nottinghamshire County Council has been criticised for ‘unfairly’ changing its school admission arrangements and forcing parents to send siblings to separate schools.

Gap between spending per pupil in England and Wales ‘eliminated’


School funding in England has fallen faster than in Wales, ‘virtually eliminating’ the gap between the two nations, financial experts reveal.

Whitehall ‘failing’ to learn from high-profile academy failures, MPs say


The Government is ‘failing’ to learn from high-profile academy failures which have been damaging to the education of the children involved, MPs say.

Primary school standards ‘continue to rise’


This year has seen an increase in the number of children who have reached the expected standard in Key Stage 2.

Councils more likely to improve failing schools than academies


Failing schools are more likely to be improved by councils than academy chains, new analysis has revealed.

Meeting the challenge of 21st century schools


Austerity budgets and rising demand for places has long made building for schools a challenging subject for local authorities. One programme in Wales is showing what can be achieved, as highlighted by Morgan Sindall in this sponsored article.

Number of pupils getting first-choice secondary school falling


The proportion of pupils getting into their first-choice secondary school is falling, according to the latest figures.

Khan announces £1m school air quality fund


The mayor of London yesterday announced a £1m fund to help protect pupils attending schools in the most polluted areas of the capital.

Ofsted criticised for not offering ‘value for money’


Ofsted has struggled to meet its inspection targets due to ‘significant’ financial and staffing challenges, auditors say.

Free school transport schemes at risk in county areas


County councils have warned they are struggling to fund free school transport schemes as it costs ten times more in county areas than neighbouring cities.

Ban cars from school areas, charity says


A charity has urged the Government to ban cars from the immediate vicinity of school gates at drop off and pick up times in order to improve air quality.

Rise in mental health referrals from schools


Local government leaders have branded a report on mental health services for young people 'worrying' and called for a radical overhaul of the available treatment.

Whitehall criticised for £50m ‘handout’ to grammar schools


Council chiefs have urged the Government to give them more powers to build schools in response to today’s announcement that grammar schools will receive £50m to expand.

MP calls on Whitehall to tackle North-South education divide


The chair of the education committee has called on the Government to do more to improve education standards in the north of England.

Whitehall announces decision to ‘simplify’ school assessment system


Head teachers have welcomed the Government’s decision to ‘simplify’ the system by which schools performance is assessed.

Government launches £23m fund to support disadvantaged pupils


The department for education has launched a £23m fund to help support the brightest pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Academy teachers ‘sceptical’ about effectiveness of academisation, poll reveals


The majority of academy teachers and leaders are sceptical about the effectiveness of academy status, survey reveals.

Majority of children offered first choice of primary school


An estimated 90% of pupils were offered a place at their first choice of primary school this year following the creation of hundreds of thousands of new places by councils.

Council demands answers over school repairs


The body responsible for building and maintaining 17 schools in Edinburgh has been criticised by the council for failing to carry out repair work.

Investigation launched into serious failures at specialist school


An investigation has been launched into a charity for the blind following ‘serious concerns’ over the safeguarding of vulnerable children and young people.

Auditors tell councils to ‘learn lessons’ from school wall collapse


Auditors have called on councils in Scotland to ‘learn lessons’ from the collapse of a school wall in Edinburgh.

Funding boost of £500m for school expansion programme


The Government has announced over £500m will be spent to improve and expand school buildings to create more good school places.

Schools evacuated after hoax bomb threat


Pupils across England were evacuated yesterday after an aggrieved gamer sent a hoax email threatening to bomb one of hundreds of schools.

Local authority schools suffer funding ‘squeeze’


Council chiefs have warned about the ‘squeeze’ on school funding as report reveals proportion of secondary schools in deficit has trebled in recent years.

‘Deep cuts’ lead to two thirds increase in class sizes


Nearly two thirds of the secondary schools in England have had to increase their class sizes because of a lack of funding, research reveals.

Councils struggle to offer ‘integrated’ education due to academies


Councils are struggling to take an ‘integrated, whole-system’ approach to education because of uneven mix of academies and maintained schools in many areas.

Financial pressures force Northumberland CC to close schools


Schools in Northumberland could be forced to close or merge under new budget proposals, council warns.

Councils chiefs call for £90m to fund mental health counselling in schools


Local authority leaders have called on the Government to invest £90m to help secondary schools offer independent mental health counselling to all pupils.

Reforms to free school meals would leave children hungry, warn union


A leading union has dismissed government proposed reforms to free school meal entitlement as 'a cut disguised as a kindness.'

Council investigation finds ‘serious’ failings in illegal schools policy


Children are being put at risk as government policy dealing with illegal ‘schools’ has serious failings, an investigation by a London council has revealed.

Greening the school estate


More energy efficient school buildings could save the Department for Education £2.6bn a year, a new report has found. Laura Sharman examines the findings in more detail.

Educational opportunities ‘geographically unequal’, think tank says


Access to high performing schools has become more ‘geographically unequal’ despite emphasis on improving schools outside of London, report finds.

Council reaches settlement with victims of alleged paedophile


A council has agreed to pay eight victims of an alleged paedophile in an out-of-court settlement.

School building strategy needed to tackle classroom shortage, report says


More than 14,500 extra secondary school classrooms will be needed in England over the next three years, new research says.

Extra support for mental health in schools ‘welcome’, campaigners say


Campaigners have welcomed Government proposals to put more resources into supporting mental health in schools and demanded they be put into action immediately.

Budget 2017: Devolution and housing key planks in speech


Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Budget has seen the chancellor unveil a raft of new devolution deals, measures to boost housing and changes to resolve issues with controversial Universal Credit.

Rural life is ‘disappearing fast’ warns new research


Rural schools, pubs and post offices are being forced to close down due to ageing and dwindling populations, a new report has warned.

Isle of Wight launches consultation on school term-times


The Isle of Wight has launched a consultation on whether its policy on school holidays could include cutting the summer break and making half terms longer.

Schools should have mandatory plans to tackle knife crime, Khan says


London Mayor Sadiq Khan yesterday announced all schools should have mandatory plans in place to help prevent knife crime.

‘Sugar tax’ helps double funding for sports in schools


Funding to help primary schools improve the quality of their PE and sport provision has been doubled to £320m a year, the Government has announced.

Fire chief calls for sprinklers to be mandatory in all schools


Only four new or refurbished schools in London took the advice of the Fire Brigade and installed sprinklers last year, new figures have revealed.

'Troubled services' costing £10bn to keep going by Government


The Government is spending billions keeping public services going but failing to deal with underlying problems, experts have warned.

Council charges foster family for free school transport


Councils are putting foster children at a disadvantage compared to their peers when it comes to school transport, ombudsman says.

Labour will invest £13bn to repair ‘deteriorating’ school estate


Labour will provide local authorities with the £13bn needed to repair the school estate, shadow secretary of state for education tells conference.

Satisfaction with Scottish public services falls to lowest level in a decade


The number of adults satisfied with three public services in Scotland has fallen to its lowest level since 2007.

Ofsted inspection reforms could create ‘uncertainty’, head teachers warn


A teachers union has lashed out at Ofsted’s proposals to change the short inspection process, saying it will create a ‘cloud of uncertainty’ in schools.

Findings reveal London’s poorest children suffer most from air pollution


London’s poorest children attend schools most affected by air pollution — yet their families are likely to contribute the least to that pollution.

National funding formula for schools ‘inadequate’, say head teachers


A new national funding formula for schools has been dismissed as inadequate by Labour and head teachers.

Half of council transport policies include unlawful statements, charity finds


The Government has promised a review of guidance after an investigation revealed more than half (51%) of local school transport policies in England include unlawful statements.

Breakfast clubs could close over funding cuts, warn teachers


Nearly half of teachers have warned their breakfast club will have to close over the next three years due to a lack of funding, according to a new survey.

Parents who drive kids to school gate could face £130 fine under new council scheme


Parents who drive their children to the school gates could face fines of up to £130 under a new scheme launched by Croydon Council.

Half of councils unable to meet demand for secondary school places in five years


A growing number of families will face problems finding a place for their child at a secondary school, local government leaders have warned.

Council payroll error prevents 20,000 teachers receiving salaries


Tens of thousands of teachers in Essex have not received their salaries due to a council payroll error.

Asbestos in schools – removal or reassurance monitoring?


Charles Pickles explains how modern air monitoring and analytical techniques can measure the risk caused by asbestos in schools.

Excluded school pupils being failed by ‘broken system’ warns think tank


At least half of pupils excluded from school have a mental health issue and are being failed by an ‘unjust system’, a new report has found.

Councils call for clarity on £1.3bn school funding


Council leaders have welcome the announcement of £1.3bn new funding for schools, but have called for ‘urgent assurance’ of where the money is coming from.

Schools to send cladding for ‘combustibility tests’ after Grenfell


The department for education has called on all schools, especially those with external cladding, to carry out building checks following the Grenfell fire.

Schools face £1.6bn funding shortfall, councils warn


Schools across the country are facing a £1.6bn funding shortfall over the next five years, new figures reveal.

Whitehall must not ‘weaken’ fire safety guidance for schools, unions say


Unions have called on the Government to confirm they would not ‘weaken’ fire safety guidance for building new schools.

Councils best placed to set school budgets, council chiefs tell Whitehall


Council chiefs have called on the Government to allow councils and schools to retain an element of flexibility over how schools funding is distributed.

Councils call for greater power to increase first-choice school places


Local government leaders have renewed demands to be given more power over school admissions following the latest figures on parental choice.

Private schools to get £522m in tax breaks


More than half of all private schools in England and Wales are set to save millions thanks to charitable status and ‘lucrative’ tax breaks, research shows.

Lib Dems promise £17bn infrastructure fund


The Liberal Democrats yesterday announced plans to create a £17bn infrastructure fund to repair schools and hospitals across England.

Pupils ‘at risk’ from cuts to school support staff, union says


The safety of pupils is being put at risk by school cuts, public sector union claims as survey reveals school office employees are carrying out tasks that go beyond their remit.

Tory manifesto proposals could see school budgets cut, think tank says


School spending plans outlined in the Conservative Party manifesto could see school budgets cut by 7%, financial experts say.

Invitation: Smarter thinking about inner city space for school buildings roundtable


Do you work for a London Council? If so, we would like to invite you to a round table discussion exploring how best to meet the rising demand for school places.

City leaders must make school walking routes ‘safer’, charity says


A charity has called on city leaders to prioritise making school walking routes safer as parents claim their cities are ‘too unsafe’ for children to walk to school in.

Councils call for control over where new grammar schools are built


The Government is due to announce a new wave of grammar schools later today that could be forced to take a quota of pupils from poorer backgrounds.

Council closes school roads to cut pollution


Hackney Council is closing down a number of school roads as part of an initiative to cut pollution and improve safety for children.

Supreme Court supports council in term-time holiday legal battle


Isle of Wight Council has welcomed today’s ruling that its decision to fine a father who took his daughter on an unauthorised term-time holiday was legal.

Schools to receive £2.4bn cash injection


Thousands of schools are to benefit from a £2.4bn cash injection, the Government announced yesterday.

School funding shortage ‘threatens’ education standards


The biggest school funding shortfall in England since the 1990s threatens to damage education standards, MPs have warned.

Term-time holidays account for quarter of unauthorised pupil absences, figures reveal


Latest figures show almost a million children missed at least one day of school in England to go on holiday last year despite the threat of fines.

Budget 2017: What should councils look out for?


Chancellor Philip Hammond has already dismissed announcing a ‘spending spree’ in his budget speech tomorrow, but what should local government watch out for?

Birminghams winter of discontent image

Birmingham's winter of discontent

With a series of one-day strikes to go ahead in Birmingham, Mark Whitehead explores what led to this long-running dispute over waste collection.
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Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The December issue of Local Government News looks at the consequences a council may face if it is unable to provide statutory services, the launch of Liverpool’s housing company and how councils can best manage roles in local authority companies.

It also has a special section on green building and energy efficiency including what funding is available to enable councils to deliver heat networks and how councils can pay for ‘smart buildings’.

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