role of the local education authority in the running of education in united kingdom Essay

Role Of The Local Education Authority In The Running Of Education In United Kingdom Term paper

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Using relevant examples discuss the role of the local education authority in the running of education in united kingdom. What lessons can an African country learn in our endeavor to develop our education system Introduction A local education authority (LEA) is a local authority in the United Kingdom that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction. The term was introduced by the Education Act 1902. The Act designated each local authority ;either County Council and county borough council to set up a committee known as a Local Education Authority. The councils took over the powers and responsibilities of the school boards and technical instruction committees in their area. Municipal boroughs with a population of 10,000 and urban districts with a population of 20,000 were to be local education authorities in their areas for elementary education only. Since the Children Act 2004 each local education authority is also a children\'s services authority and responsibility for both functions is held by the director of children\'s services. Local Authorities have Statutory Duties imposed upon them by both the Education Acts and the Children\'s Acts. In particular Section 13 of the Education Act 1996 imposes general education responsibility by securing efficient primary and secondary education to meet the needs of the population in their area. Similarly Section 22(3) (a) and (3A) of the Children\'s Act 1989 imposes the duty of a Local Authority to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child looked after by them includes in particular a duty to promote the child\'s educational achievement. Local education authorities also constitute of an outdoor education adviser with a vast experience in education. He should also have a good knowledge of the practical difficulties facing school groups in all environments including the lower risk ones. Role of the local education authorities Local education authorities are critical to the development of an effective, comprehensive education system that offers the best for all children. They are in charge of many other duties and powers apart from education which may impinge upon schools, including child protection, economic regeneration, housing, waste management, waste collection, libraries, social services, transport, planning and licensing. The local authority shares duties with schools under “every child matters”, which are defined as ensuring that children can: be healthy, stay safe, make a positive contribution and achieve economic well being. Local education authorities are active partners with schools. They promote higher educational standards and offer rich and rewarding educational experience to all children and young people that is valued by their communities. They also provide a strategic framework for planning, monitoring and development. They make this strategic framework publicly available in the form of a school organization plan and ensure that it provides a suitable place for every eligible child. They also develop and maintain a locally sensitive funding system that provides schools with budgets that meet their needs and also support the development of new or changing schools. They also make available land and other resources to support school development. They support schools in recruiting appropriate and suitably qualified senior staff especially head teachers. To help raise the teaching standards, they provide a local, knowledgeable and consistent approach to monitoring by organizing professional networks. The local education authorities broker and monitor cost-effective deals with suppliers that benefit schools collectively. They also respond to calls for assistance from schools in cases of emergency, such as fire, flood and natural disasters particularly where there is additional transport. They also work with schools to develop and deliver those services which schools are not individually well placed to deliver for reasons of economy of scale, the need for specific expertise or infrequency of use. Local education authorities provide varied services to the community. They act as champions for the rights of parents and pupils in general and in particular by running an effective and impartial admissions system. They also work with other agencies to provide social and medical support for children at risk. They ensure that special educational needs are assessed in a professional and timely way and make provision to meet the identified needs. The authorities are also in charge of conducting objective and transparent consultation in respect of current and future educational provision by monitoring and planning the educational transfers of children and young people with learning difficulties or physical disabilities and developing special education needs policies. They also arrange and coordinate cultural events and experiences to enrich the education of pupils and their families. They minimize social conflict and criminality by working closely with the head teachers and governing bodies. Head teachers work closely with the local education authorities. They agree on who will approve a visit at school level. They also consider what forms to be used to achieve approvals. Some of this forms need adapting where functions are exercised by the educational visit coordinators. Head teachers ensure that arrangements are in place for the governing body to be made aware of visits so that questions can be asked as necessary. They are also responsible for ensuring that issues identified by exploratory visits have been satisfactory resolved within the risk assessment. They ensure that the school has emergency procedures in place incase of a major incident on an educational visit. Each Head teacher should establish a procedure to ensure that parents are informed quickly about incident details rather than through the media or pupils. He should also recognize that support is provided by the local education authorities public relations unit when dealing with media enquiries. The head teacher should also check that contractors have adequate emergency support procedures and that these link to the school and the local education authority procedures. Local education authorities are actively involved in the governance of schools by providing information, training and advice to school administrators on the discharge of their responsibilities. They contribute representatives to school governing bodies to link them to the local community. They act as a wider support base required for small or troubled schools. They are responsible for the funding of students in higher education (for example undergraduate courses and PGCE) whose permanent address is in their area, regardless of the place of study. Based on an assessment of individual circumstances they offer grants or access to student loans through the Student Loans Company. Lessons for African countries on improving the education system Human resource is perceived as the most vital resource that are at the disposal of the educational enterprise. Therefore the proper management of this resource would apart from being an added advantage in attaining educational goal, also make education waste minimal. In spite of all effort by management to ensure that quantitative education is given at all level of education, the African education system still suffer from some seemingly intractable problem ranging from poor funding ,mismanagement and control of resource, inadequate monitoring and evaluation. This greatly affects educational administration in all level of education in Africa because when the system is not functioning well due to inadequate funding by the
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