Coun­cils se­cure in­put in schools’ run­ning

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS - BY LYNSEY BEWS

Coun­cils have struck a deal with the Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary to pro­tect their role in the way Scot­land’s schools are run.

The agree­ment, signed off yes­ter­day by coun­cil lead­ers, fol­lows con­cerns from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties that John Swin­ney’s gov­er­nance re­forms would “erode demo­cratic ac­count­abil­ity” in the sec­tor.

Mr Swin­ney un­veiled pro­pos­als to set up “re­gional im­prove­ment col­lab­o­ra­tives” to “pool and strengthen re­sources to sup­port learn­ing and teach­ing in schools” ear­lier this year.

The plans were part of a wider pack­age of re­forms aimed at tack­ling the at­tain­ment gap and driv­ing up stan­dards in schools.

The col­lab­o­ra­tives were to be led by a re­gional di­rec­tor, re­port­ing di­rectly to the chief in­spec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion.

But coun­cil um­brella group Cosla said the plans would re­sult in “no mean­ing­ful lo­cal demo­cratic ac­count­abil­ity for ed­u­ca­tion in Scot­land”.

Fol­low­ing talks with the gov­ern­ment, it has now been agreed that each lo­cal author­ity will be part of one of six col­lab­o­ra­tives on a re­gional ba­sis in part­ner­ship with Ed­u­ca­tion Scot­land.

The col­lab­o­ra­tives will be ac­count­able to the col­lab­o­rat­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties as well as re­port­ing to the chief in­spec­tor.

Each re­gional group will pro­vide day-to-day sup­port for head­teach­ers, teach­ers and other ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als.

Cosla chil­dren and young peo­ple spokesman Stephen McCabe said: “Im­prove­ment col­lab­o­ra­tives will take a ro­bust, lo­cally-driven and ev­i­dence-based ap­proach which puts the child at the cen­tre.”“

“Ev­i­dence-base ap­proach which puts the child at the cen­tre”

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