|Councils Should be Able to Create School Places|
Majority of free school parents support council intervention
The first survey of London parents’ attitudes to the new educational system reveals that a majority of parents (62 per cent) with children at a free school support councils having a role in dealing with underperforming free schools. This rises to 77 per cent of parents with children in a local authority maintained school who think local authorities should have powers of influence over maintained schools.
The YouGov attitudinal survey, commissioned by London Councils, which represents London’s 33 local authorities, provides evidence of high levels of support among parents for a local government role in taking action to ensure school standards remain high and children and young peoples’ interests are championed.
The majority of parents (76 per cent) support a council role in creating school places through having the ability to influence all schools in their area to find more school places or expand, and 95 per cent think the greatest pressure on places is in London.
The survey also found that:
London’s school situation in particular is of national significance. London requires 118,000 places by 2017 – and London’s schools have been transformed from one of the UK’s worst performing regions to the highest, following the launch of London Challenge, a partnership of councils, schools and government, in 2003.
Cllr Peter John, London Councils’ Executive Member for Children and Young People, said: “Parents have been clear in this survey how essential good council involvement is in their children’s education. It’s especially striking that free school parents are so strong in their support for councils’ work.
“Parents are plainly worried about the school places crisis and want a clear role for councils to work in partnership with all schools so that every child has a place and to ensure school standards continue to rise.
“The government should work with councils to ensure that schools are accountable locally to the communities they serve.”