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LGA echoes Education Committee in calling for councils to set up Multi-Academy Trusts

Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association's Children and Young People Board, responded to the report by the House of Commons Education Committee that calls on Ministers to allow local authorities with a track record of strong educational performance to set-up their own Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs)

"The LGA has long been concerned about the lack of local accountability, financial oversight  and governance arrangements that exist for Multi-Academy Trusts.

"With 91 per cent of maintained schools now rated as either outstanding or good by Ofsted, now is the time for government to recognise councils as its education improvement partners.

"Schools should be given the freedom to choose, in partnership with parents and councils, whichever structure is most appropriate for local children and if that means councils setting up their own MATs then they should be able to do so.

"If parents are concerned about an academy, at the moment all they can do is raise their concerns with a distant Regional Schools Commissioner or the remote Department for Education. Allowing local authorities to set up MATS would ensure the council and its directly elected councillors, who know their local schools and the communities they serve better than anyone else, will be able to step in and help.

"Councils also have vast experience in managing large budgets and have a reputation as being the most efficient, transparent and trusted part of the public sector. Running their own MATs would also allow councils to keep an eye on all local school spending."

View related information:  MPs concerned about performance of multi-academy trusts

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