LEA

The LEA is responsible for delivering education for the council in a borough or county. It might be that you are in the catchment area for more than one education authority. Or it may be you are considering moving to a particular LEA area to access different schools. It is therefore worth investigating the quality of provision on offer from different authorities.

  • Authorities have reputations like schools do, and like schools they are often out of date. Do not automatically dismiss an education authority just because you have heard bad things about it.
  • Some authorities achieve higher value added results than others.
  • Some authorities have the majority of their secondary schools achieving higher than the national average in exams, and some, the majority of schools below. It is important, however, to look at how individual schools’ performance impacts on borough wide percentages. For example it might be that a few schools are carrying the results, while the majority of schools are underperforming. A good sign is if there is a consistency of improvement or achievement. This shows that there is some overarching authority strategy that is working effectively.
  • Authorities spend different amounts of money on schools. Sometimes this is as a result of government financial allocations dependent on local levels of social deprivation. Therefore, it does not necessarily follow that in an affluent area more is spent on schools than in an area of poor housing.Do not assume that if an area appears deprived, the schools are.
  • Some authorities are more popular with teachers than others.This might be because of their reputation for teacher training or innovation. Therefore, some authorities may have a better field of teachers to choose from when appointing staff than others.
  • It is worth pointing out that some authorities offer financial incentives to teachers for working in them. For example, it can be easier to recruit teachers in inner London because the additional salary allowance is greater than for outer London boroughs.
  • Sometimes authorities that are less popular with parents are more popular with teachers. In these instances, parents might be missing out. It is therefore worth finding out from teachers which areas are popular to work in.
  • Some authorities are always ahead of the game when it comes to new initiatives in schools while others fall behind. If you send your child to a forward thinking authority it is likely to be to their advantage.

Further Information

School and college performance tables

Search the tables on the DfE website by LEA. Look for consistency of achievement and see if your LEA’s table compares favourably with its neighbours.

National Media – Times Educational Supplement

Get an idea of what innovation is going on in different LEAs.

Ofsted

Education provision is assessed every year in each LEA through the CAA:  annual rating of Children’s services. In this annual rating, the education services are given a grade, four is very good, three is good, two is adequate, one is inadequate. You can find each authority’s annual rating on the Ofsted website.

Open Evening

Talk to staff about what opinion teachers have of the local education authority.

Website

The LEA’s website, under the designation ‘schools’, can give you some idea of what kind of provision to expect. If the web page is accessible, lively and up to date, then this is a good sign.

Summary




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