The National Government is responsible for elaborating policies and ensuring they are implemented
The National Government is responsible for elaborating policies and ensuring they are implemented. The UK Government is split into two departments which deal with education in England. The first is the Department for Education (DfE): their responsibility is to work with children up to the age of 19 with any issue they may have from child protection to education. The DfE aims to improve the opportunities and experiences available to children/young people and their practitioners by focusing on giving more support to the poorest and most vulnerable children so they receive the same level of education and opportunities as their peers regardless of their background.
The second department which makes up the education (National) Government is the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which is the result of a merger between the Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). They are responsible for further and higher education and focus on giving students the skills they need to compete in the global employment market, supporting innovation and developing the UK’s science and research industry, which is important to help economic growth. They are therefore responsible for creating a high quality further education sector that aims to teach workers the skills demanded in a modern-day life. Their priorities are related to business and enterprise, competitiveness and exports, science and innovation, apprenticeships and skills, higher education and labour markets. They also look into new ways of developing the quality of service provided to children and young people under the five outcomes of the Every Child Matters’ framework.
The National Government funds the research into educational based projects with children and young people. They also develop the role of the third sector: non-Government organisations such as voluntary, charity and community organisations who work with children and young people. They develop the workforce reform such as the 2020 Children’s Workforce Strategy (2008). The Children’s Plan is the result of the work of an expert group, made up of professionals, experts and representatives from across the workforce, aimed to review the evidence and advise the Government on the development of a long-term strategy for the children and young people’s workforce. The Plan sets out the vision of the Government which is intended to be ambitious and to resonate with everyone in the children workforce or who is involved in supporting, developing or reforming the workforce.
The responsibility of the Local Government is to provide the schools in the community with the services they need. The Local Government is responsible for many areas of the education system in their own region from Strategic Management, which involves planning for the education service, to the administration of committees dealing with education and considering how the budget should be distributed. The Local Government not only is responsible for the school’s services (including training and professional development of staff, special educational needs and behaviour management issues), but also for the development or addition of school’s policies. It is also responsible for investigations which the authority carries out on employees or potential employees of the authority or governing bodies of schools.
Schools should have their own policies in place which must meet the national requirements and follow the Local Educational Authorities (LEA) guidelines. In fact, Local Authorities provide documents to schools which set out their aims, values, visions and boundaries. LEA is responsible for informing the schools within the community of changes made to educational policy and should provide any training needed for the changes. On the other hand, schools are responsible for ensuring that they are up to date with all current polices which have been put in place.
LEA can employ specialist advisers for each individual aspect of the national curriculum. They have people in their own expertise in place for students with either special educational needs or challenging behaviour. Most of these services provided by LEA are free; however, some may not be free, for example when specialist teachers need to come into the school.
There are several organisations who work with children and young people both in and out of the school. They all need to work together and share their knowledge and experiences to get the best interests of the child or young person. They should develop links with the organisations to allow the best possible pupil support. For example, the social services work with the schools when they need certain information about student(s) for legal reasons. LEA is also responsible for children’s services which are based upon the Every Child Matters’ framework, and for youth services who work with secondary schools and are more involved with training and the provision of young people from the age of 14+.
Special Educational Needs are also responsibility of the LEA. In fact, it is their job to ensure all children have access to the relevant help equipment needed to reach their full potential ideally in mainstream education or a placement elsewhere if this isn’t possible. School Improvements are the main responsibility of the actual school; however, it is also the responsibility of the LEA to offer support to help achieve these goals and standards which are set out. Access and school transport is predominantly the responsibility of the LEA as they need to ensure all children have access to a place within the learning environment, from transport, coordination admissions, deciding on closures and alternatives placements for these pupils. They will also provide help, support and placements at referral units where necessary for children who for some reasons are unable to attend mainstream schools.
Part of their responsibility (mainly the Children’s Services Department) is ensuring the funds are received and distributed accordingly.
Furthermore, the LEA is responsible for the national health services who may work with and within the schools. School nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech therapists and psychologists could be employed by the NHS-National Health Service or primary care trust, if the Local Educational Authority required so. Local Authorities have played an important role supporting school-aged children and young people to achieve their potential, as the lead agency planning schools provision (e.g. Education Act, 1996). The transfer of responsibility for public health to local authorities provides opportunities to develop school nursing services that are more responsive to pupils needs and better integrated with other support for school aged children. However, the Government’s strategy to encourage the devolution of power to school leaders with the aim of converting most of schools to academies (Department for Education, 2016b), could make the partnership working required to realise this more challenging. With increased autonomy, schools may also be increasingly commissioning services directly.
Overall the LEA are accountable to both their electorates and to the Secretary of State, their success is monitored using Ofsted reports, measuring the schools’ performances against the targets set and information regarding their financial performance. For this reason, it is crucial that all LEA adheres to and ensures the schools in their region comply with the policies and procedures in place.