London boroughs are committed to championing the interests of children and young people, improving standards, holding schools to account and ensuring fair access to education. London Councils has a wide-ranging policy programme that sets out the London local government role.
The Impact of COVID-19 on education
The Education Select Committee commenced an enquiry on the on impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services. The submission from London Councils can be read here.
London Councils welcomes the government’s proposal to introduce a duty for local authorities to maintain a register of home educated children as well as the duty for parents and carer to supply information to the local authority about the education children in their care are receiving. However, without legislative change to ensure mandatory annual monitoring visits, alongside mandatory registration, the current arrangements for elective home education will never be fully effective in ensuring that all children are protected from harm and receiving a good standard of education.
Special Educational Needs and Inclusive Practice
Inclusive practice in schools enables children to attend their local school, supporting children with SEND to develop independence and life skills and encouraging acceptance and kindness in other children. London Councils conducted qualitative research into inclusive practice in mainstream schools in response to local authority concerns about the disparity in levels of inclusion across schools in London.
London has been facing an overall trend for an increase in demand for school places. This continues to grow despite a recent slowing of demand for primary places. A combination of rising pupil populations, spiralling building costs and lack of available land is putting increasing pressure on London boroughs to provide these places for pupils.
London Councils has been at the forefront of the debate about how to fund the need for providing school places through a series of Do the Maths publications.
Early years provision is a key cornerstone for social mobility. Maintained nursery schools (MNSs) make a vital contribution to narrowing the gap in attainment between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers but MNSs are at risk of closure.
Ask the parents
London Councils commissioned YouGov for five consecutive years to survey London parents on their attitudes to the reforming educational system.
Head teacher survey
Talking Heads, a survey of nearly 400 London head teachers and senior school leaders, lays bare the negative impact of insufficient funding on teacher and teaching assistant numbers, curriculum options, learning resources such as IT equipment and textbooks, and the upkeep of school buildings.