Summarise the roles and responsibilities of national and local government for education policy and practice National government are responsible for devising policies and ensuring that they are implemented. The UK government is split into two departments that deal with education in England. The first is the Department for Education who work with children aged up to 19, with any issues they may have from child protection to education matters.
Their aim is to improve the opportunities and experiences for all children and the professionals working with them by focusing on giving more support for the poorest and most vulnerable children in England, to ensure they all receive the same level of education and equal opportunities as their peers regardless of background. As well as policy setting they are looking at new ways of developing the quality of services for children under the five outcomes of Every Child Matters.
They have also set up and administer school league tables, which do not show how much progress has been made, just high achievement and not all pupils are going to be academic achievers and this will not recommend a school to prospective parents. It should not just publicise results from A* to C at GCSE, but show how much progress has been made by the students. Not all students are going to be academic and would prefer to study vocational courses and this should be taken into account. Central government is responsible for the school/education budget; they determine which local authorities should receive it and what amount.
The Department of Education is responsible for:
- Setting the national curriculum
- Early years foundation stage, which the schools and nurseries (including private nurseries)
- Funding research into projects for education
- Workforce reform/promoting integrated working
- Developing the roles of voluntary and community organisations, charities and other sectors that work with children
Recent governments have realised how important the care and education of young children is and what impact it can have on them. The four nations from the UK have taken slightly different approaches to how early years education will be delivered.
We are at present in the early stages of working within their frameworks. In September 2008 the government (English) introduced a new statutory curriculum for children from 0 – 5 years who are being cared for or educated away from their homes. The framework applies to; childminders, after-school clubs, nurseries, pre-schools and schools, irrespective of how they are funded. In addition to the education programme the EYFS also includes welfare requirements. This was designed to ensure that all children regardless of background or circumstances would have access to a quality early years education.
There is a series of outcomes for each area of learning so that teachers can measure this and have a clear focus for their work. These outcomes are called the Early Learning Goals. The aim is for the child to meet them by the end of their reception year. These goals are important as they form the building blocks for the children’s later education. Children’s Centres provide a range of early years services from the expectant parent to children aged 0-4 years. These are sometimes described as a’ one stop shop’. This will include childcare, health, parenting and family support services.
In the most deprived areas there may be a requirement to ensure the delivery of day-care, where this is unavailable. Many Children’s Centres are located on school premises. Whilst primarily designed to provide services for pre-school children the buildings can also support schools to deliver ‘Extended services’. Many Children’s Centres work in partnership with their local Education Improvement Partnership, to ensure joined up approaches to support families to meet their children’s needs in a ‘learning community’.
Children’s Centres are managed as part of the Children’s and Young Peoples Services. Those who manage Centres come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Social Work, Nursing and Teaching and share their particular expertise within the local network of Centres. The centres can offer parenting education and family support services. There may be a day nursery on site which will be registered with OFSTED. Parents should always ask to see the current OFSTED report, or download it from the website.
Supporting families in the foundation years, was published by the government in 2011 setting out the government’s intention for more families to benefit from parenting advice and support from pregnancy to the age of five. The parenting class trial was announced in October 2011, by Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families. These trial parenting class areas are Camden, Middlesbrough and High Peak in Derbyshire. Parents in these areas can download a voucher for ? 100. These vouchers will provide support with:
- Learning through play
- Parents working together as a team
- Communicating and staying calm
- Managing sleep issues
- Coping with difficult behaviour
- Rules and routines
- Understanding different stages of your child’s development
Vouchers can either be downloaded from the canparent website to a computer or mobile phone, or paper vouchers are being distributed by children’s workforce professionals in the trial areas and vouchers can also be collected from Boots stores in the trial areas. Local Authorities will provide both Registered and Voluntary Registered childcare provision.
Any childcare provider must be registered with OFSTED, if they look after children under 8 years for more than two hours a day, for payment. Registered chilminders are inspected against five welfare requirements:
- Safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
- Suitable persons
- Suitable premises
Inspections of new childcare settings are usually carried out just after registration and then once every three years. The Voluntary Childcare Register is a section of the register that offers the choice to register for those who would not normally do so.
They are mainly looking after children aged 8 or over in their own home. By joining this part of the register they are showing parents that they are willing to meet certain requirements relating to people. Premises and provision designed to keep children safe. Parent/Toddler groups are exempt from registration by OFSTED, as parents/carers stay with their children. The second department for education is the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, they are responsible for further and higher education and are aiming to establish a world class education system in the UK, so that we have the highest skills needed for economic success in a modern world.
From September 2013 the school leaving age will rise to 17 and from 2015 it will rise to 18 years. The government have raised the leaving age due to research which shows that young people who carry on learning or training are likely to be healthier and less likely to get into trouble with the police. Students can stay at school, go to college, become an apprentice or join a part time training course. They can earn money and learn new skills at the same time. The main qualifications are:
- Vocational courses for those who know what career they would like to follow
- A levels Academic Subjects.
- International Baccalaureate offering a wider range of subjects than A level
- Functional skills
This qualification can form part of the Diploma, usually in Maths, English and IT
- Foundation learning has been developed for low achieving 14-19 year olds to help raise participation, attainment and progress From now the learning is more about what the child wants to do and less about what parents want them to do. Parents can help with the decision making process by talking through the child’s choices and offering to support them whatever their choice.
New teacher’s standards were introduced by the Department for Education in September 2012. They set a clear baseline of expectations for the practice and conduct of teachers once they are qualified. The teacher’s standards are used to assess all trainees working towards QTS and all those on their induction period. They are also used when assessing the performance of all teachers subject to the Education (school teachers’ appraisal) (England) Regulations 2012. Local Government are responsible for providing advice and support to the schools in their local area.
They are responsible for providing staff training and development, special educational needs, the curriculum community cohesion, school management issues, behaviour management and the development of school policies. Local Government will administer committees that deal with education and are responsible for investigations that the authority carries out on employees or potential employees of the authority or governing body of schools. They advise schools on the conditions of service for non-teaching staff and on their grading.
They will also provide specifically trained teachers to support pupils who have special needs or need to be assessed for a particular learning need. These services are sometimes free of charge, but schools are usually expected to pay for them. They pass on any changes in policy and offer staff training through their local education development centre and in some cases whole school training. It is the responsibility of the schools to make sure they are up to date with all the current policies which are put in place for children, young people and their families.
One of these is the Every Child Matters framework, which is one of the largest provisions that has been put in place for developing their roles in the community. They should have policies in place that meet the expected national requirements and also follow the LEA guidelines. OFSTED have two types of inspection of local authority children’s services:
- Inspection of local authority arrangements for the protection of children: These unannounced inspections look at how effective the local child protection service is; and how well the local authority leads its associates in helping and protecting children.
The inspection takes eight days. They carry out activities, such as looking at case files, talking to children, young people, parents and carers. They will inform the relevant senior manager if they find any unresolved issues of significant risk or harm to a child or young person. The lead inspector will write the report, which includes grades and it is then published on the website within 22 days, together with a version for children and young people.
- Ofsted will inspect a further education college with residential care for young people under 18, such as Hereward College, Coventry.
They offer residential placements and the required support for those with disabilities.
- Secure Training Centres for young people aged 10-17 years who are on remand or serving a Detention and Training Order, or are subject to a secure order under section 25 of the Children Act 1989.
- Residential special school for students with special educational needs
- Cafcass provides advice to the family courts and provides support and advice for children and families involved in family court proceedings
- Boarding school where children study and live during term time. Independent boarding school charge fees for tuition, board and lodging.
Maintained schools only charge for board and lodging Clear lines of responsibility are in existence to ensure children are protected:
- Department of Education – overall responsibility for safeguarding and child protection in England
- Issue statutory and non-statutory guidance to local authorities
- Local authorities – use guidance to produce procedures for services and practitioners
- Services use as basis for their policies and procedures
All the guidelines are intended to make sure that all services and agencies working with children and young people work together to improve safeguarding.