Councils want to intervene more quickly, but decades of giving schools 'greater freedom' and 'protecting' them from council interference means that local authorities now have very indirect and bureaucratic ways to tackle poor performance and improve schools which are based on intervention driven by Whitehall, not flexible local arrangements.
Ironically, the Government and academy chains have more direct power than councils to quickly turn around under-performing schools.
As more schools move away from local authority-maintained status, council leaders are concerned it will become impossible for the performance of such a large number of schools to be monitored from the centre.
Without local intervention, poor performance will not be spotted early enough and educational standards may slip.
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