22 LEAs 'a mistake'

Labour and Conservative politicians are blaming each other for the creation of 22 local education authorities in Wales but no-one is claiming it was a good idea.

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Local education authorities are 'a historical mistake' - Minister

The Education Minister is giving the strongest signal yet that radical change lies ahead in the way schools are run. In a speech tonight, Leighton Andrews is expected to described the system of 22 Local Education Authorities as 'a historical mistake made by a Conservative government.'

He's commissioned a review which is looking at several options. But these comments suggest that the Welsh Government is already considering making radical changes. He's expected to say that:

Devolution has given us stronger accountability in Wales. We now need to ask whether all of the pre-devolution structures that we inherited remain fit for purpose. I would not have invented 22 local education authorities for a nation of 3 million people. No-one sensible would. John Redwood did.

The fragmentation of education authorities in the mid-1990s was one of the contributing factors for the downturn in educational performance a decade later, as effective challenge and support was lost in many parts of the system and time, energy and resource was dissipated.

The truth is that the Tory-imposed structure of 22 local education authorities is failing our children and it is not fit for purpose.

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