Responsible local authority
EnglandEngland has several tiers of local government and the relevant local authority varies. Within the 32 London borough councils and the Common Council of the City of London are the local authorities responsible for education; in the metropolitan counties it is the 36 metropolitan borough councils; and in the non-metropolitan counties it is the 27 county councils or, where there is no county council, the councils of the 55 unitary authorities. The Council of the Isles of Scilly is an education authority. Since the Children Act 2004 each local education authority is also a children's services authority and responsibility for both functions is held by the director of children's services.Children Act 2004 c. 31 There are 152 local education authorities in England.
WalesIn Wales the councils of the counties and county boroughs are responsible for education. Since 5 May 2010, the terms local education authority and children's services authority have been repealed and replaced by the single term 'local authority' in both primary and secondary legislation.
FunctionsLocal education authorities have some responsibility for all state schools in their area. *They are responsible for distribution and monitoring of funding for the schools *They are responsible for co-ordination of admissions, including allocation of the number of places available at each school *They are the direct employers of all staff in community and VC schools *They have a responsibility for the educational achievement of looked-after children, i.e. children in their care *They have attendance and advisory rights in relation to the employment of teachers, and in relation to the dismissal of any staff *They are the owners of school land and premises in community schools. Until recently, local education authorities were responsible for the funding of students in higher education (for example undergraduate education, undergraduate courses and Professional Graduate Certificate in Education, PGCE) whose permanent address is in their area, regardless of the place of study. Based on an assessment of individual circumstances they offer grants or access to student loans through the Student Loans Company.
CreationThe term was introduced by the Education Act 1902 (2 Edw.7, c. 42). The Act designated each local authority; either county council and county borough, county borough council; would set up a committee known as a ''local education authority'' (LEA).Bryne, T., ''Local Government in Britain'', (1994) The councils took over the powers and responsibilities of the school board (England & Wales), school boards and technical instruction committees in their area. Municipal boroughs with a population of 10,000 and urban district (Great Britain and Ireland), urban districts with a population of 20,000 were to be local education authorities in their areas for elementary education only. The LEAs' role was further expanded with the introduction of school meals in 1906 and medical inspection in 1907. In 1904 the London County Council became a local education authority, with the abolition of the London School Board. The Metropolitan boroughs of the County of London, metropolitan boroughs within London were not education authorities, although they were given the power to decide on the site for new schools in their areas, and provided the majority of members on boards of management.
ReformThe system continued unchanged until 1965, when the London County Council was replaced by the Greater London Council. The twenty outer London boroughs became local education authorities, while a new Inner London Education Authority, consisting of the members of the GLC elected for the inner boroughs covering the former County of London was created. In 1974 local government outside London was completely reorganised. In the new metropolitan counties of , metropolitan boroughs became LEAs. In the non-metropolitan counties the county councils were the education authorities, as they were throughout . In 1986, with the abolition of the Greater London Council, a directly elected Inner London Education Authority was formed. This however only existed until 1990, when the twelve inner London boroughs assumed responsibility for education. In 1989, under the Education Reform Act 1988, the LEAs lost responsibility for higher education, with all polytechnic (United Kingdom), polytechnics and colleges of higher education becoming independent corporations. A further wave of local government reorganisation during the 1990s led to the formation of unitary authority, unitary authorities in parts of England and throughout , which became local education authorities. A local educational authority award is an award given ''to'' the local educational authority, as opposed to an award given ''by'' the LEA.
List of local authorities responsible for educationThere are currently 152 local education authorities in England and 22 in Wales. Below they are listed alphabetically by region.
See also*Special education *Dyslexia support in the United Kingdom