Make education bosses more accountable, says minister

Leighton Andrews wants "swifter" action to resolve problems quickly

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Council education bosses in charge of failing school services should lose their jobs, the education minister says.

In an interview on BBC's The Wales Report, Leighton Andrews called for education directors to be more directly accountable.

The minister also called for "swifter" action to resolve problems quickly.

Local government leaders are opposing part of his new review which could cut councils out of running schools.

"Why is it that directors of education who are running failing education services stay in their jobs?" Mr Andrews said in the programme.

Discussing his radical review with presenter Huw Edwards, the minister said local authorities and their leaders were failing to take action when schools were struggling.

"I want to ask the question - why is it that local councils intervene so late in schools or rarely at all?" he said.

'Loath to act'

"As we've seen as we pass the School Standards Bill at the moment, they very rarely use their powers of intervention when schools start getting into trouble. They need to look very closely at what they're doing there.

"I also want to know why is it that when a council is found to be in need of special measures even then local government leaders are so loath to act," the minister said.

Mr Andrews said that reports from Wales' education inspectorate Estyn proved that many local authorities were under-delivering on education.

Removing the responsibility for education from local councils is one of a range of options the review will consider.

The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) said it was "vehemently opposed" to removing education from councils and that recently-introduced changes need time to bed in.

Opposition parties said the review was an admission of failure by the Labour minister.

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