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The changing role of local authorities in education

Take part in the crucial debate about the future role of Local Authorities! Don't come to this session expecting to be told the answers. Come ready to contribute to a lively debate from which we will publish the general conclusions.

John Freeman will focus on the developing and changing role of the Local Authority in education, from the early years through to Further Education, consider the changes introduced by the Coalition Government and discuss with participants how the world might look in five years time.

The masterclass will include consideration of Local Authorities' role in planning, capital, school improvement, accountability and inspection, funding, admissions, exclusions, and Special Educational Needs. It will look at the new relationships that will be needed between Local Authorities, schools, Colleges, Academies, Academy chains, and Free Schools.

This masterclass will be particularly useful for:

- Senior officials in Local Authority children's services, especially those concerned with education issues.
- Senior staff working in schools and colleges, academies and academy chains
- Local politicians responsible for children's services and education
- National officials working on education policy issues
- Senior staff in other organisations working in the education field
- Academics working in the field of education administration and policy


John Freeman CBE

Early in his career John taught science and has since acted as Deputy Director of Education for Somerset County Council, Director of Education and Lifelong Learning for Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and was the first Director of Children’s Services for Dudley. In 2007/08, John was one of two inaugural Joint Presidents for the newly-constituted Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

Until 2010, John led the Local Government Association support programme for the transfer of responsibility of 16-19 education from the LSC to local authorities in April 2010. The transfer was proposed in the White Paper ‘Raising Expectations’ and the support programme was the Raising Expectations Action Programme – the React Programme. John has since worked with the LGA on the local government response to the Coalition Government’s proposals for 16-19 and on the role of local government in education more generally.

Since 2010, John has worked as an independent consultant to local authorities, academies and colleges, and as an independent commentator and writer education and children’s services, with a column in Children and Young People Now.

John is Chair of the Corporation of Dudley College and a governor at Coseley School, and is a founder trustee of ‘Creating Chances’, a charity working to improve the education outcomes for children and young people in the care system in the Black Country.

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