Local heroes? Labour’s plan for a ‘middle tier’ should be seen as work in progress


Ann Hodgson and Ken Spours

The latest output from Labour’s policy review tries to tackle one of the most difficult legacies of the Coalition Government; a highly fractured and privatised English education landscape. Accordingly, David Blunkett’s Middle Tier Review decided to take aim at the Achilles’ heel of the Gove education revolution – the centralisation of contracting with thousands of schools in the hands of the Secretary of State and the fracturing of the local landscape that, they argue, undermines standards and opportunity for all.

The political dilemma for Labour, however, was to avoid being seen as embracing the old world of the local authority or “creating wholesale upheaval and deconstructing the existing landscape”. Its answer has come in the form of a complex set of proposals aimed at creating coherence, consistency and collaboration in a reconfigured local landscape. Drawing on what it sees as the successes of London Challenge

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