Education is vital to the current and future wellbeing of the community in Hackney and the City. It is vital not only for gaining learning and skills but also as a route to social interaction, employment and personal fulfilment, as well as positive wellbeing.

The education system, however, has changed significantly in recent years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The government’s reforms have raised fundamental questions for schools and local authorities about the future provision of education services.

There have been significant developments in the government’s education policy, most notably the publication of the education White Paper, ‘Educational Excellence Everywhere’ (which shaped the proposals in the Education Bill), and the consultation on the National Funding Formula. Both of these will have a considerable impact on the role of local authorities as their ability to maintain schools and to influence the performance of local schools is removed.

Current policy changes that affect local education provision include:

  • national emphasis on development and growth of academies and free schools, alongside the re-introduction of grammar schools
  • national focus on challenge to schools that are deemed to be ‘coasting’ by Ofsted and intervention with failing schools
  • rising school age population
  • continuing roll out of the free 15 hour entitlement for two year olds, and 2017 introduction of free 30 hour entitlement for three and four year olds of working families
  • increasing government recognition of the risks related to unregistered settings, which may impact on such schools operating locally
  • the introduction of the SEND reforms in September 2014 for children and young people with SEND aged 0-25.