Before 1976 Education was the responsibility of schools and teachers. Local Authorities were required to make sure that there were enough schools for all the children in their area and had to ensure every child had a place in school. Central Government provided a framework and the funds.
In 1976 the Great Education Debate allowed Central Government to get involved in Education and it's not worked. The National Curriculum as a guideline would be fine, but it's become a requirement. In ordr to deliver a centralised curriculum we have seen the development of lots of new QUANGOs like OFSTED and QCA etc. Before HMI was able to check that Local Authorities were doing their work while Local inspectors checked that the schools were delivering. Some Local Authorities were poor at their job, but we now have laws that allow Government to inspect Local Authorities, lets use that model for Education. HMI can inspect the Authority and require it to do its job properly. But lets get Central Government out of the minutii of schools and education. Restore Local Authority and Accountability.
Why is this idea important?
Schools have to meet a raft of regulations and headteachers are no longer required to be first class teachers, rather they have to be excellent paper pushers. The curriculum is restricted and does not meet the needs of local business and industry.
Local authorities should be the focus of the regulations which enable good Education to happen in their area. Schools should be responsible for delivering good education in line with the needs of their pupils. Attainment should be measured at a Local Authority level so as to allow schools to specialise in delivering appropriate education to pupils of different needs without worrying about their position in the league tables.