education authorities

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The authorities responsible for the statutory system of education introduced by the Education Act 1944, i.e. the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and local education authorities (LEAs). In England and Wales the latter are county councils or unitary councils and, within Greater London, the London borough councils. The Education Reform Act 1988 introduced measures under which schools could, with the approval of the Secretary of State, opt out of local education authority control to become grant-maintained schools. The current framework for schools is contained primarily in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and the Education Acts of 2002 and 2005. This consists of a three-part structure of community schools (controlled by the LEAs), voluntary schools (often with a distinctive religious ethos), and foundation schools (the former grant-maintained schools, now funded by the LEAs rather than centrally). The Education and Inspections Act 2006 included the provision for a foundation school to set up a charitable foundation (or trust) to support the school. The aim of such trust schools, which remain LEA-maintained schools, is to use experience, energy, and expertise from other schools and professions as a lever to raise standards.

Subjects: Law.

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