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Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
and
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
that are responsible for education within their jurisdiction. The term is used to identify which council (district or county) is locally responsible for education in a system with several layers of local government. Local education authorities are not usually ad hoc or standalone authorities, although the former
Inner London Education Authority The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) was an ad hoc local education authority Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west an ...
was one example of this.


Responsible local authority


England

England has several tiers of local government and the relevant local authority varies. Within
Greater London Greater London is an Metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England, administrative area governed by the Greater London Authority, and a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of England that covers the bulk of the same area ...

Greater London
the 32
London borough council The London boroughs are the 32 districts of England, local authority districts that make up the Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county of Greater London; each is governed by a London borough council. The present London boroughs were ...
s and the
Common Council of the City of LondonThe Court of Common Council is the primary decision-making body of the City of London Corporation The City of London Corporation, officially and legally the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London, is the municipal governing body ...
are the local authorities responsible for education; in the metropolitan counties it is the 36 metropolitan borough councils; and in the non-metropolitan counties it is the 27
county council A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Pub ...
s or, where there is no county council, the councils of the 55
unitary authorities A unitary authority is a local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized gove ...
. The
Council of the Isles of Scilly The Council of the Isles of Scilly is a ''sui generis ''Sui generis'' ( , ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken ...
is an education authority. Since the
Children Act 2004 The Children Act 2004 (c 31) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kingdom, the Crow ...
each local education authority is also a children's services authority and responsibility for both functions is held by the director of children's services.Children Act 2004 c. 31 There are 152 local education authorities in England.


Wales

In Wales the councils of the counties and county boroughs are responsible for education. Since 5 May 2010, the terms local education authority and children's services authority have been repealed and replaced by the single term 'local authority' in both primary and secondary legislation.


Functions

Local education authorities have some responsibility for all state schools in their area. *They are responsible for distribution and monitoring of funding for the schools *They are responsible for co-ordination of admissions, including allocation of the number of places available at each school *They are the direct employers of all staff in
community A community is a social unit The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of observation" in that the former refer ...
and VC schools *They have a responsibility for the educational achievement of looked-after children, i.e. children in their care *They have attendance and advisory rights in relation to the employment of teachers, and in relation to the dismissal of any staff *They are the owners of school land and premises in community schools. Until recently, local education authorities were responsible for the funding of students in
higher education Higher education is tertiary education Tertiary education, also referred to as third-level, third-stage or post-secondary education, is the education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge ...
(for example undergraduate courses and PGCE) whose permanent address is in their area, regardless of the place of study. Based on an assessment of individual circumstances they offer grants or access to
student loan A student loan is a type of loan In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. S ...
s through the
Student Loans Company The Student Loans Company (SLC) is a non-departmental public bodyIn the United Kingdom, non-departmental public body (NDPB) is a classification applied by the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, Treasury, the Scottish Government and the Northern Ireland E ...
.


History


Creation

The term was introduced by the
Education Act 1902 The Education Act 1902 ('' 2 Edw. VII''), also known as the Balfour Act, was a highly controversial Act of Parliament that set the pattern of elementary education in England and Wales for four decades. It was brought to Parliament by a Conservati ...
(2 Edw.7, c. 42). The Act designated each local authority; either
county council A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Pub ...
and
county borough council County borough is a term introduced in 1889 in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to refer to a borough or a city independent of county council control, similar to the Unitary authorities of England, unitary authorities created sin ...
; would set up a committee known as a ''local education authority'' (LEA).Bryne, T., ''Local Government in Britain'', (1994) The councils took over the powers and responsibilities of the
school boards A board of education, school committee or school board is the board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth Englis ...
and
technical instruction committee Technical may refer to: * Technical (vehicle) A technical, in professional military parlance often called a non-standard tactical vehicle (NSTV), is a light improvised fighting vehicle, typically an open-backed civilian pickup truck or four-whe ...
s in their area.
Municipal borough Municipal boroughs were a type of local government district which existed in England and Wales between 1835 and 1974, in Northern Ireland from 1840 to 1973 and in the Republic of Ireland from 1840 to 2002. Broadly similar structures existed in S ...
s with a population of 10,000 and urban districts with a population of 20,000 were to be local education authorities in their areas for elementary education only. The LEAs' role was further expanded with the introduction of school meals in 1906 and medical inspection in 1907. In 1904 the
London County Council London County Council (LCC) was the principal local government body for the County of London The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of th ...
became a local education authority, with the abolition of the
London School Board The School Board for London, commonly known as the London School Board (LSB), was an institution of local government and the first directly elected body covering the whole of London. The Elementary Education Act 1870 was the first to provide for ...
. The
metropolitan boroughs A metropolitan borough is a type of local government district The districts of England (also known as local authority districts or local government districts to distinguish from unofficial city districts) are a level of Subdivisions of Englan ...
within London were not education authorities, although they were given the power to decide on the site for new schools in their areas, and provided the majority of members on boards of management.


Reform

The system continued unchanged until 1965, when the
London County Council London County Council (LCC) was the principal local government body for the County of London The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of th ...
was replaced by the
Greater London Council The Greater London Council (GLC) was the top-tier local government administrative body for Greater London Greater London is an administrative area Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admin ...
. The twenty outer
London borough The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that make up the ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as cerem ...
s became local education authorities, while a new
Inner London Education Authority The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) was an ad hoc local education authority Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west an ...
, consisting of the members of the GLC elected for the inner boroughs covering the former
County of London The County of London was a county of England from 1889 to 1965, corresponding to the area known today as Inner London. It was created as part of the general introduction of elected county government in England, by way of the Local Government Ac ...
was created. In 1974 local government outside London was completely reorganised. In the new metropolitan counties of
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. E ...

England
,
metropolitan borough A metropolitan borough is a type of districts of England, local government district in England, and is a subdivision of a metropolitan county. Created in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, metropolitan boroughs are defined in English law as ...
s became LEAs. In the non-metropolitan counties the
county council A county council is the elected administrative body governing an area known as a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Pub ...
s were the education authorities, as they were throughout
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
. In 1986, with the abolition of the Greater London Council, a directly elected
Inner London Education Authority The Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) was an ad hoc local education authority Local education authorities (LEAs) are the local councils in England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west an ...
was formed. This however only existed until 1990, when the twelve inner
London borough The London boroughs are the 32 local authority districts that make up the ceremonial county The counties and areas for the purposes of the lieutenancies, also referred to as the lieutenancy areas of England and informally known as cerem ...
s assumed responsibility for education. In 1989, under the
Education Reform Act 1988 The Education Reform Act 1988 is widely regarded as the most important single piece of education legislation in England and Wales since the 'Butler' Education Act 1944. Provisions The main provisions of the Education Reform Act are as follows: ...
, the LEAs lost responsibility for higher education, with all polytechnics and colleges of higher education becoming independent corporations. A further wave of local government reorganisation during the 1990s led to the formation of
unitary authorities A unitary authority is a local authority Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized gove ...
in parts of England and throughout
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
, which became local education authorities. A local educational authority award is an award given ''to'' the local educational authority, as opposed to an award given ''by'' the LEA.


List of local authorities responsible for education

There are currently 152 local education authorities in England and 22 in Wales. Below they are listed alphabetically by region.Department for Education and Skills
- LA Contact Details


See also

*
Special education Special education (known as special-needs education, aided education, exceptional education, exceptional student education, special ed., SEN, or SPED) is the practice of educating students in a way that provides accommodations that address the ...

Special education
*
Dyslexia support in the United KingdomSpecial educational needs (SEN), also known as special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in the United Kingdom refers to the education of children with disabilities. Definition The definition of SEN is set out in the Education Act 1996 and w ...


References


External links


DfES: The Role of the Local Education Authority in School Education
{{Local government services in the United Kingdom Education in the United Kingdom
Education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...
Local education authorities