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Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009

Local education authority

11.Throughout the Notes the term “local education authority” is used to refer to those local authorities with education functions identified in section 12 of the Education Act 1996. The term “local education authority” has been in use since 1944 to identify those authorities but it has given rise to some perceptions that a local education authority has an identity of its own separate from the local authority.

12.In line with government policy to improve outcomes for children by promoting greater cooperation between agencies delivering children’s services, and the introduction of the post of director of children's services and lead member for children's services in the Children Act 2004, local authority children's services (mainly education and children's social services) are being integrated. To reflect this it is now government policy that the terms “local education authority” and “children’s services authority” should no longer be used. To make this fully effective requires an equivalent change in the terminology used in legislation.

13.Education legislation, however, uses the term “local education authority” and, as the Act both amends and builds on a number of Education Acts, it has been necessary to continue to use the term local education authority in the Act. It is therefore used throughout these Notes (and, where appropriate, is abbreviated to LEA). But in due course an order made under section 162 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 will convert references in legislation to “local education authority” (and references in legislation to “children’s services authority”) to references to “local authority”.

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