Authority has ‘no power to impose countywide testing’

Daljit Lally, executive director of adult care at Northumberland Care Trust.

Daljit Lally, executive director of adult care at Northumberland Care Trust.

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Another teaching union has waded into the debate over a county education chief’s controversial letter to schools following the recent Ofsted fiasco.

In December, the Gazette reported that a letter sent by Northumberland County Council’s new corporate director of children’s services, Daljit Lally, to all headteachers in the region was branded as bullying and confrontational by the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

It followed criticism of the local authority and a number of schools after a series of inspections in October.

On January 9, the regional officer of NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers), Dave Marshall, wrote to Ms Lally to raise similar concerns.

One of the main points made was that the council does ‘not have the legal power to direct all schools in the county to undertake any tests other than those laid down by statute’.

However, at the January meeting of the county council’s family and children’s services scutiny committee, Ms Lally repeated the proposal for countywide testing.

Asked to clarify the position on countywide testing by the Gazette, she said: “As a council, we’re looking at a range of issues to help support schools following the recent Ofsted inspections.

“As part of this process, lots of internal work is going on to ensure that we provide a positive response and we will be advising schools of the arrangements in due course.”

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