Academies stymie council’s autism database

.

.

First published in News

COUNCIL officials have been unable to put together a database of the number of Oxfordshire pupils on the autism spectrum who have been excluded from school.

They have been unable to get figures from Oxfordshire’s academies, which are independent of council control.

Oxfordshire County Council was hoping to put together the database so that it could work to reduce the number in future years.

But Alison Wallis, the county council’s performance and information manager, said: “It has been quite difficult to find a definitive list of children on the autistic spectrum.

“We were going to get it from the school census, but the Department for Education has said local authorities no longer have access to this.”

The issue has arisen because academies and free schools are independent of council control, meaning local authorities have less powers in relation to them.

Jim Leivers, the director of children’s services at the county council, said: “Government policy is that local authorities have an increasingly limited role in relation to the wider education agenda.”

The issue was discussed at yesterday’s meeting of the children and young people’s partnership board.

County councillor Hilary Hibbert-Biles, the cabinet member for public health, told the meeting that information held by school nurses could be used to retrieve the data.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Adding extra lanes to A34 through Oxfordshire could cost £800m

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Monday 24th November 2014

PLANS to widen the A34 in both directions through Oxfordshire would cost at least £800 million, a new report has revealed.

Philippa first in the queue to meet Sir Terry Wogan at Abingdon book signing

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Monday 24th November 2014

PHILIPPA Randels had met Sir Terry Wogan twice before but that didn’t stop her being at the front of the queue for a third meeting in Abingdon.

Charity salsa dancers really on a roll

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Monday 24th November 2014

AFTER 10 hours of non-stop salsa dancing, Bea Prentiss and her team could have been forgiven for wanting to take a well-earned rest.

Health workers go on strike across Oxfordshire over pay dispute

Oxford Mail:

8:37am Monday 24th November 2014

STAFF at the John Radcliffe are striking this morning in an ongoing row over pay.

Two-week gun amnesty begins in move to reduce firearm crime

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Monday 24th November 2014

GUN owners will be able to hand in their firearms without fear of prosecution for two weeks from today.

Buses delayed due to heavy traffic on the A40

Oxford Mail: Traffic Alert general

8:32am Monday 24th November 2014

Buses are being delayed by heavy congestion this morning.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:32am Fri 1 Aug 14

DoctorBob says...

So the creation of academies creates another issue. Blue sky thinking at it's best.
So the creation of academies creates another issue. Blue sky thinking at it's best. DoctorBob
  • Score: 0

11:25am Fri 1 Aug 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

So the local authority is unable to access data on vulnerable children who are currently outwith its responsibility...

Isn't that a good thing?
So the local authority is unable to access data on vulnerable children who are currently outwith its responsibility... Isn't that a good thing? Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -1

11:38am Fri 1 Aug 14

Man on the Green says...

There is a worrying side to this, as Academies and Free Schools escape the accountability of Freedom of Information requests, which in the past have revealed misuse of funding intended for vulnerable children,clear breaches of the law on free school meal provision, school trips, residential stays, oversight arrangements and other fundamental issues around child protection and safety. The OCC was not at its best in dealing with such matters, but muddled through (as is their wont). But that was better than a blank refusal to be held to account for their spending of taxpayers' hard-earned cash... This is something that needs to be fixed.
There is a worrying side to this, as Academies and Free Schools escape the accountability of Freedom of Information requests, which in the past have revealed misuse of funding intended for vulnerable children,clear breaches of the law on free school meal provision, school trips, residential stays, oversight arrangements and other fundamental issues around child protection and safety. The OCC was not at its best in dealing with such matters, but muddled through (as is their wont). But that was better than a blank refusal to be held to account for their spending of taxpayers' hard-earned cash... This is something that needs to be fixed. Man on the Green
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree