Relationships with other agencies
In carrying out the council's duties, the Children's Services Department has to act in partnership with key agencies, such as the Police, Probation Service and Courts with regard to young people who have been arrested, remanded or convicted.
Working with schools
There is a strong working relationship between the council and all schools. A Headteacher Standing Conference Executive has been established which meets 3 times a year with senior members of the Children's Services Department. There are also termly meetings with all Heads according to phase.
This working relationship extends beyond schools maintained by the council to the academies and free schools in the borough, and the independent sector and FE/ Sixth Form colleges.
There are also a number of other important collaborative arrangements, such as the Secondary Improving Behaviour and Attendance Partnership.
Schools, regardless of their status, come together with the LA to discuss, for example, issues such as admissions, funding and major policy areas.
There are also termly briefing meetings for chairmen and vice-chairmen of governing bodies and an annual meeting between the Cabinet Member for Children's Services and chairmen of governors.
The council's role
The council's education policies have traditionally had three interrelated aims:
(a) to introduce the widest range of parental and pupil choice;
(b) to bring the supply of school places into correspondence with demand; and
(c) to raise educational standards in Wandsworth schools.
It is fully behind the ambitions of the Children Act to improve outcomes for children and young people and has taken significant practical steps to reshape provision in order to realise these ambitions.
At the heart of the council's education policies is the intention that parents and pupils should have the widest possible choice, and that pupils should be taught, whenever appropriate, in like-minded groups. This means supporting selection, specialisation and differentiation where appropriate.
A further feature of council policy is the emphasis on innovation and creativity. Significant changes to the education service have taken place in the borough in the last 12 years as part of the process of improving the quality of education and raising standards in schools. This is set to continue.
The council has a crucial role in striving for educational excellence within an increasingly enabling environment. 37% of the borough's schools are currently judged to be outstanding by Ofsted and a further 50% are judged good.