North Somerset’s school services could be outsourced to another council


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The education services which could be soon outsourced to a council outside North Somerset have been revealed.

North Somerset Council is losing its education grant from the Government, and is investigating how some of its school services can be run by other organisations.

Its officers have drawn up a proposal for some education services to be run by Somerset County Council’s not-for-profit trading service called Support Services for Education.

North Somerset’s executive met on Tuesday to make a decision on whether officers should start negotiating with the county council about how it would work.

Somerset was chosen as the preferred option over South Gloucestershire Council by the executive on Tuesday.

The services which may soon be run by Somerset County Council include education welfare and psychology, governor services and teachers which help with mental health.

Services for children with autism could also be run by the neighbouring authority.

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The report to be presented to the executive says: “The preferred alternative has been to transfer staff and service delivery to another local authority with a larger and more resilient continued education services function.”

It says Somerset County Council provides educational support on a ‘significantly’ larger scale than in North Somerset.

A final decision will not be made until October, but, if it is agreed, Somerset may run some services as soon as April 2018.

In some cases, North Somerset would not be involved in those services from September 2018 onwards. It would, however, monitor the quality of support for autistic children and certain aspects of education welfare and psychology.

Other services which are currently run by North Somerset Council will be given to the schools to run themselves, as most of them are converting to academies.