Leeds council appoints agency for Ofsted task

Leeds City Council has hired Sinclair Mason to handle the media interest expected after the imminent publication of a report by the Office for Standards in Education on its local education authority.

Leeds City Council has hired Sinclair Mason to handle the media

interest expected after the imminent publication of a report by the

Office for Standards in Education on its local education authority.



Although the Ofsted report has not yet been published, it is reported to

condemn the LEA and recommend that the city’s education managers be

replaced by outside contractors. The council issued a statement saying

the report was likely to be ’controversial’ and that it had engaged the

services of Sinclair Mason to ’augment the in-house press service on a

short-term basis’.



The five-strong team at the Leeds-based agency is being jointly led by

deputy managing director Sally Habergham and recently-appointed account

director Nick Mayhew.



Mayhew played down claims that Sinclair Mason had been handed a crisis

management brief. ’All we are is an extra resource for the council press

office, to assist in dealing with media enquiries,’ he said.



The Ofsted report is said by the Yorkshire Post to place Leeds in the

same category as the London borough of Islington, declaring it a

’failing education authority’. Responsibility for Islington’s education

budgets and the running of its schools has been transferred to a private

sector firm, Cambridge Education Associates.



A council spokesman said that, since the city’s Ofsted report was not

yet published, no comment could be made.



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