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
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.