ALTHOUGH details are conspicuous by their absence, Bradford Council has announced a scheme whereby the delivery of education in the district could be handed over to a private company or companies.

The local authority has issued a statement full of good intentions and 'feel-good' phrases without, however, offering even a tentative concrete suggestion of how the arrangement is supposed to work.

This leaves the pupils, teachers, heads, other staff, parents and governors with two questions to answer.

Will it be the case that private enterprise and expertise, working hand in glove with the local education authority, will be able to deliver the standard of education which our children deserve, lift Bradford off the bottom rung of the national education ladder, and improve the morale of all involved?

Or is it a case of a local authority finally realising it has been blundering down a politically-correct blind alley of inept education policies for decades and is now trying to dump the problem in someone else's hands?

Whether the plan is a good one or not, we just can't tell because of the local education authority's failure to provide any details. But one thing is already abundantly clear.

The teachers are strongly opposed to it. Teaching unions are to lobby every councillor in the district, urging them to reject the proposals.

These are the same people whose professionalism and commitment have been proved beyond doubt amid the continuing uncertainty of the change from a three-tier to a two-tier education system.

At the very moment when teachers' patience and loyalty have been stretched to the limit, Bradford Council has decided, in its wisdom, to further undermine their morale. And what is more surprising is that the decision to go down the private enterprise road has been taken without the issue coming before any council committee.

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