There was an announcement recently that the Ministry for Education would have a very large reduction in staff. This may be seen as a positive move but it rather cuts across Secretary of State Michael Gove’s commitment to remove the influence of local authorities in his policies for academies and free schools and for such schools to be controlled centrally. This would appear to demand more civil servants rather than fewer. The leaders of all of London’s local authorities have called on the Government to recognise the essential role of local councils in education, in tackling school places crisis and in ensuring that London schools continue to improve outcomes. This will not happen if Michael Gove bypasses local democracy by centralising control of schools in his own hands. Conversely, the Education Secretary has hinted that a lower tier of control maybe necessary to manage the vast monitoring task. Mr Gove, it is already there, and is called local government!