Leicester is home to two universities, the University of Leicester, which attained its Royal Charter in 1957, and the De Montfort University, which opened in 1969 as Leicester Polytechnic and adopted its current name in 1992.
It is also home to the National Space Centre, due in part to the University of Leicester being one of the few universities in the UK to specialise in space sciences.
Leicester City Local Education Authority initially had a troubled history when formed in 1997 as part of the local government reorganisation - a 1999 Ofsted inspection found "few strengths and many weaknesses", although there has been considerable improvement since then. While many state schools provide a good standard of education, there have been problems with one or two of the large community colleges, in particular New College. However, recent changes of leadership at New College have seen a turnaround in the school's prospects.
Current plans to improve the city's education system include the opening of The Samworth Enterprise Academy a city academy whose catchment area will draw in children from the Saffron and Eyres Monsell estates, co-sponsored by the Church of England and David Samworth, chairman of Samworth Brothers. State school status has been granted to the Leicester Islamic Academy. The city's special schools are currently undergoing reorganisation.
Under the "Building Schools for the Future" project, Leicester City Council has contracted with developers Miller Consortium for £315 million to rebuild Beaumont Leys School, Judgemeadow Community College in Evington, and Soar Valley College in Rushey Mead, and to refurbish Fullhurst Community College in Braunstone.
Leicester City Council underwent a major reorganisation of children's services in 2006, creating a new Children & Young People's Services department.
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