© Thomas Trutschel/Getty ImagesEd Miliband wants to create a schools improvement team that will work separately from Ofsted.
Proposed public service overhaul includes education hit squads to boost performance of failing schools or teachers

Parents are to be given a new power to call in a specialist team to boost the performance of failing schools or teachers, under a set of wide-ranging public service reform plans to be laid out on Monday by the Labour leader, Ed Miliband.

The improvement team, working separately from Ofsted, will have powers to set out school improvement plans, order greater collaboration between schools or even remove failing headteachers. The body would have powers to intervene with academies, free schools and community schools.

Miliband has been relatively quiet on reform of schools, hospitals and local government, but will say on Monday he wants to usher in "a new culture of people-powered public services".

Writing in the Guardian, before delivering the annual Hugo Young lecture on Monday night, Miliband concedes: "I meet as many people coming to me frustrated by the unresponsive state as the untamed market. And the causes of the frustrations are often the same in the private and public sector: unaccountable power with the individual left powerless to act."

He will claim he is just as determined to tackle unaccountable power in the public sector as he has already shown himself to be in relation to the private sector.

Miliband's speech will unveil a hitherto hidden public service reform agenda, including a promise to devolve power away from Whitehall in a way that the party claims is as radical as Labour's commitment to Scottish devolution in the 1990s.

Miliband will set out four reforms:
- A trigger for parents to get swift action on raising standards in schools.

- New powers for public service users to access and control their own information, including their health and school records.

- Handing local councils three or five-year budgets to provide greater certainty and shift focus to prevention.

- A right for public service users, including patients suffering a chronic illness, to link up with other users to share experience, build social networks and learn from one another. He also wants to give users a right to track their case, such as a crime report, in the same way private sector customers can track their online shopping orders.
Miliband's plans to offer parents a mechanism to force improvements in their child's school is aimed at giving a degree of control over improvements in public services to the people receiving them. He did not specify how many parents would be needed to trigger an improvement team visit but he said the number would be "substantial". The hurdle will be lowered where Ofsted has already classified the school as inadequate.

Miliband will argue: "Having promised to share power, this government has actually centralised power in Whitehall and is attempting to run thousands of schools from there. That does not work, and as a result some schools have been left to fail without intervention."

He will say: "Parents should not have to wait for somebody in Whitehall to intervene if they have serious concerns about how their school is doing whether it is a free school, academy or local authority school. In all schools there should be a parent call-in."

Remedial action could include drawing up a school standards plan focused on areas of concern; brokering collaboration with another school; bringing in outside teaching and leadership expertise; and changing staff or the school's leadership.

The proposal forms part of a wider review into the accountability structure of schools in the aftermath of the reforms introduced by the education secretary, Michael Gove.

The review is being overseen by the former education secretary David Blunkett and is reporting to the shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt.

Blunkett told the Guardian the current education system was chaotic, but he stressed he did not think the improvement role should be led by local authorities, but by some new sub-regional body, modelled on the success of the London Schools Challenge.

Miliband also promises to roll back decades of centralisation in local government, saying councils should be given powers to control three to five-year budgets in areas such as crime and justice, social services, the Work Programme and social care.

Although British opposition parties often make commitments to devolve power that are unfulfilled in government, Miliband will argue devolving power down is a necessity in an era of budget cuts.

He will say: "By hoarding power and decision making at the centre, we end up with duplication and waste in public services - and fail to serve the people."

He will also argue that devolution of services to local councils dovetails with other plans prepared by Lord Adonis for the party on industrial strategy. He is expected to recommend that infrastructure budgets are devolved to city and county regions.

Miliband will reject the government vision of public sector reform by saying: "Too often large public sector bureaucracies have been replaced with a large private sector bureaucracy. A Serco/G4S state can be just as flawed as the centralised state." Although he will acknowledge the Blairite reforms of "choice, contestability and competition have a role", he will say it is insufficient because "parents cannot switch schools in the same way people go down to the shops or choose to go to a different cafe".

Miliband will also argue that his reforms are not just right in themselves, but also a necessity if public services are to survive further years of spending cuts .

He will say: "The next Labour government will face massive fiscal challenges including having to cut spending. That is why it is all the more necessary to get every pound of value out of service, and show we can do more with less including by doing things in a different way."