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BSF Thread, You guys won't be happy... this week's BSF letters in Computing in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook It's been done and proven to be reasonably successful ... it is can be done in ...
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    It's been done and proven to be reasonably successful ... it is can be done in a variety of ways, but a common one is Hard Federation, where a successful school takes over a smaller, local failing school. Examples of this are Academies where you have two of them partnered ... but they have an Executive Principal overseeing both and both LTs have close links.

    That sort of sounds like an additional tier ontop of an existing LT to me? Or am I misunderstanding that?

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    I think we have to go to a business analogy here.

    Company A is successful and make a chunk of money (in school terms gets top results and outstanding at OFSTED). Company B is not doing well and is taking subsidies from shareholders (in schools term it is getting funding and not producing the results) and the people running it are in trouble.

    The shareholders of Company B can replace the management of Company B but know that the whole business needs to be changed, then they realise that they are also the shareholders of Company A ... now wouldn't it be a good idea to take Company B and make it a subsidiary of Company A.

    To do this they take the top person at Company A and put him in charge of the overall strategy of both companies, trying to get all the good things from A to B, where appropriate. This also means changes at Company B ... and Company A does the interviews, sorts out the structure, etc ...

    Both companies work closely together, buying stock from the same suppliers to save some money, sharing Govt grants ....

    The only extra layer is the Exec Principal in this example ...

    In some schools they don't even have this ... but the Head of the good school in a hard federation can be the boss of the Head in the other school.

    To some extent there are similarities between different setups ... but each one may have unique things in place, mainly as the needs of each school is different and so you have to put in place what is going to have the best chance of making a positive change.

    Does this make it a bit clearer?

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    It does, thanks. It sounds like a slightly different to the scenario presented by BSF though. With BSF even 'Company A' gets taken over, which is a baffling move to be sure!

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    Sorry ... I only did it from the Academies / federation point of view as the point was raised about Leadership Teams getting outsourced / taken over.

    If we go back to the various companies, A through to Z that the shareholders own ... some do well, some do bad, some do ok ...

    The shareholders have to work out some way to get them all working well. They look at the buildings they are in, and some are falling down and not fit for purpose. They look at the IT and how well stuff is put in and if it is making a difference to the business. They come up with some pre-defined targets and then work out what can be done from a central strategy and what needs to be done on a company by company basis.

    They work out that since they are borrowing money to get this sorted they need to give the builders a big say in things ... so let's do that centrally ... they also realise that they have limited ways of measuring how well IT is performing and what a difference it makes. In that case it is best to start with a level playing field and go from there.

    This also gives them a chance to make sure that the people running the companies are switched on to what the new buildings and new kit can do ... so yes, they will make changes if needed. This varies from school to school and some company bosses might reapply for their own job. Nothing wrong with a bit of a shake up.

    The downsides?

    Well ... Company A is good ... damn good ... they have people that do R&D as part of their daily job and the company gives them the flexibility to do this as it has proven to increase profits. However, it can be high risk and the shareholders worry about high risk activities. They want to allow it but want to make sure that it doesn't mess anything else up. I guess some of that R&D will be lost unless the company boss is really careful about making sure the shareholders know how good it is and what a difference it makes.

    Company B is quite good too ... in fact they already have a couple of small suppliers that know exactly what the company needs and can deliver consistently. But the small supplier is not on the list that the shareholders have of suppliers ... and so the outside group that looks after the supply now doesn't include them. Partly because they are an unknown quantity, partly due to the outside group have their own shareholders who want them to be profitable.

    Company Y ... they are in dire straights. They have always got the worst clients, the ones that others won't deal with because you don't get good profits from ... the ones that use your kit and damage it without repaying you for the damage, the ones that often just drop out of the system anyway so you see no return on the investment. The new buildings for this company don't stay new for long and the kit in there does not last. However, the shareholders only gave so much money out to spent to start with. There isn't anymore unless Company Y dips into other pockets ... staff salary, etc. Company Y is a high risk and so the outside group has to force them to do things in a particular way to make sure the shareholders are happy.

    And then you get Company Z. This is the company that looks after itself really ... any profit it makes it invests in itself so the shareholder don't see anything from it other than it is a success. They are now having to join the rest of the companies ... they don't like it because even though this company may have the best R&D or the best ROI, they are going to have to change at least some of their methods to fit in.

    This is the company that might decide to go for a management buyout, with the support from other groups, but not always with the support or investment of shareholders. This means that they have limited money for IT or Buildings ... a high risk for all involved.

    I think this is a fair analogy, a bit rough in places but sort of sets it out.



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