makes for interesting reading
Camden school for girls Head has agreed to get out clause for managed service.
Outsourcing ICT as part of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) | Education | The Guardian
Eventually, last month, Camden school for girls signed, but amended the contract to make it clear that it has a get-out clause, and is prepared to fight on
makes for interesting reading
Very interesting, especially as I hadn't realised until now that facilities management went managed as well as ICT.
That is interesting, I think this snippet sums things up:
Jim Knight, whose response was unambiguous: "Partnerships for Schools does not have powers to prevent a school opting out of proposals for authority-wide ICT programmes. Where a school wishes to opt out of the managed service, it must submit an alternative business procurement case. This must demonstrate that the school's alternative provision will be at least of an equivalent standard to the managed service proposed by the local authority, that it is able to link up to the area-wide solution, and that it passes a value-for-money test to ensure taxpayers' money is being well spent."
Only two out of the 600 schools that have reached this stage in the BSF process have made the alternative business case; PfS says this is because there is not widespread opposition to the shared services. But there is little incentive to promote this option because the managed service is the most lucrative aspect of the deal for companies bidding to supply the systems.
That just underlines my comments on another BSF theadBut there is little incentive to promote this option because the managed service is the most lucrative aspect of the deal for companies bidding to supply the systems.
I think the government are losing the plot on this.
Once apon a time, schools were run by the local authority and all services were centrally sourced. When labour took over it promised to give schools autonomy in the same way that the local area health trusts have autonomy.
That largely seems to have fallen by the wayside.
BSF whilst being a political winner is not being delivered in the right way.
Central resourcing does not work, never has done and never will. Almost all the projects that a local authority operate as a "central resource" fail to deliver. BSF money will be spent badly and inefficiently.
For several reasons.
1. LEP managed centralised contracts are big so they can only be done by the bigger private organisations (the private partner). By its very nature the LA then lose the ability to contract with local smaller more intelligent and responsive companies and the local community spirit that engenders. The LEPs are distant, unresponsive in their approach to the Schools and the LA does not have the internal skills to control the public/private relationship. The LEP is like a godfather, with its preferred sub contractors and its blueprint.
2. Centralised contracts were the basis of the secondary school building program. At that time School fabric was intended to last 100 years - will we be doing this again in another 40 years because the larger contractors are driven by shareholder profit?
3. The scheme seems to be being steamrollered through without proper consultation at a local level. Opt in should be the norm, not opt out!
4. Way too many consultants.
5. LEP seem to operate a blackmail scheme, you are either all in or you don't get any of the dosh....
IT specifically - For the schools this means potentially losing its local ICT support and that being delegated to a centralised team. And we all know what that means, its a backward step. Let the school solve its ICT problems by using the local expertise that is all around us.
For example a school IT department should teach a balanced view of IT, not weighted in one direction or another, this will not happen with a centralised scheme. The gains that computing in the UK have made in the last 10 years will be torn apart and lost forever.
Will we centrally source religion? I think not. So why should a School's IT department be all MS or all Linux or whatever...
Almost all the services a school has should not be centrally sourced apart from consumable supply (pens and paper), energy and legal.
Building works and renewals can be driven by the local community....and that's what should happen. Forget about fancy public/private schemes. A bidding system like the one that runs successfully for lottery money with local managers and local private support is what is needed.
That's my view.
End of rant.....
PS - And you can forget about PFI.
Last week we phoned a local networking company saying we needed some networking done for our textiles room which was implementing sewing machines that can link to PCs and also for our new cashless catering service and a few other bits n bobs around the school. Mainly switches/ports.Building works and renewals can be driven by the local community....and that's what should happen. Forget about fancy public/private schemes. A bidding system like the one that runs successfully for lottery money with local managers and local private support is what is needed.
The job was started and finished on Monday this week, all to a fantastic standard and very cheap.
This was all done by a local company who we employ to do our networking, rather than A-Z, since they are reliable, local and actually interested in forming a strong bond with the school.
Imo, smaller companies will lose the much needed business from their local schools, thanks to BSF and this will do to the industry what Tesco has done to the local delicatessen and butchers.
Would BSF be able to provide such a service at the drop of a hat, within a few days? Or would there be bureaucracy and a longer wait time?
I'm actually interested in an answer to the above question by the way!
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