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BSF Thread, Will it last post credit crunch? in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; As a NM I await news of BSF with some trepidation. One good thing is that our Head is not ...
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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Will it last post credit crunch?

    As a NM I await news of BSF with some trepidation. One good thing is that our Head is not sitting back on budget waiting for the BSF swag to roll in, in fact he recently told me that whilst the school would welcome the building money he couldn't see us ever getting it, that it would die out long before it got to us. Anyone else believe that, particularly after the next election, BSF cash will dry up?

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    I don't know... it's hard to decide, whilst if managed services were rolled out (after new builds) and everyone had a one-size fits all infrastructure where a bod from an SP could go in on a far smaller wage, cover more schools and resolve issues quickly it probably would in the long run save alot of money. Whether or not it is viable at the moment with the current climate is something only the government in power can decide, with my limited knowledge of politics and hearsay knowledge i'd be inclined to say when labour lose power (it looks that way) that tories wouldn't give the same funding but they'd probably still want to lower costs.

    I've had this discussion very briefly here when BSF was mentioned, the general understanding from our school was that we'd get the new builds and... we'd still have our jobs, she said it wasn't part of another scheme (I can't remember the name) so we'd be OK as it means we don't outsource support services.

    Obviously reading here has made me pretty sceptical!
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 3rd November 2009 at 08:14 AM.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Tories cancel a massive privitisation project?

    The civil servants usually carry on the work of the previous government and their policies are almost the same anyway. I don't hold out any hope.

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    Gibson335 (3rd November 2009)

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    Sorry I meant the funding to schools would be lowered but the outsourcing would still be the expectation :-(

    It's bemusing because each school is so different, for instance a specialist in XYZ would surely be hindered by a rigid infrastructure?

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    Gibson335 (3rd November 2009)

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    broc's Avatar
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    I don't believe saving money was part of the Govt BSF brief, especially as far as ICT managed services is concerned. The vision was to use ICT to raise standards and 'transform' education in a uniform way across the whole secondary sector. Only time will tell if this vision is ever fulfilled.

    A lot of the business models for managed services depend upon almost 100% take-up in the schools in the LA, as the managed service overheads need to be spread thinly. This is why school leadership teams and governors in BSF schools are under so much pressure to sign up to managed services.

    Most early waves of BSF have only been for a subset of the schools in the LA, with more to follow in subsequent waves. These early adopter LAs are the ones that are going to find life tricky if the BSF plug gets pulled as they may find they have to subsidise the true cost of the managed service to the schools.

    I would not be too surprised to find LAs who have started with BSF trying to accelerate their programme and get funding secured just because the plug could be pulled.......

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    Gibson335 (3rd November 2009)

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @Broc:
    As you have so rightly percieved some LAs will undoubtedly try to accelerate the sign up to the managed services but unfortunately HTs don't like being told what to do and when without the full scenario and this is the crucial time for LAs.

    As some LAs have tried to keep the managed services away from the technical people who know what is going on and how it will impact the schools (of which the early adopters are finding out much to their dismay) the HTs have become suspicious of the LAs and the partnerships that they have had forced upon them.

    In some LAs who see the one log in system to mean just the teaching and learning part and not the whole schools IT systems it has gone particularly well with few disruptions to the way in which schools IT systems are run and maintained which allows for innovation at the cutting edge while other LAs do see this as a way of cost cutting and control.

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    GrumbleDook (3rd November 2009)

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    broc's Avatar
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    @bossman,

    Sadly, I have to agree with you; I would go so far as to say I suspect that control is seen to be more important than cost savings for some. It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that once control is achieved costs to schools will increase, not reduce.

    That is often the way it is with outsourcing, as many large corporations have found out. However, they have the means & resources to bring services back under their control.... I am not sure schools will.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    You may want to read this hot off the press:

    Tories signal cuts to school renewals scheme

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    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    You may want to read this hot off the press:

    Tories signal cuts to school renewals scheme
    Very interesting.....

    Not so long ago the Govt were keen to get LAs fast-tracking BSF projects.... I wonder how many will continue/accelerate & how many will hold off now? The more deals that are done before the next election, the less scope there will be to cut back...... if the Tories win of course

    The building & finance industry behind PFI will be dismayed at the prospect of Tories taking their gravy train away too...... I wonder if they will stop making donations to them?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    As I've said elsewhere - The Tories will not cancel BSF. They'll move some bits of paper around, change terminology, naming and structures. They may change a few goals here and there, but in the end the process will remain.

    What will most likely happen is even more being handed over to private companies, akin to the old PFI school era (what hideous places they are).

    I think that the Tories, in that article, have bitten on to the wrong end of the stick. They say schools don't need nice buildings? I'm pretty sure environment affects learning... It also comes down to how you see schools - are they just places to hurry kids through 'training' for jobs in the future, or are they places to nurture the very characters of each child. A well kept environment, which has effort put into it, obviously provides a better learning experience to a child.

    Of course, they make no mention of the ICT side of the project in that article, as they most likely agree that a one size fits all project is good.

    Still hoping the country comes to its senses and votes in the Lib Dems.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Personally I think that the Tories (assuming they win) will have to change BSF. The country has no money and I think there will be lots of things changed and budgets slashed, I just can't see any other option.

    Of course they have to be careful at this stage about what they say, who wants to be branded as the party that wants to slash education spending. I believe the tactic is to get in, have a real look at the balance sheet, detail how badly a whole range of projects have been run (BSF included) and put forward the case that things are so bad that there is no choice but to makes cuts.

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Yes - I'd guess that BSF will continue in name - but will mean in practice that schools will be handed over to private companies/charities/religious groups to be run, but without significant investment - so that nationally agreed payscales for staff can be abandoned - thus "cutting costs".

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    bossman's Avatar
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    As I have so far indicated it is a cost cutting exercise and with Britian being in the grip of reccesion the Government are now clawing back large sums of money from the LAs.

    Those LAs who have interpreted the Governments proposals have managed very nicely the Infrastructure of the whole setup, introducing a shared VLE without damaging the schools themselves and without breaking the bank whereas other LAs have spent hugely on the proviso that all the schools in the LA will sign up to the BSF bandwagon.

    Unfortunately those LAs who have spent huge sums of money on allowing their agreed BSF partners to dictate the business model approach to controlling the schools are in my eyes going to suffer as I fear schools may already be seeing the signs that BSF under tory control will be shelved and they would then have signed up to a deal which may in the long run cost them as a school quite dearly.

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    broc's Avatar
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    I am no economist, but from what I have read & heard, there is a suggestion that the Tory approach to solving the economic crisis (cut costs, cut budgets, reduce public sector spending) could actually kill off economic recovery and plunge the country into a far greater economic crisis.

    If you look at other European countries such as Germany & France, they are already showing signs of recovery & there is little evidence that their centre-right Govts are cutting back on public spending.....

    I think the Tories are posturing, trying to gain public support by scare tactics & they will quietly carry on broadly following the economic course set by the current Govt (& much of Western Europe) ..... much as Labour did when they came to power last time round .......

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Whilst this has now become more of a political thread than intended, I would assume that no matter who is running our country by this time next year, they will all have to find ways to trim budgets. It's possible, therefore, that BSF would focus more on schools that have very little or are in desperate need of new/refurbished buildings, than simply providing cash for all those who want it. It may be that BSF won't actually be stopped, just prioritised very differently.

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