Sorry to bring bump this thread but only just read it.
I would like to point out that any school can opt out of a managed service. I have had several conversations and emails with someone at P4S.
The issue is that the labour government in their infinite wisdom feel that ICT managed services are the key to improving attainment at schools. To this end it was launched as part of the BSF process but the funding is mutually exclusive.
They give schools the opportunity to opt out and lose the majority of funding or attempt to get the funding themselves via an alternate business case which as far as I know non have been successful.
LA's are pressuring schools to commit to a MSP but I cannot find out why, when I speak to P4S there is no requirement for the schools to have MSP, but yet the LA's keep pressing ahead with them under a shroud of mystery.
They forget that they are messing with peoples jobs and a generation of students. Getting it wrong could have a cataclysmic effect on the future of education.
I am a firm believer of calling a spade a spade and an MSP = outsourcing, it is a phase. ICT is being outsourced by schools not by choice, eventually there will be a realisation that it was not a good idea and it will be brought back in house, either in 5 or 10 years.
Interestingly given the financial commitment it will require a ratification from the Governing Body of the school for the expenditure. This could have been delegated to a committee or an individual, it is likely to be defined in a financial standards type policy of the school who would need to authorise expenditure of this magnitude. It would be unusual for this to be something that a head or chair of governors could decide on their own.