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IT News Thread, Schools "Wasting Millions" in Other News; ...
  1. #16

    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by torledo View Post
    now that bit of summarization i found interesting. The all important wage bill.

    'schools could be wasting £110 million on teachers and their pensions'. Now that's a headline you'll never see, even if it were true.

    There seems to be a lot of talk about public sector austerity, i hardly think implementing more beuracracy to come up with more efficient spending processes is going to make the required difference...., not if the rate of increase on spending is to slow, and staff in schools don't want to see decreases in their income in real terms.
    The wage bill is important - but not just with teachers. I'm sure in a lot of schools there are a lot of staff which could be cut free.

    Our school has to loose 6 teachers over 3 years. Two gone this year. Real shame.

    I'm pretty strict with our funding and when I get told how much I can spend I tend to go over the top making sure I get best value. If I cannot justify it, I will not spend it. If I can justify spending a lot on the latest kit then I will but more often than not I go for best value - which isn't always the cheapest.

    GJE

  2. #17
    torledo's Avatar
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    article from a couple of months ago talking about possible spending cuts from 2011.

    Spending cuts from 2011: 2.3bn NHS, 1bn education, 600m local councils | Society | The Guardian

    The real pain, however, starts in 2011, when the next three-year spending period starts. The pressure on government finances will mean overall spending will shrink, and the growth seen in recent times will disappear. Some commentators believe at that point efficiency programmes will not be enough and that hard decisions will have to be taken about cutting services and frontline jobs, perhaps even in the sacred areas of health and education
    So clearly, at some point you can't keep pushing on the string of 'efficiency' savings, unless you start thinking of efficiency savings in terms of job cuts.

    I've seen and heard about some astonishing examples of waste in education and in schools, not all of it can be pinned to the LEA. Sometimes bad decisions are made even when research is done, advice and expert help. OFcourse it doesn't help when little or none of the above is done, and that's when you tend to get the major spending waste.

    But i think a lot of the problems arise through the allocation of funding and how counter intutitive it all seems to be,

    All those projects and ideas that got big allocations of funding, that can't justify their existence after 2011 are going to struggle. The last decade has been characterised by 'experimenting' on this sort of stuff in education, because the money was there.

  3. #18

    localzuk's Avatar
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    In our school, we have roughly 100 staff members in total for a current stock of around 620 kids.

    That, in my mind, is a pretty high ratio of staffing to pupils.

    However, when I look at the jobs themselves, they are all pretty important. I'm hard pushed to find someone who is not filling a role which is 100% necessary.

    However, next year, our intake drops from what was a 6 class intake this year, to a 4 class intake (overall, it means we're losing a single class). It means that we will effectively have 1 extra teacher. The question is, what will be done? I don't think we're going to see any redundancies, but what I have already seen is that my budget has been slashed to the bone.

    Schools are very unwilling to release staff for a few reasons - 1. redundancy is expensive, 2. it upsets the general mood in the school and makes people worried, 3. hiring a teacher is an expensive job (adverts in the TES for example are expensive). 4. if the intake is supposed to increase again the year after or similar, why lose a teacher now and then have to rehire another in a years time?

    However, as many schools are now finding that number 4 is not the case (ie. numbers are predicted to keep on going down), the others are difficult to justify as reasons to keep someone on.

  4. #19
    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    In our school, we have roughly 100 staff members in total for a current stock of around 620 kids.

    That, in my mind, is a pretty high ratio of staffing to pupils.

    However, when I look at the jobs themselves, they are all pretty important. I'm hard pushed to find someone who is not filling a role which is 100% necessary.

    However, next year, our intake drops from what was a 6 class intake this year, to a 4 class intake (overall, it means we're losing a single class). It means that we will effectively have 1 extra teacher. The question is, what will be done? I don't think we're going to see any redundancies, but what I have already seen is that my budget has been slashed to the bone.

    Schools are very unwilling to release staff for a few reasons - 1. redundancy is expensive, 2. it upsets the general mood in the school and makes people worried, 3. hiring a teacher is an expensive job (adverts in the TES for example are expensive). 4. if the intake is supposed to increase again the year after or similar, why lose a teacher now and then have to rehire another in a years time?

    However, as many schools are now finding that number 4 is not the case (ie. numbers are predicted to keep on going down), the others are difficult to justify as reasons to keep someone on.
    if number four is not the case, and the trend is for intake number to continue falling, does that make redundancy as expensive if you look at it over a period of years rather than the initial costs incurred ?

  5. #20
    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Diello View Post
    BBC NEWS | Education | Schools 'may be wasting millions'

    Umm... then perhaps letting private companies charge way over the odds for BSF contracts to help boost their profits is a bad idea!!
    As well as PFI schools where all sorts of things are not under the control of the school and getting things done appears to involve about half a dozen levels of managment between the school, LEA and PFI company. In theory we arn't even ment to talk to our caretakers and cleaners...

  6. #21
    mpe
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    Yep, most waste is through the LEA, or stupid government directives.
    Lets see:
    Centralised VLE costing hundreds of thousands which no schools use as its rubbish, caused by central gov targets and money thrown at the council.
    "Rubbish" can include "not integrating very well with what we have already".
    Govt rather than giving schools money to spend as they see fit forces them to spend it on their latest pet project.
    "E Learning Credits" being the most obvious example.

  7. #22

    matt40k's Avatar
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    Governments goes back and forth between giving the LA control before moving it slowly back to the schools.

    It's a shame what Bossman has pointed out, about the lack of flexiablitiy of the LA, but, you are 1 in about 100, the other 99 would just get a PC from Tesco. They don't understand the TCO, therefore LA control makes sence on the grand scale, your the little bumps I'm afraid and personally, I like it over having some schools "technican" uses a USB pen to backup the emachine "server".

  8. #23

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    I don't think we have seen the worst of this story yet......

    If you roll the clock forward a few (2-3) years when BSF schools find their equipment is out of warranty/trashed & needs replacing that is when you will see the money wasted - BIG TIME!

    BSF Schools will be locked into one procurement channel through their managed service provider(MSP); they will have to pay the MSP to replace/upgrade equipment, if they want things that are not in the MSPs standard catalogue of products they will end up paying even more as the MSP will demand additional payments to support non-standard kit. I can see a time when Education budgets in schools are under so much pressure school staff will be made redundant so they can afford their payments to their MSPs.

    The BSF contracts schools are being asked to sign up to commit them to a fixed rate payment per pupil for the full duration of their managed service contract without knowing what their budgets will be for the full term of the contract.
    Last edited by broc; 1st July 2009 at 01:09 PM.

  9. #24

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    As we have seen with the screwed up LSC building projects the shortfall gets covered ... as long as there are funds in the pot to do it.

    2 scenarios I have heard are ... if the Tories get in then more BSF (including existing schools) move to academies and sponsors buy out the remainder of the MSP contract and run it themselves but with no input from LA and based on a business that might not be part of (or have knowledge of) education.

    And if Labour get in or Tories are decide not to go for the above ... then there might even be some nationalisation of these contracts ... with a view to them being sold on at a later date.

    Both scare the hell out of me.

    The last option is that the LA (or cluster of schools) buy out the contract once the MSP finds that it is not the money spinner it could be?

  10. #25

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    Re: teachers, what seems to have happened here is a couple who wanted to go part time have been allowed to do so, and leavers have been 'creatively' replaced by shuffling teachers through different departments to balance the staffing up. Support staff recently who leave seem to be replaced with people doing less hours, and I've had my hours cut down to practically nothing.

    IMO, the author of this report ought to spend a day working in a school and see what it's like. In IT, we're always busy and never have enough time to even start thinking about all the preventative stuff we could be doing; the admin ladies and property staff are similar. Overtime is like gold-dust.

    On the other hand, so much money is wasted on useless pap which is nowhere near value for money. We've shelled out £30,000 on a glitzy VLE, which is used no more than a glorified shared area and does nothing we couldn't do before. They bought in a guy to do a "pre-ofsted" inspection at about £800 per day. Thousands of pounds were spent "upgrading" toilets, which have fallen back to being as bad as they were since they don't want to pay for proper cleaners. And a small fortune is being spent on cabling contractors to run stuff we could do ourselves for far less if only they could be bothered to pay for the staffing to do it with...

    The phrase "fur coat but no knickers" comes to mind!
    Last edited by grumpy_git; 2nd July 2009 at 10:49 AM.

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