Saturday, 15 May 2010

The tories are in, where now for BSF and managed service? Part 2

You can read the first part of this topic here:The tories are in, where now for BSF and managed service?

Nick Gibb has been announced as schools minister as of yesterday. So what he said about the Building Schools for the Future plans now has even more relevance. It appears, as anticipated, many schools who have not yet had their buildings approved may find their proposals scrapped under the Conservatives.

An article in the Guardian newspaper today says hundreds of secondary schools have had their plans frozen while BSF is put under review:

Secondary schools in authorities that have been approved to enter the Building Schools for the Future project but have not yet named their contractors may now lose their funding. The scheme includes more than £480m allocated in the last weeks of the Labour government.

The article goes on to say:

The government is planning £6bn cuts this year and further measures in a budget in June to bring the £164bn deficit down.

In opposition, Michael Gove, now the education secretary, had promised a review of Building Schools for the Future – which had been subject to extensive reforms after a slow and expensive start – but the Liberal Democrats opposed the move.

There has been no decision yet on whether BSF will continue but I know schools that have let IT support staff go convinced that they are getting a new school with a new network. If these plans don't go ahead they will need to start hiring again, probably enticing people back with higher wages, using money they have not budgeted for or got. In the meantime school support staff don't know if they are going to be employed by the council, an independent company providing a managed service or lose their jobs altogether. It is certainly going to be a nail-biting time for some schools and their staff.

The full Guardian article can be read here.

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