First of all, thank you to the Harrold posse last night – small but select – we even had some debate going ! SMS knows that it is incredibly difficult to motivate ordinary people to give up their precious free time, even with important issues like education.
This is being made even more challenging by the refusal of some Heads to pass out information to parents and teachers about the other point of view.
Those Heads should realise that, whilst standing outside their school gates, parental opinion is the same as in schools with Heads that are supportive of SMS; the only thing that is different is that parents are beginning to lose trust in Heads, and some very openly. When Heads lose the trust of parents, it is a slippery slope…
Yesterday, the Audit Commission released a report called “Valuable Lessons“. It criticises schools for failing to provide value for money and wasting millions by inefficient management.
Michael O’Higgins, chairman of the Audit Commission, said schools could make savings without adversely affecting pupils or their education.
He said: “Accountability for spending in schools has been weak possibly because, in the last 10 years, the focus has been on results. Ofsted is planning to give a higher priority to value for money and we will be pleased to work with them.”
SMS believes that spending vast amounts of public money on wasteful school structure change is appalling. Even the consultation process itself is profligate – £60K in printing and distribution costs but count the time of expensive council employees and all the time spent by everyone on both sides of the debate and the true cost must £1M plus.
In times of financial uncertainty you wouldn’t knock down your house and build a new one with a different layout – you would refurbish, enhance and upgrade your existing property. Then, if the money runs out in the middle, you don’t have to live in a tent !
SMS have been accused of wanting “no change” – rubbish – we want the money to build a 21st century three-tier system with brand shiny new schools in all phases.
SMS has also been accused of wanting to “tinker” – rubbish – we want a step-change in educational provision in Bedford Borough just like everyone else.
We are all on the same side really…we just haven’t realised that yet.
Politics is a numbers game – so please phone/email/write to your local councillor and other councillors – they need to know how you feel otherwise they won’t be able to judge public mood and make up their minds how they will vote…if their vote means something…