Day 89 – BSF and PfS

BSF money is administered by the PfS (Partnership for Schools) on behalf of the DCSF. Yet another layer of bureaucracy. Yet another quango. Yet another way to hide the way decisions are made behind closed doors.


Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009 5:32 PM
Subject: BSF bid for Bedford Borough

Dear Sir/Madam

Prior to gaining approval for a BSF project to proceed , Bedford Borough Council are to vote in September on whether the current 3 tier education system will survive for the future.

We detail delow a statement from our Mayor’s blog on 12th July.

“I am as cynical as anybody about government statements but last week I was present when Bedford’s plans were being reviewed by civil servants seconded to the BSF programme.

They praised the work Bedford had done in preparation for Building Schools for the Future and said unequivocally that the money was committed to Bedford once its strategy and preparatory work had been approved.

I am good at listening for weasel words and I didn’t hear; and nor did the Bedford officers who were also present. My judgement is that the civil servants meant what they said providing the preparatory work is done before a new government takes over. ”

The civil servants our Mayor refers to were from Partnerships for Schools.

Could I ask you 2 related questions.

1. Would you kindly advise me how this unequivical commitment will actually express itself – e.g. a simple letter from PfS restating this or perhaps a legally binding contract that ensures the funds will not disappear after the expected change of Government next May/June or something else.

2. I understand you operate a 6 stage process with each LEA – pre-engagement, strategy for change, outline business case, procurement, financial close, operational detail. Would Bedford Borough need to be past a certain stage in this process to ensure that funds were not cut part way through the building programme?

Please respond at your earliest convenience as this is very important to the education of children in our Borough.

Thanking you in anticipation of a prompt response,


No reply has yet been received to this query – perhaps you would like to let our councillors know that they could be remembered for years as the turkeys who did indeed vote for Christmas.

Financial and educational chaos in one fell swoop.

What a legacy for the Mayor and his councillors !

3 Responses to Day 89 – BSF and PfS

  1. Ed Thomas says:

    Did the Bedfordshire on Sunday this week correctly give Kate Jacques, her true title? Her letter informs she is a visiting Professor, University of Bedfordshire. I find this a very strange title, until recently she was a Dean at the University of Bedfordshire! Visiting and returning must mean the same thing!

    To balance the contribution from Higher Education, an interested and concerned friend, Doctor and management figure at Staffordshire University sent me the latest ‘The Stone & Eccleshall Gazette’ magazine, which contained many successes achieved by middle schools in this area of Staffordshire. He highlighted the following article on page 5, which I would like to share (word for word):


    Christ Church Middle School in Stone is to be used as an example to struggling schools across England after the school and head teacher were chosen as a National Support School by the National College for School Leadership.

    Chris Waghorn, head teacher, has also been picked as a National Leader of Education and is one of only around a hundred teachers appointed to this prestigious role.

    The type of assistance available from the school’s staff is to provide examples of professionalism in leadership and running of schools. Chris Waghorn will also be used as a consultant or coach to schools up and down the country.

    Mr Waghorn said “I’m delightful as I consider it to be a further national acknowledgement of the status of Christ Church Middle School”.

    Again, this magazine report shows what can be achieved in the three-tier structure. Again the key is management, not structure. It is great to see this county celebrating the success of this outstanding (OFSTED 2007/08) school, instead of trying to close schools of this high standard in Bedfordshire, like Bedford Borough Council.

    As we know, Staffordshire has a mix of 2-tier and 3-tier structures within its county border, which makes it even more baffling this option wasn’t even worth mentioning or considering within the consultation document.


  2. JamesD says:

    Is this not the “Proffessor of Education” who spoke strongly in favour of 2-Tier ay one of the consultation meetings. It is worth a check that she may be a Governor or past Governor of Biddenham or Sharnbrook. Has she published any peer reviewed research in this area or are we yet again facinge “I know best” without evidence.

  3. […] 99 – The Reply from PfS Day 89 of this blog detailed a letter sent by SMS to Partnership for Schools (PfS) – the quango that […]

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