Monday, April 28, 2008

Serious incompetence

I'm fast coming to the conclusion that the debate over Wave 3 schools is getting close to becoming farcical ...

  • on the one hand; we have the Council saying it has done all it can; they've set aside some 20% of the overall capital cost of the 5-schools; and are near completion of business cases for the 5 projects/s which will be submitted to the Scottish Government as a bid for them to fill the remaining 80% of cash needed!
  • on the other hand; we have the Scottish Government saying that the Council is getting not 1 more penny; it has all the money it requires; and there is no need to submit 5 business cases as they will not be assessed because there's no bidding-process that requires them to be so!

Both sides can't be right ... and, for better or worse, the Scottish Government is the senior tier of 'authority' and I'd have thought the Council needs to face up to some stark realities pretty quick:

  • there is NOT going to be a quick replacement for previous school building programmes - the SFT ain't happening any time soon - it would help actually, if a Scottish Government Minister had the decency to announce this truth, instead of pretending that all is well with the national school-building programme?
  • it sadly appears therefore that there is NO bidding-process (?)
  • the 20% of the overall capital cost of Wave 3 schools (allocated by the Council) looks like its all that's going to be available in the short-term

There clearly needs to be some very straight talking between the Council and Scottish Government over all of this, because meantime; nothing of significance is progressing; young peoples' educational experience is thus being affected; and the 20% of overall capital costs allocated won't even pay for 1 of the proposed Secondary Schools :-(

- really, come the 1st anniversary of the 2007 election, all of this will hardly be one-jot further forward than last May :-((

It is serious incompetence.

2 comments:

confused said...

Why is it we are subject to claim and counter claim followed by extensive periods of inactivity.

Fact-The Scottish Government states Councils have received record funding and can decide how to spend elements of it without ring fencing. The includes PPP and School Estates.

Fact- The CoEC is bidding for money they have been told they will not get.

Question - Do they have the money and are spending it elsewhere.

Appeal to Authority - Cannot some official body verify the actual budget position and tell us who is telling porkies

Andrew said...

Confused

Thanks for the comment.

I share your frustration at all of this - but as someone who is no longer 'in a position of authority', the best I can do is offer my considered assessment based on the information I can manage to extract from those currently in power.

The recent article I had in the Evening News tried to do this - see this post for the link therein:

http://andrewburns.blogspot.com/2008/05/enough-of-all-this-national-and.html

... ultimately I don't think the Council currently has enough money for 5-schools; they have enough for 1. They can either prioritise on 1; or progress all 5 through some form of 'Local Trust model' with the acceptance that to deliver all 5 they'll need extra money from the Scottish Government ... possibly through the mythical Scottish Futures Trust - which we are constantly assured is about to be launched??

Andrew