Opting for innovation

Just read Paul Haigh’s blog on opting-out of Building Schools for the Future ICT , in which he speaks of the injustice for leading & innovating schools –

“The DCSF will say there is a fair procedure in place for schools who feel the way we do- they have 42 days to produce an Alternative Business Procurement Case that the business experts in their Local Authority will have had 18 months to work on (in our case 107 pages long).”

and he continues to say –

“This is a trick, there is no way any school can show economy of scale (even though I actually have the figures to prove we can- it won’t be accepted, it’s sacrilege to suggest it) or show ‘transference of risk’ (we don’t talk about transferring the risks of educating our children elsewhere, we talk about professionals taking responsibility in house- isn’t this a lesson from the credit crunch?)”

It’s hard not to sympathise, but I wonder: can schools like Paul’s club together across the UK and share the burden?

Isn’t this an excellent opportunity for open source procurement thinking?

One thought on “Opting for innovation

  1. Peter Cobrin

    I have just completed a commission to “support” a school through the opt-out process. The decision to go down this route was understandable and was based primarily on the perception of the Managed Service Provision (MSP) as a monolithic one size fits all/take it or leave offering. Knowing how disadvantageous this opt-out route would be, I adopted the strategy of reshaping the school’s perceptions of MSP and breaking it down into components that the school could understand and thus negotiate with. The flexibility shown by the ICT provider and the LEP gave the lie to the traditional view of MSP and the school rapidy came to terms with the MSP and is now back in the fold.

    Lessons learnt? LEPS must be far more open and flexible in their dealings; schools need support through this process and PfS and Becta should ensure this support is provided.

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