Memorandum submitted by Knowsley Metropolitan
The attached detailed submission from Knowsley
follows on from the evidence gathering visit of the Select Committee
to the Borough on the 15 January 2007. The submission directly
addresses the specific areas of interest highlighted by the Committee
in its announcement of the 22 May 2008 and also provides more
general comment on the BSF programme. In our detailed submission
we address the following:
(i) The extent to which the programme remains
a focus for education transformation in the context of the challenges
of the 21st Century. We observe that the broader objective of
education transformation for all is being redefined to focus on
educational attainment in deprived areas thereby running the risk
of the programme becoming parochial rather than national and global.
We observe that education transformation remains undefined.
(ii) The challenges presented by maintaining
the performance of existing institutions while creating new institutions
to meet widespread expectations. We attest that the place of BSF
in meeting wider educational policy objectives is now less clear
than at the outset.
(iii) The importance of exchanging best practice
and knowledge and the benefits that are emerging. We highlight
both formal and informal networks.
(iv) The issues that have prevented more rapid
implementation. We comment on the extent to which the inflexibility
of mechanisms such as PFI restrains local authorities and construction
companies in achieving innovative solutions
(v) The experience of procurement of an early
BSF local authority. We set out the national and local issues
that affected our progress.
(vi) The progress we feel we have made in translating
a radical vision into practice. This links directly to legislation
and policy that emerged subsequent to Wave 1 status being agreed
and our approach to accommodating this within a locally agreed
(vii) The criticality of pedagogy in driving
design. Why new and emerging pedagogies require radically different
approaches to design.
(viii) The importance of being flexible in a
fast changing education policy environment.
1. GENERAL COMMENTS
1.1 The broader BSF debate (particularly
its initial aim around education transformation) appears to have
been dissipated with the focus falling on failing schools in deprived
areas. It appears from the proposals out to consultation on BSF
Waves 7-15 that future investment may be further targeted at this
policy area. The potential consequence is that it runs the risk
of a broader conclusion being drawn that BSF investment is no
longer a national policy on education transformation and that
the only problems are in so called deprived areas.
1.2 We feel that this assumption stands
apart form the original transformational intention of BSF as the
vehicle that made all English secondary schools fit for purpose
in the 21st Century. We feel this runs the risk of misunderstanding
the global nature of the challenge.
1.3 It is crucial that young people's needs
and fears about "the future" are actively listened to
by parents, teachers, fellow students, and politicians. In educating
for the 21st century, active listening to young people's voices
questions the appropriateness of educational agendas and in a
world in which local, national and global conflict is a daily
fact of life, it is all too easy for children to become fearful,
to lack hope and to believe that they are powerless in the face
of forces larger than themselves. Few things are more empowering
to young people than the opportunity to acquire the knowledge,
skills and attitudes which enable them to resolve conflicts peacefully,
and to work creatively for changes.
1.4 Through working with Microsoft, key
academics and organisations and through analysing a broad base
of evidence we have come to take a view of our BSF programme in
a national and global context. We feel this is entirely appropriate
given the scale of the endeavour. As such, and consistent with
the views of local stakeholders, Knowsley's BSF vision is fundamentally
predicated on a system of education that adapts readily to economic
and social change. The shift away from national and global thinking
that we felt BSF represented and toward a more parochial outlook
is of real concern.
1.5 As the Select Committee will know, Knowsley's
BSF programme is unique in that it is the only programme in the
country to replace all of its provision with a new school system.
While this was lauded at the outset (quoted in the Schools White
Paper of 2005) it has perhaps gone from being unique to being
1.6 National Challenge illustrates this
well. Five of the national challenge schools are existing Knowsley
schools and, as such, will be closed in the coming months as part
of our BSF programme to be replaced by new institutions. Government
is aware of our proposals and has agreed themyet we are
once again caught up in a new policy initiativethe central
challenge of which we feel we have set out clearly how we intend
to respond. It is difficult at this stage to establish the position
of BSF in Government's strategy around educational reform.
1.7 We feel that there is much to learn
from the Knowsley BSF programme. The possibility that it is now
considered an anomaly should not prevent this. In January 2008
NESTA published a report entitled Transformers: How local areas
innovate to address changing social need. Knowsley's BSF programme
is a Case Study in this report which highlights the criticality
of innovation at the local level if deep rooted problems are to
be resolved. In our view this is what BSF was always intended
1.8 In summary, we appear to have been caught
in a debate as to how (working class) young people can achieve
better educational outcomes and the role, or otherwise, of local
authorities in this endeavour.
1.9 Perhaps as a consequence of the above
context we do not feel that Building Schools for the Future has
a high enough national profile. Granted that delays in implementation
do not help in enabling Ministers to point to its obvious merits
but given the scale and ambition of this and the investment in
primary schools it should feature more prominently. To achieve
this the finding in the Select Committee report of 2007, that
it is better to get it right rather than do it with undue haste,
needs to be constantly reinforced.
2. THE RATE
The following summary outlines the progress
of the Knowsley programme from OBC to on site construction.
Timetable for the period from Outline
Business Case to Financial Close for the Knowsley BSF Programme
|Outline Business Case (OBC) Submitted
|Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) issued to shortlisted bidders
|Bids Submitted||April 2006
|Evaluation of Bids completed||August 2006
|ITN resubmission due to change in scope evaluated
|Approval of Preferred Bidder and Soft FM Provider
|Commencement of Advanced Works Agreement
|ICT Managed Services contract reached Financial Close
|PFI Contract reached Financial Close||December 2007
2.1 Mainly as a result of changes to the Programme during
the procurement process, the date of Financial Close slipped from
January 2007 to December 2007. A number of the key changes which
summarised below could be associated with being a Wave 1 BSF authority:
(i) as at the date of submission of the OBC the Council was
progressing detailed discussions with the DfES as to how and where
one of the Learning Centres would be developed as a City Academy.
As a result of the feasibility study, this route was not taken
forward. At the time that the feasibility study was being undertaken,
this would have been the first Academy to be procured under the
(ii) the Outline Business case was submitted on the basis
required by PfS that funding for the community schools only would
be supported by PFI credits, with the voluntary aided sector schools
and the ICT Services Contract being funded by traditional funding.
However, the impact to the Council of having Supported Borrowing
rather than PFI Credits was severe due to the Council being a
"Grant Floor Authority" which did not appear to have
been taken into consideration during the initial stages of our
procurement. This was later reviewed by PfS and a second Project
Review Group submission, resulting in funding by PFI credits for
the seven Learning Centres;
(iii) the Council reviewed its demand for places which resulted
in the early closure of one secondary school and a reduction from
eight to seven new Learning Centres;
(iv) throughout the commercial negotiations, at the request
of PfS as a pilot exercise for the BSF Programme, the Council
considered the implications of proceeding with Credit Guarantee
Finance (CGF) or a private finance solution. Whilst the CGF route
would have provided a Unitary Charge saving compared to a bank
debt solution, further discussions with the Treasury, DfES and
PfS, the Council determined that, mainly due to anticipated timing
implications on the overall Programme, the Council would prefer
to adopt the bank debt solution; and
(v) at a later stage of the commercial negotiations, the Council
reconsidered its funding route and determined that a bond solution
would be the most economically advantageous approach. Again, this
was a new funding route at the time for schools PFI in England
and therefore there was a lack of standard documentation to support
this funding route which the Council invested time and resources
to develop. However, the timing of our Financial Close was during
the early stages of problems associated with the Sub Prime market
and the bond solution was deemed not to be feasible.
2.2 Despite the changes to the Programme and the impact
of changes due to commercial negotiations, the costs have been
contained within the Council's affordability target and have not
significantly impacted upon either the deliverability or the principles
of the Knowsley Programme set out in our Strategic Business Case.
This has been assisted by entering into an Advanced Works Agreements
from May 2007 to ensure that the construction programme remained
deliverable within the required timescales.
2.3 Construction as at July 2008 is on target, with the
first Centre for Learning due to open in January 2009 and all
seven complete by January 2010.
3. HOW THE
3.1 Knowsley is a member of the Merseyside Learn Together
Partnership which includes six local authority members. The objective
of the Partnership is to work collaboratively on areas of major
policy and strategy and it has instigated workshops to disseminate
BSF experience among its members.
3.2 Knowsley has been invited to address a number of
conferences on BSF specifically and in the context of wider education
debate at both regional and national level. This includes seminars
supported by the Select Committee itself.
3.3 We have responded to requests from other Local Authorities
across the country to conduct sessions on our BSF experience and
we have obliged in almost every circumstance.
3.4 We have received visits from Local Authorities to
Knowsley to examine our progress, particularly the relationship
between pedagogy and design.
3.5 As mentioned elsewhere in this response we worked
with NESTA as a case study on its report on system innovators
which we found highly positive and enlightening. A common theme
emerging out of this work was that local authorities looking to
innovate their way out of deep rooted problems found that the
Government regulatory and inspection frameworks were too rigid
to cope with new approaches and the authorities concerned were
"found against" as a result.
3.6 Knowsley is one of a group of Local Authorities (Sheffield,
Sandwell, Kent and Knowsley) working with Microsoft on developing
a simulation of a Personalised Learning Environment (Microsoft
BSF Showcase) that has influenced ICT Managed Service Providers
in developing their BSF product. This work is now continuing,
with Microsoft further developing the concept with the resulting
solutions being brokered with the market to explore possible integration
3.7 Directly linked to BSF Wave 1 status, Knowsley and
Sheffield are working in partnership with the Innovation Unit
and other national agencies to share and promote innovative practice
that supports education transformation. The Innovation Zone partners
Partnership for Schools (PfS),
The Training and Development Agency (TDA),
The National College for School Leadership (NCSL),
Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA),
3.8 Both Knowsley and Sheffield have formed Strategic
Action Teams from among the above partners. In addition a representative
from Microsoft attends meetings given the links outlined above.
Strategic partners are currently scoping out how they can best
work with Knowsley and Sheffield to support the transformation
3.9 In Knowsley an induction programme for the new Centre
for Learning (note that Knowsley has opted to use the term Centres
for Learning within the titles of their new BSF investment as
a replacement for the term school) Principals has been planned
and implemented with colleagues from the Innovation Unit. Planning
is currently underway with the Centre for Educational Leadership
for induction programmes for second and third tier staff, a development
that will be conducted with the TDA.
3.10 QCA in particular are working with Knowsley in supporting
the implementation of the QCA "Big Picture". A QCA representative
is working with one school in particular to support its transition
into its new Centre for Learning. This work is focusing upon providing
support for the young people in exploring the future of teaching
and learning for their new centre. The work will support the development
of a common language for learning that will be shared with representatives
from other Centres for Learning in order for further sessions
to be developed across other schools.
3.11 Knowsley and Sheffield are feeding back progress
to date at the next meeting of the Innovation Zone in London in
July. The clear challenge to the authorities concerned and the
national agencies is to direct the shift from the old to the new
ensuring that performance is not affected in the process.
4. HOW THE
4.1 As Knowsley is the only Local Authority replacing
its entire system of secondary education it presents novel and
unique challenges. Progress in key areas is highlighted below.
Knowsley has been actively exploring new models of Governance
that will support system reform that delivers education transformation.
This work has been supported by the Innovations Unit. What has
emerged is a model that looks to deliver all aspects of Government
policy and legislation, bringing together the prospect of Trust
based arrangement with the objectives under Every Child Matters
and linked strongly to neighbourhoods and communities. This is
proving a major task. Local consultation on new models is ongoing
as is discussion with DCSF around the fine detail of the legislation.
While progress is being made it can be stated that satisfying
all relevant aspects of Government policy and legislation in our
context while staying true to a local vision is a major challenge.
An induction programme for the new Centre for Learning Principals
has been planned and implemented with colleagues from the Innovation
Unit. The sessions have focused upon developing a collegial team
of Principals who will support each other in their preparation
for migration to a new way of working. Time has been spent exploring
pedagogy and curriculum innovation with a focus upon the associated
continuing professional development requirements for the whole
Planning is currently underway with the Centre for Educational
Leadership for induction programmes for second and third tier
staff, a development that will be conducted in conjunction with
This area is intriguing and the National Challenge announcement
concerning the existing institutions in Knowsley has raised local
sensitivities at a critical time for the Knowsley programme.
Knowsley has developed a Pedagogical Framework that is currently
being used to support the workforce in transforming classroom
practice, founded around our work on "pedagogy and practice"
and "pedagogy and personalisation". The document contains
a delivery framework and highlights a set of pedagogical principles
against which the proposed curriculum models for the new learning
centres can be tested for their fitness for purpose.
The document identifies the need to reframe pedagogy so that
the learner is very much at the heart of education and points
to the paramount importance of the daily learning experiences
both in and out of the classroom in shaping young people's engagement
with their learning. It suggests that the reframing of pedagogy
is essential if we aspire to address the cognitive, affective
and social aspects of learning.
The document explains how the Pedagogical approaches provide
a crucially important bridge between "what are we trying
to achieve?", and "how do we organise learning?".
These approaches exemplify the ways in which the curriculum is
translated into personalised experiences for all learners. For
this reason the pedagogical framework is the bond between what
we are trying to secure for our learners, and evaluating if this
has been achieved.
4.1.4 Test Model Environments (TME)
In preparation for migration to their new Learning Centres,
teachers in Knowsley have the opportunity to supporting students
to learn within 21st Century learning environments. The Test Model
Environments (TMEs) will allow teachers to work in a realistic
learning environment that will reflect the type of learning spaces
that are being built under the Future Schooling in Knowsley (FSK)
The concept of developing the TME (within our Excellence
in Cities funded City Learning Centres) is to prepare teachers,
students, Support Staff and Adult Education tutors for colonising
the new Centres for Learning, before they are built. The TME are
a simulation of the "Home Base" approach that is an
integral part of the design of our BSF Centres for Learning that
Years 7 and 8 will colonise upon migration to the Centres for
Learning and will allow teachers time to try out new ways of working
in "real time" with hands-on support.
The TME comprises of flexible working spaces and are fully
wireless enabled allowing the use of various portable devices.
Teachers and students will be able to locate their activity in
a place that suit their needs and requirements for the lesson.
The TME will enable teachers to "test drive" the
learning spaces before embarking upon full scale habitation of
their Centres for Learning by trying out new approaches to learning
and testing out the types of furniture, technologies and space
4.1.5 Role of Microsoft
One of our existing schools, Bowring Community Sports College,
has been participating within a global network of Microsoft Innovative
Schools that are all working towards education innovation within
their respective national education systems. The half yearly meeting
with colleagues from the network reinforces the vision of education
transformation and has supported the Knowsley school in further
developing its own practice.
One of the activities to have emerged from this link is the
Innovative Teachers programme. Teachers from Bowring have developed
their classroom practice to embed the use of new technologies
in the learning. Teachers use Microsoft One Note to develop an
integrated planning package that links together student material,
classroom resources and additional learning.
4.1.6 Partnering with BSF Contractors: Transform Schools
Education Advisers from RM have been working closely with
teachers and educationalists in Knowsley in developing the Knowsley
Personalised Learning Environment (PLE). The PLE will support
new ways of working by allowing students access to "anytime,
anywhere" learning whilst giving formative feedback on progress
that can be viewed by students, teachers and parents.
The Reviewable Design Data (RDD) process, carried out between
Knowsley and its BSF providers Transform and RM, has caused all
stakeholders to be mindful of the vision for flexible and adaptable
learning spaces. Throughout the process there has been frequent
discussion about the direction of future learning and the need
to maintain the intent of the design to facilitate new ways of
Science staff in particular, did have concerns over the innovative
design for science working with reduced number of laboratories.
Locally procured use of consultants, who are themselves engaged
within the DCSF "Faraday Project", have successfully
demonstrated to the Knowsley science community, new ways of working
that have supported their future thinking about learning.
Clearly, it was not going to be easy to take teaching and
learning from a typical classroom environment into a series of
new learning environments and appropriate compromises are being
made along the way but the general direction of travel, that classrooms
are not the only viable day to day learning space, is intact.
5. HOW THE
5.1 Knowsley is aware that the shift from negotiated
procedure to competitive dialogue is changing the context radically
and, from what we hear, for the better. Clearly competition is
potentially subject to low priced bids being driven up during
the commercial negotiation period. A lengthy negotiation period,
such as ours, will inevitably bring increased project team costs
which fall to the local authority.
5.2 Procurement costs met by the Council during the procurement
process were in excess of £4 million. In addition, Bid Costs
included in the bid of the appointed contractor were of a similar
level. In addition, the Council is meeting significant further
costs during the implementation process with particular emphasis
on investment in the development of transformational education.
5.3 A number of issues which arose during our procurement
process could be said to be as a direct consequence of being a
Wave 1 BSF Authority. These are set out in more detail in an earlier
answer to a question above.
5.4 The table below sets out some of the additional key
issues which arose during the negotiation process:
Key issues arising during commercial negotiations
(i) Lack of standard documentation available to the Council
as standard documentation related to Local Education Partnership
contracts only, thereby resulting in extensive negotiations and
derogations due to:
(a) Interface issues due to a separate ICT Managed Services
(b) Interface issues arising from the provision of in
house Soft Facilities Management services.
(ii) Managing an Advanced Works Agreement alongside commercial
negotiations resulted in capacity problems for the Council.
(iii) The introduction of an Advanced Works Agreement reduced
the extent that the Council was able to influence design development
pre construction start and pre Financial Close. This has led to
a significant number of design development changes and Specialisms
requirements during the construction period. Furthermore, there
were significant legal discussions around which party had responsibility
for CDM for during the Advanced Works period as specific guidance
did not appear to exist.
5.5 Despite the above and extensive other negotiations
and the impact of scope changes referred to earlier, the Council
ensured that its vision to develop transformational facilities
and education was sustained.
6. PROGRESS ON
6.1 Building Schools for the Future Standard Form sets
out acceptable requirements for Contractors in this regard and
the Council's Technical Advisor at design stage was required to
ensure robustness in terms of the Output Specifications for the
implementation, construction and operational phases to reduce
carbon emissions of the new construction and their operations
6.2 Additionally the Payment Mechanism employed for the
contract has a built in performance regime in terms of efficiency
targets and the Council has its own internal policies covering
its own obligations providing the Soft Facilities Management and
Catering, which again are aimed at reducing the carbon emissions
of the Centres.
6.3 All the Centres for Learning are new buildings and
will therefore reach the maximum cost effective energy efficiency
in order to comply with Building Regulations (as opposed to refurbishments)
which aim to reduce carbon emissions but are not standards for
achieving zero carbon emissions.
7. HOW PERSONALISATION
7.1 In a complex interdependent world, there are arguably
important implications for curriculum design and practice in preparing
for the 21st Century. For teachers and schools, there are important
choices to be made about whether to broaden imaginative horizons
and to infuse a global perspective by learning from other cultures.
Knowsley has listened and this has impacted on the design of our
centres for learning and the pedagogical approach that has been
7.2 This area has explored in some depth in Knowsley.
Our education blueprint carried out in 2005 looked ahead to future
pedagogies and concluded that it would be highly unlikely that
learning would continue indefinitely to be delivered in traditional
classrooms of 30 children. Our research pointed toward the need
for space to become more flexible and be able to accommodate learning
that was 1 to 1, in project groups, in standard classes, in specialist
areas, in lecture groups etc. Alongside this we perceived the
need to formalise the use of technology and have worked with RM
to develop Personalised Learning Environments delivered through
a ration of 1:1 portable devices.
7.3 This debate emerged directly out of our conclusions
around de-schooling. In this sense it is clear that we wished
to establish authentic 21st Learning Environments rather than
cleaner and shinier versions of a 19th Century fordist construct.
We fear too many schools have yet to make the break away from
the institutional model.
7.4 The outcome of this was that we looked to procure
buildings that would respond to the challenge. This is not easy
as you have to accommodate both the present and also the future
and they do not always look the same. The result of this is a
series of compromises with existing practioners that will enable
us to move toward new practice while acknowledging that the shift
from ubiquitous classrooms to more democratised space and flexible
approaches will take time.
7.5 To support this shift we have developed two projects.
One of our schools is a designated Microsoft Global School of
the Future Pathfinder. Under this students have been working with
teachers in ways which informed our education vision. Early evaluation
is emerging and the results are extremely encouraging. To the
surprise of some, pupils have taken to group work, independent
learning and a greater degree of trust in a highly encouraging
way. In addition, we have developed `Test Model Environments'
in existing City Learning Centres which mimic the environments
that will be established under BSF enabling existing pupils and
staff to trial new ways of working. Again, the results are encouraging.
8. DEVELOPMENTS IN
OF ICT FOR
8.1 Our ICT development plan is closely aligned to our
BSF programme looking at our current infrastructure, hardware
and software and enabling where we need to be which incorporates
curriculum models, CPD, test model environments, the e-government
strategy, personalised learning, family, community and partnership
ICT Development grants are now aligned to enable
more flexibility eg Harnessing Technologies providing opportunities
for strategic development aligned to the overall vision.
Developments for the Child Index, ContactPoint,
eCaf provide an opportunity to align "information" systems
with the developments across Children's Services.
A number of financial frameworks have been established
nationally to support competitive pricing models
Development of "mobile" learning is
now well established through Computers for Pupils and Home Access
8.2 This emphasis on mobile learning has been expedited
through the Computers for Pupils (CfP) in Knowsley providing a
test modelling opportunity for the Future Schooling in Knowsley
programme and is part of a wider strategy to draw back into the
new strategic role outlined by Government and to work closely
with private sector partners to look at the wider delivery of
public services around personalisation and people focused delivery
for residents, whilst seriously considering the role of technology
in promoting change and the development of modern skills linked
8.3 The connectivity solution provided for Computers
for Pupils is T-Mobile 3G and although flexible, providing anytime
anywhere learning, it incurs a significant annual revenue cost,
preventing sustainability and longer term rollout of provision.
Knowsley is therefore proposing to test model a sustainable wireless
solution to further extend home access provision for Children,
Young People and their Families utilising the Access to Technology
at Home funding.
9. HOW THE
THE 14-19 DIPLOMAS
TO 18, IS
IN BSF PROPOSALS;
9.1 This perhaps illustrates the problem of how rapidly
changing policy environments impact on investment. BSF Wave 1
was perhaps "policy light" in many respects and those
participating local authorities were required to fill the gap.
Consequently much has depended on whether the anticipatory abilities
of the Local Authority concerned are acute. In Knowsley we were
unable to forecast with absolute certainty so adopted a policy
of maximum flexibility. This presents problems for Government
officials who are accustomed to hard and fast regulations, particularly
in areas such as BB98.
9.2 In respect of diplomas, staff preparing for the introduction
of the Diploma in Creative and Media and ICT, have been using
the Test Model Environments to develop their approaches to pedagogy.
Some of the delivery sessions from September 2008 have been timetabled
within the TMEs so that flexible spaces can be utilised in advance
of colonisation of the new Centres for Learning. Knowsley is fortunate
in that its long established 14-19 Collegiate allows significant
numbers of students to undertake vocational study at Knowsley
College and this long standing arrangement has long been a factor
of our BSF approach. Our approach to Diplomas is central to the
work of the 14-19 Collegiate and we expect them to be central
to our future planning. At the same time we hope that our flexible
approach to design in BSF allows us to respond flexibly to this
and other emerging policies but further investigation and testing
will be required.
9.3 The picture in respect of post 16 is complex. As
part of the "system" reform within Knowsley, Post 16
organisation is also undertaking a radical review. In response
to the history of underperformance Post 16 in Knowsley our 14-19
Executive responded with a review to identify options for a systemic
reform of 16-19 provision.
9.4 The Review recommended two strategic provision options
proposing radical changes to the current arrangements to bring
about a step improvement in Level 3 participation and attainment.
The options take account of the intended transformation in the
borough's secondary education provision as set out in the Local
Authority's Building Schools for the Future programme.
9.5 Strategic options are:
(i) establish a New Sixth Form College for Knowsley learners;
(ii) establish Roby Sixth Form College as the first
choice Sixth Form College for Knowsley learners;
The two proposals are to be consulted upon during October/November
9.6 The Executive has agreed that although there should
be one institution delivering post-16, there should be delivery
taking place in the North, South and Centre of the Borough to
maintain the presence of post-16 provision in all areas of the
authority. This will enhance the links between the new Centres
for Learning and post-16 provision.
9.7 Discussions have taken place between the College
and the two existing sixth forms with the resulting proposal that
there will be a North Campus (Kirkby Catholic Centre for Learning),
a Central Campus and a South Campus (Halewood Centre for Learning)
delivering academic level 3 provision. The North and South Campuses
will be 11-16 schools in terms of Ofsted and performance tables
but will continue to have "on site" post-16 provision
of broadly similar numbers to current provision.
9.8 Each Campus will have specialist curriculum areas
and will take the lead in developing those specialisms, wherever
they are delivered within the borough.
9.9 The Campuses together will offer a very wide ranging
curriculum including A levels, the new Diplomas and National Diplomas.
If the demand for a particular provision grows within a geographical
area, the provision will, wherever possible, be delivered in that
9.10 The provision will be managed by the College and
delivered by Centre for Learning and College staff.
10. THE GOVERNMENT'S
10.1 The consultation on Waves 7-15 conspicuously avoids
debate on the impact of proposed changes on the ethos and delivery
of the wider programme instead focusing on the mechanics of procurement.
While this is undoubtedly necessary it might have also taken the
opportunity to review the extent to which the programme was delivering
wider educational, social and economic objectives.
10.2 Proposals to enable Local Authorities to work more
closely together are certainly welcome but this should not be
limited to procurement. Clearly local authorities and their schools
in similar contexts would have as much to gain from working together
on educational objectives.
10.3 Under the consultation it appears that the term
"Academy" is now taken as shorthand for education transformation.
As we argue elsewhere in this response, this is perhaps a limited
10.4 We welcome the decision to explore in greater detail
the potential to co-locate services for children, young people
and families. We have endeavoured to do this in Knowsley but against
technical limitations which presumed that a school was the limit
of our ambitions. Given the fact that the Children's Act was on
the statute book in 2004 and in 2008 we are looking at the practical
implications of this on a major programme of capital investment
demonstrates a basic failure to join up policy at a national level.
10.5 The intention to broaden and streamline Waves 7-15
should avoid the past mistakes of failing to link transformation
with building and specific processes should be put in place that
ensure that "new old schools are avoided".
10.6 The continued failure to establish a cross sector
national group of all the major interests to oversee BSF remains
a fundamental omission. Without such a representative voice to
guide the work of PfS, DCSF, Local authorities, schools and contractors
an overall lack of coherence persists. While the performance of
PfS has clearly improved enormously we still feel that a national
forum would bring many benefits.