Barnet Council are consulting staff and schools on options for delivery of school support services currently run by Cambridge Education. This follows discussions between the provider, Mott MacDonald, and the Council to terminate the current contract.
The Council are consulting on two options:
– bringing all the services back in-house under direct control of the Council
– establishing a new Local Authority Trading Company to run the services at arms-length
Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said:
“We will be supporting bringing the services currently run by Cambridge Education back-in house to the Council’s direct control.
“We opposed this outsourcing at the time for a raft of reasons, including that the business plan didn’t stack up – we have been proved correct.
“At this time with schools needing support to respond to Covid-19 and with uncertainly and unprecedented pressure on our resources it is essential that we take these services back in house under direct control.
“The Council needs to take direct responsibility to support our schools at this difficult time and we need new arrangements put in place quickly and affordably.
“The last thing we need is to embark on a further reorganisation with a complicated, costly and time-consuming process to set up a trading company.
“It is unfortunate that Mott Macdonald chose this time, during a pandemic, to back out of their contract, which further illustrates the dangers and downside of outsourcing public services.
“This has been another failed Barnet outsourcing. “