“There remain two key issues over documentation issued to the Forum – timeliness and quality.”
Bristol Schools Forum, Minutes of the meeting 29 January 2008 (pdf)
Take a bow Bristol’s £140k a year education boss Heather Tomlinson, who – along with her equally skilled and capable £2m a year management gang and their various hangers-on – don’t seem to be capable of performing simple administrative tasks like getting accurate reports and information to the Bristol Schools’ Forum on time so that they can make properly informed decisions about the education of our children.
Now, the Bristol Schools’ Forum is not some irrelevant talking shop like most city council forums. It’s responsible for allocating the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) to our schools. This grant received by Bristol City Council from the Department of Education amounts to around £500m over three years.
Perhaps a little more pertinently, the forum is also responsible for deciding how much of the DSG should be “top-sliced” from each of our schools and handed to Heather and her managers to pay their absurd wages, fund their dubious CONsultants and generally toss inconsequentially about with.
So what support do Heather and her million pound gang provide to our Schools’ forum then? Why they play politics with it of course and embark on endless money-grabbing missions by continually providing poor and inaccurate information at the very last minute in order to try to blind, bully and harass the forum into decisions financially advantageous to themselves.
Some of the outrageously shabby conduct we’ve discovered from Heather and co. includes them demanding extra cash from the forum for pet CONsultant-friendly projects, which were “not backed up with any data” and then once the programme directors responsible [on a salary in excess of £100k a year] were rumbled, we find they don’t bother to turn up to explain themselves.
We’ve also come across “ill conceived proposals” for ‘Healthy Living’ funding stuffed under the noses of the forum that had to be rejected while a “demand” for additional funding to provide more HR resources for Heather – after considerable challenge from the chair and vice chair – also had to be hastily withdrawn at the last minute.
And then there’s this intriguing minute:
“On the agenda this evening we had a proposal affecting Key Stage 4 funding allocations, which again after challenge by [the chair] (on the grounds that it made no sense), and by our Vice Chair, on the grounds that (1) it was contrary to advice he and another secondary head who sits on the forum had provided, and (2) that it had not been discussed with all secondary heads, has been withdrawn.”
The purpose of all this nonsense is, of course, for Heather’s big-spending department to try and effectively maintain control of the DSG budget for themselves by making the Schools Forum an unmanageable mess. They can then continue to grab money meant for our schools to fund themselves, their screwball schemes and their armies of private education CONsultants.
Isn’t it nice to know that the senior education managers of a failing education authority are spending their time and concentrating their efforts on feathering their own nests directly at the expense of our schools and kids?
The situation is so bad that the Bristol Schools’ Forum Chair, has stated on the record “There may be a need to appoint a new Chair at the next Schools’ Forum meeting”
Perhaps instead someone could call Heather a taxi?