Monday 20 August 2012

Brent Executive agrees free schools, academies and privatisation

Brent Executive took a few more strides along the privatisation road this evening.

They agreed to look for free school and academy partners in order to meet the demand for school places and approved school expansions increasing the size of some primary schols to more than 1,000 pupils. Although Cllr Arnold, lead member for children and families, said that this was an 'educational approach'  I fear for young children in such large institutions - particularly those on the autistic spectrum. Andy Donald's report did not mention the Gwenneth Rickus Building, currently the Centre for Staff Development Centre, in Brentfield Road. This was formerly part of Sladebrook High School and will become redundant when the Civic Centre opens next year.  It  may be put on the market along with Brent Town Hall - or perhaps it is ear-marked as a potential free school?

 The Executive  agreed to set up Brent Meanwhile Partnership (see previous blog LINK) which gives further powers to Andy Donald, Director of Regeneration and Major Projects - although Cllr Crane did not mention this in his very brief report which did not do justice to the wider repercussions of the policy..Donald will be delegated  to set up a London wide organisation as well as a local one and will be Brent's representative.

The public are not allowed to see how much of their money the council is going to pay to out-source the facilities management of the Council's entire property portfolio to Europa Facilities Services Ltd in a contact that will run from November until June 30th. Andy Donald's report outlines TUPE procedures for existing staff and says that the contractor has agreed to a staged voluntary redundancy process which he 'believes is acceptable to the GMB'. The staff concerned are older than the council average and have a higher proportion of ethnic minorities.

Following delays in setting up a new management agreement for the Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) the  Executive  agreed to delegate authority ot the Director of Regeneration and Major Projects (Andy Donald - of course)  in consultation with the Director of Legal and Procurement any  subsequent amendments between now and March 2013.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting reference to Sladebrook. Now the Swaminarayan School.

Perhaps makes sense for Brent to approach the temple for that school to become free school and do a deal on Gwenneth Rikus. Great way to deal with the issue and have a school that already adheres to the community's best interests