Extended Schools, Extended Profits ?

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Extended Schools, Extended Profits ?

First Published On Real Whitby – April 2011

At a time when North Yorkshire County Councils is facing the prospects of cuts in the education budget of up to 25%, children of less well-off families can expect to be hit hardest.

Already, the ‘Extended Schools’ voucher system (to facilitate access for poorer kids to a wide range of extra-curricular activities) has been suspended.

The system has been a huge success in the Whitby area. Since almost all Whitby’s school-kids qualified for the free vouchers, uptake has been high and hundreds of kids have benefited from services and amenities provided by local businesses and voluntary organisations, as well as the public sector.

SBC provided services against vouchers at The Leisure Centre.

In the present climate, it is particularly disturbing to hear talk of the system having been subject to a certain amount of abuse – abuse that could (perhaps should) have been foreseen.

Briefly the ‘Extended Schools’ voucher system worked like this:

Initiated around three years ago, under the then Labour government, ‘Extended Schools’ provided a funding pool to enable education providers, in this case, North Yorkshire County Council, to issue special vouchers to ‘needy’ school-children, each voucher redeemable against one hour of facilities/activities provided by approved providers.

Subject to the usual safeguards, kids could enjoy all kinds of extra-curricular activities by handing over a voucher instead of cash. In due course, the provider would return the vouchers to NYCC, under the overview of the Whitby Schools Cluster, as substantiation of the number of hours invoiced for the provider’s services.

As a (fictional) example, young Johnny might present a voucher in exchange for one hour’s tuition in, say, photography – and the provider would duly invoice NYCC for, say, £7.50 for that hour.

So far, so good. Poor Johnny gets to do something that, in the normal run of things, his folks could never afford – though rich Richard’s folks could do so very easily. All very commendable.

But rumours are circulating, and gathering force, among school governors and other members of the teaching profession.

The flaw in the system is that there has been no specific cash value placed on the vouchers.

They are redeemed in accordance with the providers’ hourly rates, which, understandably, differ from provider to provider, reflecting the relative market value of the particular services provided.

But it is apparently the case that not all providers have played fair. Indeed, one provider has allegedly put in an invoice for well over a hundred thousand pounds (£100,000). That is an awful lot of extra-curricular activity!

But the rumours don’t end there. Some are saying that the flaw in the system was spotted at the outset by some of the more unscrupulous ‘insiders’, who promptly gave the heads-up to certain favoured providers that the voucher system was effectively a licence to print money.

And some are taking that quite literally, suggesting that the vouchers were far from forgery-proof.

Kick-backs have been mentioned.

Adding to this smouldering rumpus is the allegation that that astonishing hundred-grand-plus invoice has not been settled by NYCC, who have apparently referred the matter to the Audit Committee, on suspicion of a potential fraud.

A source inside County Hall has disclosed that alarm bells started ringing when a County Councillor with a strong family connection to the provider (but not the provider’s ward Councillor) embarrassed Cynthia Welbourn, Corporate Director of NYCC’s Children and Young People’s Service, by pressing for a settlement of the invoice without further delay.

And it would seem that the Councillor’s connections with the provider have not been declared for the Register of Interests.

Where this will end is anybody’s guess, but it is certain to be played out in a low key until the local elections are over.

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30 Comments

  1. Nigel Ward April 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    On to this:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: DataManagement.Officer@northyorks.gov.uk
    Sent: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 9:06 PM
    Subject: Attn: Louise Jackson – FOIA request

    Louise,

    I would like to lodge a request for information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please.

    My request concerns the workings of the ‘Extended Schools’ initiative brought in by the then Labour Government, I believe around 2007/8.

    http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=6532

    My request concerns three separate categories of participant in the Extended Schools initiative, as administered by NYCC – restricted to participants in the Whitby locality. (Whitby Schools Cluster).

    The three categories of participant (ie provider of extra-curricular facilities and amenties) are:

    A) Private Sector (business enterprises),

    B) Public Sector (Councils, etc),

    C) Voluntary Sector (charities, trusts, etc).

    I accept that there are issues of Data Protection and ‘commercial confidentiality’ concomitant with my request and therefore accept that some information may be subject to redaction on those grounds. I propose to obviate the need for redaction, however, on the basis that I am satisfied if individual participants (facility/amenity providers) are referred to by arbitrary numerical reference numbers in the range #001 – #100 (or more, as necessary).

    The information I seek, separately for each of my categories A, B and C, is as follows:

    In each of the years (or parts of a year) since the inception of the Extended School initiative in the Whitby locality,

    1) How many participants have there been?

    2) At what intervals of time do the participant return vouchers to NYCC?

    3) Are these voucher returns preceded, accompanied or followed by ‘invoices’ pursuant to the number of vouchers?

    4) Please list the amounts payable, with dates, on all such ‘invoices’ by each participant indentified by the arbitrary numerical reference number system described above.

    5) Does the accounts department of NYCC harbour concerns (or has, at any time) regarding the authenticity of the vouchers returned by participants? If so, please identify, using the arbitrary numerical reference number system described above.

    6) Does the accounts department of NYCC (or has, at any time) harbour concerns regarding the veracity of the amounts invoiced by participants? If so, please identify, using the arbitrary numerical reference number system described above.

    7) How many vouchers were officially issued in the Whitby locality (Whitby Schools Cluster)?

    8) How many vouchers have been thus far returned?

    9) Have any Councty Councillors played any active role whatsoever in mediating between participants and the Council in respective of services or billing or any issue relating thereto? If so, which Councillor(s)?

    10) Is the Council presently investigating any aspect of the conduct of the Extended Schools initiative in the Whitby locality.
    I would be grateful if the responding officer would adhere strictly to the numerical order of my request, and observed my distinctions between the three categories of participant.

    Although I have lodged this request under the FOIA, I am at pains to point out that my request is made very much in the public interest at a very sensitive time – the run-up to Local Council elections in the Borough of Scarborough and its Parishes. I would therefore regard it as a proper compliance with Mr Cameron’s (and Mr Pickles) aspiration to transparency and accountability at all levels of government if a special effort could be made to unstintingly comply with my request as quickly as possible – and certainly not later than Thursday 19th April 2011, two weeks prior to Election Day.

    I also remind you that it is ‘best practice’ to retain each email of a given ‘thread’ within the body of each new e-communication, so as to give all parties a convenient overview of the exchange to date. Thank you.

    Finally, it is my preference (as you well know) to be addressed by my given name – ‘Nigel’. Please respect that preference. Thank you.

    Yours, with kind regards,

    Nigel

  2. Peace of mind April 2, 2011 at 8:24 am - Reply

    At the school I take my child to it was in the later part of last year parents were made aware that the voucher scheme was open to all children. There must have been 2/3 vouchers per week per child issued, these had the childs name and a vaild till date printed on them. Voucher use was called off early at end of feb this year to all children including those that the scheme originally benefited before it was rolled out to all children and abused.

    I heard that one provider of activities had claimed for more hours than the children were in fact using. The person processing the sheets submitted by each provider, which show the hours each child has been using an activity, noticed a child down as using one providers activities during hours that child was attending school. After this was discovered the people running the scheme had talks with this provider and the provider was still permitted to accept vouchers until the scheme was stopped.

  3. rhajibuhga April 2, 2011 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Why the Pied Piper of Ruswarp> Does Codhead know something we dont?

  4. Nigel Ward April 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    And now this email to NYCC Councillors:
    ——————————————————————————————————
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: cllr.helen.swiers@northyorks.gov.uk ; Cllr.Herbert TINDALL ; Cllr.Jane.Kenyon@northyorks.gov.uk ; Councillor Joe Plant
    Cc: picklese@parliament.uk
    Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2011 5:59 PM
    Subject: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse of the ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire

    Cllr Herbert TINDALL – for Esk Valley – NYCC
    Cllr Joe PLANT – for Whitby West Cliff – NYCC
    Cllr Jane KENYON – for Mayfield & Mulgrave – NYCC
    Cllr Helen SWIRES – for Scalby & Coast – NYCC

    Councillors,

    Following my request under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 addressed to NYCC’s Data Information Officer Louise Jackson on Tuesday 29th March 2011 (copied below, in the interests of transparency), much has come to light, from a wide variety of sources, concerning allegations of wholesale (dare I say ‘and retail’) abuses of the ‘Extended Schools’ voucher system, known, I believe as ‘Me2’. With the benefit of hindsight, the name may have been ill-chosen.

    It would appear that the circumstances surrounding these allegations are about to enter the public domain via the blogosphere as well as in the local, regional and (perhaps) national newspapers.

    Since it is (to the best of my knowledge) the case that each of you represents a ward in which members of the Whitby Schools Cluster maintain a presence, I believe you are the proper members to approach in search of much-needed clarification.

    Strolling around Whitby today, with my family, I have encountered a number of members of the Whitby public who have spoken freely of how their children have been fortunate to benefit from the largesse of the voucher system.

    Some of them have related astonishing stories of such flagrant abuses of the system that I feel bound, in the public interest, to make further enquiries. One father spoke of witnessing the allocation of a ‘ceramic pot’ bearing a retail price of circa £90 (yes, ninety pounds) to a child on presentation of a single voucher. That goes a very long way beyond the intended provision of an hour’s extra-curricular instruction for the child of a needy family.

    I should, perhaps, here mention that, in addition to my FOIA N2971 request, I have also written to Mr Brian Bennett, Head of Tourism & Culture at SBC, with whom, I have no doubt, you are well acquainted. Brian has yet to respond. Again in the interests of transparency, I append a copy of my email to Brian, below – immediately above the FOIA N2971 already mentioned.

    Given the large number of ‘stakeholders’ in the ‘Extended Schools’ system, and given the proximity of the forthcoming local elections on 5th May 2011 (in which, one imagines, some of you may hold an interest), I believe that the spirit of Mr Cameron’s pledge for ‘transparency and accountability’ within all levels of government will now be best served if each of you were to offer a comprehensive and exhaustive statement regarding your respective involvements in the voucher system, if any, and openly declaring any family connections that may or may not be viewed as prejudicial to good order. It may be that one or more of you holds a Committee position with the remit to consider, for example, education and young persons issues. That would provide a vantage point from which particularly illuminating information could (and should) be shared with the electorate

    Of course, I can do no more than request your co-operation in the matter. I can certainly offer to do my best to ensure that your statements, if any, reach the wider public. The same can be said for any reluctance you may evince to offer complete transparency, which would certainly be a matter of public interest.

    The education sector is the rightful recipient of investment by central government. It is an investment in nothing less than the future of our society. The cynical abuse of such funding is morally unforgivable. I trust you share my view on that.

    Thank you all for the best of your attention. I look forward to hearing from you very soon indeed.

    Yours, with kind regards,

    Nigel

    Cc: The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
    ——————————————————————————————————

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: Brian Bennett
    Sent: Friday, April 01, 2011 1:53 PM
    Subject: ‘Extended Schools’ voucher system

    Mr Brian BENNETT – Head of Tourism & Culture – SBC

    Brian,

    I am writing to you today in the spirit of transparency and accountability much trumpeted by our Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP.

    I am privy to information regarding NYCC’s ‘Extended Schools’ initiative ‘voucher’ system, as practised thoughout North Yorkshire, and, in particular, under the overview of the Whitby Schools Cluster.

    Sources including education sector professionals, school governors and elected members are discussing the allegation that certain SBC facilities and amenities have participated in the scheme.

    More disturbing is the allegation that, at one or more SBC facility (facilities), vouchers have been accepted not only against amenities and services, but also against goods of considerable value.

    Ahead of any possible publication in the media or on the world wide web or so-called blogosphere, would you please be so good as to offer me a comprehensive statement of confirmation (or denial) that this has been the case – before close of play today, Friday 1st April 2011, if you would not mind?

    In my view, it would be irresponsible to publish such serious allegations without offering the Council a ‘right of reply’. However, the speed at which these allegations are permeating the public awareness requires prompt action on your part – as I am sure you must understand.

    I look forward to your unstinting co-operation on this matter.

    Yours, with very kind regards,

    Nigel
    ——————————————————————————————————

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 2, 2011 at 9:02 pm - Reply

      Curious how all four are Conservatives… what a coincidence.

      I’m a “right winger” to quote the false ‘left/right’ paradigm, but this seems to be a bit too much of a coincidence for me.

  5. Nigel Ward April 2, 2011 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    LATEST: 9:38 PM Saturday 2nd April 2011.
    __________________________________________________________
    —– Original Message —–
    From: Cllr.Jane Kenyon
    To: Nigel
    Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2011 9:38 PM
    Subject: Re: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse of the ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire

    Good evening Nigel. Your email raises some very serious issues and I
    feel duty bound to pass them to the monitoring officer at NYCC Ms.
    Carole Dunn.
    Regards,
    Jane
    ___________________________________________________________

    My response:

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: Cllr.Jane Kenyon
    Cc: carole.dunn@northyorks.gov.uk
    Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2011 10:02 PM
    Subject: Re: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse of the ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire

    Cllr Jane KENYON – for Mayfield & Mulgrave – NYCC

    Jane,

    Good evening to you.

    I thank you for your very prompt rejoinder, and I compliment you on your prudence – though naturally I am disappointed that you feel unable to make a more enlightening statement at this time.

    Please convey my respects to Ms Dunn, with whom you are most welcome to share my email address. You may assure her that I am very willing to make available to her such information as I am able to provide.

    Kind regards,

    Nigel

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 2, 2011 at 9:08 pm - Reply

      Typical evasion.

      Why do these SCUMBAGS never respond to the points raised?
      What are they afraid of?
      What are they hiding?
      Who are they protecting?

      Just my two cents.

    • Nigel Ward April 3, 2011 at 2:55 pm - Reply

      UPDATE: Sunday Lunchtime. Funny how I send email after email to which no response is forthcoming, but just now and then I find myself at the top of the agenda . . .
      _________________________________________________________
      —– Original Message —–
      From: Cllr.Jane Kenyon
      To: Nigel
      Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2011 1:27 PM
      Subject: Re: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse ofthe ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire

      Will do Nigel. Cant make any other comment as I do not have the
      information you require. However as I said previously you raise serious
      issues which do require the monitoring officers intervention,
      Regards
      Jane
      ________________________________________________________
      —– Original Message —–
      From: Nigel
      To: Cllr.Jane Kenyon
      Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2011 3:48 PM
      Subject: Re: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse ofthe ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire

      Cllr Jane KENYON – for Mayfield & Mulgrave – NYCC

      Jane,

      Hello again.

      Point taken. Nullo problemo.

      “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Ludwig Wittgenstein.

      Joe has been quite helpful. I hope to meet with Carole in due course.

      Regards,

      Nigel
      ________________________________________________________
      All very anodyne.

      I have also had some correspondence with Cllr Joe Plant – too voluminous to post here. I’ll find somewhere . . .

  6. Al Roberts April 3, 2011 at 9:57 am - Reply

    Reading through this lot I share, and commend, Jane Kenyon, for at least acknowledging that this is a serious issue indeed.
    When she says “I feel duty bound to pass them to the monitoring officer at NYCC” , I hope that she does not intend to retreat behind the closed door of secrecy.
    The issue has been brought to the attention of the attention of four persons elected by the public to act upon their behalf, is this the best response that they can muster between them?
    The public are very much involved in this issue both as providers (taxpayers) and recipients. Many of the recipients, perhaps, innocently unaware of the manner in which this scheme was, apparently, being abused.
    If the latter is the case then discussing it in an Open, Honest and Transparent manner is the only way to uncover the extent to which any abuse, or otherwise, of the the vouchers took place.

  7. admin April 3, 2011 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Its such a shame that the project (If true) has been abused. My children were given some of these tokens and used them at Mini Monsterz in Ruswarp and at the leisure centre. I was quite perplexed when my son told me that the project had finished early because the council had run out of money, he also told me that Mini Monsterz had not been paid. Like I say its a shame its been abused, it sounds to me that the scheme was not thought out properly in the first place, surely it would have been right to put a maximum value on the tokens and also to have them means tested so that they could be targeted at the least well off families of the town.

  8. Jon Risdon April 3, 2011 at 11:05 am - Reply

    I absolutely agree with Al Roberts. Any alleged misuse of public funds, notwithstanding the current parlous state of government funding, needs to be investigated thoroughly, stringently, and unceasingly, in a totally open & transparent manner, to avoid the public’s already perilously low regard of public probity being completely and irrevocably eroded.

  9. admin April 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    Interesting quote from Tony Mok who is the head at East Whitby.

    It has come to my notice that pupils/families not from East Whitby have somehow obtained East Whitby School vouchers and are using them fraudulently. Not only is this illegal but it reflects very badly on us as a school, as people will automatically assume the worst, and accuse East Whitby parents of passing the vouchers on.

    Quote from http://www.eastwhitbyschool.co.uk/cgi-bin/cms.cgi?TASK=FrontStory&FILENAME=1295886720&CATEGORY=1231752772

    The plot thickens.

  10. angela April 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Nigel
    A reply within 3 hours and 39 minutes (at the weekend too)and you are still not happy? Goodness almighty, no wonder you are treated as vexatious!
    If I was emailed regarding something so serious, I would reply to say I would action it and then look into it at greater depth before answering – wouldnt you???
    I would also err you away from emailing quite so many people about one issue expecting them all to look into it at the same time independently – think how many man/woman hours that takes up and how much extra it costs the taxpayer!

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      It wouldn’t cost John Q. Taxpayer a cent if this sort of crooked behaviour wasn’t happening in the first place.
      Are you in anyway defending their actions? Are you in on the scam? Are you a PUBLIC SERVANT? I surely hope not, on all three counts
      As for the “reply”, once elected you are a councillor every minute of every day, until you leave office. For example, if the Russians launched a first strike at 3am tomorrow (unlikely, but it’s an example), as a Councillor, you would likely be called out of be to do your duty for King and Country. 3am!!! Think about that.
      As an elected representative you are there to SERVE the interests of the community, not to fill your pockets, or to dictate to the community. Nay, you are there to do as the community tells you to do. Something this lot seem to have forgotten – conveniently or otherwise.

  11. Ivor The Engine April 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Sat discussing this in the singiing kettle this morning. Strong rumours that Joe Plant is in this one upto his neck. Allegedly, his daughter in law is the owner of a business who have made big money from the scheme and planty has been representing them without declaring an interest.

  12. rhajibuhga April 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    I don’t understand why Angela thinks there is extra cost to the taxpayer. I don’t think any of the people emailing or being emailed or asked to do some research, are paid by the hour. La belle Jane certainly isn’t..
    It’s good to know that for a lively political discussion, The Singing Kettle is he place to go.

  13. angela April 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    ‘Do some research for yourself’ isnt that the new buzz phrase on here? Try doing some – from outside the box! Whilst your ‘public servants’ are answering FOI request after FOI request, they are not doing the proper work YOU want them to!! Get it yet?? Read the FOI guidelines…you can find them on the ICO website.
    I found the parts about obsessive FOI requests and ‘public interest tests’ most interesting!
    They may not be paid by the hour, but as I say, time is money!!!!
    Im not defending etc any of them for anything, I have no interest in politics whatsoever, except when ‘Public Servants’, LOL, are not doing the work I want them to do because some people like to use them as ‘personal’ servants instead!!

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Off the deep end!

      PUBLIC SERVANTS do not miss overspends on sea defenses because of FOI requests.

      PUBLIC SERVANTS do not recieve golden handshakes (John Treble), because of FOI requests.

      PUBLIC SERVANTS do not lie about when and where the dredger was operating before a sea wall collapse, because of FOI requests

      PUBLIC SERVANTS do not get caught lying multiple times, about having permissionto dig through and desecrate a site of great archeological interest, because of FOI requests.

      PUBLIC SERVANTS do not get paid upwards of £40k a year to help TESCOS get a juicy deal in Scarborough, when the public want an ASDA, because of FOI requests.

      You getting the picture yet, or as has already been asked of others here, are you getting paid to defend SBC?

  14. angela April 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    I would like to see the evidence on which you base these points.

    If you actually read my posts instead of jumping ‘off the deep end’ you will see that I have actually answered your question already
    ‘Im not defending etc any of them for anything, I have no interest in politics whatsoever,’

    Perhaps Nigel can send in an FOI request to ask how much FOI requests cost SBC and in fact YOU the taxpayer?? But, I suspect he wont because he wouldnt want you to hear the answer! Or perhaps he is too busy drowning in ‘the deep end’ LOLOLOL

    Until he does, I will stop spamming on this thread.

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 5, 2011 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      You don’t have a “vested interest” do you? Or, do you have someone close that should have “declared” a vested interest?

      I’m all ears.

  15. rhajibuhga April 5, 2011 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    Angela, FOIs don’t cost the taxpayer anything, all it does is maybe, oblige a Public Servant to work through his coffee break once in a while. They are the only means we the taxpayers have of controlling the excesses of our ‘Servants”

  16. angela April 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Until he does, I will stop spamming on this thread.

  17. Daryl Smiler April 5, 2011 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    I’m utterly amazed at the extent of the accusatory, probably libelous comments that are thrown in here. Many of them are clearly made in complete ignorance of the real facts.

    Others expound theories that do no more than show their prejudices and ignorance. Take just about everything that Frank L states as an example. If this is allowed to continue the site will loose any credibility it might have had.

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 5, 2011 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      Ignorance? Where is the ignorance? What credentials do you have that allow you to be so “informed”?

      You aren’t on the pay roll of John Q. Taxpayer are you?

      You sound like you are.

  18. Cliff Street April 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    Well, rhajibuhga it seems that you’re another member of the brains trust on here that makes stupid statements. The site is full of them. If you think that FOI requests cost nothing it demonstrates the value of anything else you have to say. You’re obviously not much of a thinker.

    Cliff

  19. Daryl Smiler April 6, 2011 at 8:09 am - Reply

    Well Frank,

    I don’t have any vested interests or any connections, financial, family socially, professionally or otherwise, with this debacle or any of the others you carp on about. I am merely a fair minded individual who is interested in justice above all else.

    All your posts are nothing more than bile filled rants. They demonstrate pure prejudice and little in the way of clear facts. Like many others you seem not to appreciate that such rants merely get you flagged as a time waste.

    If I could offer a little advice it would be to pick a subject you know something about then research the facts properly. If you then find this corruption you believe exists you should take it to the police.

    Love Daryl

  20. rhajibuhga April 6, 2011 at 9:44 am - Reply

    Good morning Cliff, no not brains trust , more The Weakest Link standard.
    But you seem to be better informed than most of us, as to the workings of local government, maybe you could elucidate us on the cost of an FOI, no need to go into details, just the bottom line. Whatever it is, we can sure it is less than all the money going down the plughole of scams and malpractice . It maybe that some of the statements made on this site are uniformed, (maybe because we dont put in enough FOIs) that doesn’t give you licence to make derogatory remarks about the contributors. Anyway, just look at the ratings, you are the weakest link, goodbye

  21. angela April 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    My final and last word on this (as the actual topic on this thread is ‘Extended Schools, Extended Profits’ is it doesnt take many brain cells to work out how much an FOI costs. Look at the salaries quoted on SBC website, divide that into hours, and using an EDUCATED guess as to how many hours it would take to answer some of the bewildering FOI’s sent through. Then use this sum:
    Salary+
    heating
    electric
    office space
    databasing/storage
    web/email dev
    etc etc etc and you have the answer. This all comes out of their budget for doing their job. The money YOU pay them for completing their job e.g providing the services YOU want. But the real answer is not in monetary form – it is those hours taken fathoming out your way out of the red tape to get to the answer that is the REAL cost the the taxpayer.

    While they are answering all of these enquiries they are not doing what YOU want them to! SO when they are not doing the things you xpect them to in their role..have a think……

    As an admin I think this debate has gone far enough off topic and I will have to consider cutting it short to anything on topic. I wouldnt want to be talk of the town as well as the singing kettle LOL 😉

  22. rhajibuhga April 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm - Reply

    No Angela, whilst they are answering all of these enquiries, they ARE doing what we want them to.
    I wouldn’t know about the Singing Kettle, never been there since the 1950s

  23. Elaine March 13, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Hi Nigel, Did you ever get any responses to your letters? If yes what where they please. Thank you Elaine

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