Good news for schools in RCT with a potential £160m investment programme via the 21st century Schools scheme. Good news which RCT Council of course want to announce to the world.
It is an excellent example of how to put some good political spin on a tale – but then you would expect little else surely when the Head of Public Relations and Strategy is the son of the Cabinet member for Education. After all if your own son can’t paint you in a good light then who can? (Especially when he is being paid so handsomely to promote
the Labour party the Council.
There is no mention of the delays to the scheme, or that it will not kick in just yet. The programme, whilst well intentioned, was like many Labour Government schemes not fully financed. They of course blamed the Westminster cuts - what else?
The amount of money available has been scaled back considerably, and the program will not now kick in until 2014 instead of 2012.
Conveniently this is overlooked by RCT’s excellent
propaganda PR department.
Oddly enough they also overlooked the £3million pupil premium / pupil deprivation grant money. Not a whisper of it on the website. Maybe they weren’t able to work out a way of mentioning it without also giving the Welsh Liberal Democrats some credit for it, and that would really stick in the craw of the Labour Councillors.
Anyway, back to the good news – the £160m investment. This is of course dependant on the Council putting together a sound business case for each proposal within the overall bundle.
Now hopefully they will do just that, as there are some very good projects there which will provide enhanced facilities for a number of schools. However the recently appointed Director has spent much of his time over the past two years putting together a crackpot plan to close all secondary schools and open three tertiary colleges which has met with the approval of nobody outside of the Labour Cabinet. Maybe some of that time, energy and effort if put into other schemes would have been much more productive,