A merry-go-round of useless managers squanders £100k on lethal play equipment whilst care of children suffers!
BUDGET slashing in Bristol has cut so deep that staffing at our kids’ nurseries and Children’s Centres are now reaching dangerously low levels, sources tell The BRISTOLIAN.
Despite being scored ‘Good’ or above in all areas in its last published Ofsted report, one popular east Bristol nursery school – which we can now reveal as The Limes in Whitehall – now faces a £100,000 budget shortfall. Already staffing shortages mean that qualified teachers and Early Years Practitioners are often forced to act as little more than sentries stopping children from escaping.
The situation for staff on the frontline at The Limes is contrasted with the well-salaried upper echelons, where a recruitment revolving door has seen three new head teachers in little over a year. Each has attempted to stamp their mark on the school – which is attached to a Children’s Centre – by remodelling the kids’ play garden. The total cost? In excess of a STAGGERING £100,000!
One garden makeover, which cost an eye-watering £70k+, even had to be ripped out because it was UNSAFE. Worryingly, there had been no proper health and safety assessment before it was built, and NO OVERSIGHT from Bristol City Council. The garden’s potential for injuring children was only picked up on by chance – when someone who worked in H&S came to collect his grandchild and was alarmed by what he saw.
The garden then had to be immediately ripped up and children barred from using it until it could be made safe!
The cost of these EXPENSIVE VANITY PROJECTS by senior management has lost them the opportunity to employ extra staff to actually look after the children – yet comes at the same time as the current Head spends thousands on expensive consultants.
At least one such ‘expert’ is a former colleague of the Head, and is reportedly used mainly to cover staff shortages – when it would be more sensible and cheaper to hire full- or part-time staff on permanent contracts.
So if this is what it’s like now, what’s it going to be like once Mayor Fergo pushes through his £90 million cuts package?