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Ron Haycock writes:

ENSIGN CAUGHT OUT

Ensign, one of the two bidders remaining for the Waltham Forest LEA Project (privatisation) has been caught out. They bought out a company called PPI, the same company that it is currently administering the LEA on an interim basis (and not very well). The company Manager happens to be the same person as Waltham Forest's Deputy Chief Education Officer. It turns out that Ensign Tribal have undertaken to give this character and another 5000 each if Ensign secures the contract. Nord Anglia, their rival found out have called foul.

 

March 19, 2001

To All Councillors in Waltham Forest

Dear Councillor,

Ensign/PPI

On behalf of the NUT, which is by far the largest and most representative teaching union in Waltham Forest, I wish to urge you to give the most serious consideration to abandoning the process of outsourcing.

The exposure of the behaviour of Tribal/Ensign and PPI, although shocking and outrageous should come as no real surprise. These are the ethics of the marketplace, suitable perhaps to the world of profit margins and cut throat competition for contracts but wholly inappropriate in public services where the principles of propriety, equal opportunities and public accountability should predominate.

I urge you, on behalf of the teachers, students and parents of Waltham Forest to take up rather than abnegate the responsibilities for which you were elected. You were elected to run and manage a Local Education Authority. You were not elected to pass that responsibility to a private profit-making firm.

Many mistakes were made in the past, hence our current difficulty, but the biggest mistake would be to follow a line that will do untold damage and bind you for many years. We should all be grateful for the current exposure which reveals the flaw at the heart of privatisation (and no number of euphemisms can hide the reality of this) which gives you the chance to step back and begin the process of building a new Waltham Forest Education Authority.

Yours sincerely,