Thursday, 9 May 2013

Sandbanks Hotel time again - £17,000 for a conference

Oh dear. It comes around every year. The time when the poor old head teachers of Barnet need to get away and do their professional development by the seaside. Barnet have just signed off authorisation for the annual conference at the Sandbanks Hotel, Poole, in October here. Barnet Council says that the £17,000 cost of this residential conference is funded by the schools who pay for places but frankly, given the cuts that are being made currently and the news today that Danegrove School is struggling to raise money to pay for essential play equipment, it does seem rather profligate. Lots of private business stopped resident conferences years ago, hosting these types of events closer to home and avoiding the cost of overnight accommodation. There are plenty of venues in North London with day delegate rates of around £50-£55 per person and that would be keeping money in the local economy. In a time of austerity is it right to spend so much on a conference? I don't think so.

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