Monday 3 December 2012

Sandbanks time again - Teachers have a £17,000 holiday in Poole

It that time of year again when the Assistant and Deputy head teachers of Barnet pop off to the delightful Sandbanks Hotels at Poole in Dorset. Barnet Council says that it doesn't cost the council anything because they sell places to schools. They did get quotes from other hotels but their quotes for a 24 hour delegate rate were considerably higher than Sandbanks.  I wonder which hotel wanted to charge £251.50 per day - it must have been rather nice.  However, given the period of austerity we are in, it does seem rather profligate to be spending £17,000 on a nice conference at the seaside when there are excellent non residential conference facilities right here in Barnet on North London Business Park. No expensive hotel charges and no travel costs. The details are set out in the delegated powers report here.


  1. I think it would be better if you had all the facts before you blast away with a load of nonsense.

    If you could stop being so blinkered you would realise that it is head teachers from all over London that meet to discuss and plan how they can drive up standards in schools. Its also funded across those schools so the cost to Barnet isn't any where near the £17,000 you state which is the total cost of the event. Also I'm sorry to be picky but the rooms were more like £140 not the £251 you are quoting.

    What you don't mention is that from these meetings comes the sharing of best practice and techniques that have actually worked across London schools to drive up teaching standards and results. I think that represents good value for money. An investment in our economic future.

    Never mind - I wouldn't worry about letting a few facts spoil your copy.

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    1. Dear Silent Majority. I am a little surprised you have chosen to comment on a post which is nearly three years old but heh good for you. Now let's look at what you say. I was quite clear that schools pay for this themselves and that Barnet merely sells places to them. However, in the age of desperate austerity I am not sure many people would see a residential conference in Sandbanks as sensible use of money. I know many private sector companies that have stopped residential courses and now host only day conferences/courses specifically to minimise hotel costs. Point 2 I did not say that the rooms at Sandbanks cost £251 and if you read this piece carefully I said "I wonder which hotel wanted to charge £251.50 a day- it must have been rather nice". If you read the hyperlink you will see that Barnet went to three hotels one which bid £251.50 one which bid £199 and Sandbanks which bid £146.40. The point I was trying to make was that if, for example, you invite bids from the Ritz and Claridges then the Park Lane Hilton may seem the best value but if you asked for bids from the Novotel, and Holiday Inn Express it might look rather more pricey. I'm all for sharing best practice but couldn't that be done closer to home on a non residential basis. I am very keen on detail which is why I always source my data from Council documents. You have not provided any facts merely misinterpretation of what I wrote.