Bureaucratic blunder wastes £12.5 million

After a month where the Oaklands College plans for a new Smallford campus have been put in great peril and when local secondary head teachers were suddenly threatened with last minute sixth form budget cuts, we now learn that the funding body responsible - the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) - is about to incur a £12.5 million charge for cancelling its lease on its lavish St Albans offices in Grosvenor Road. The lease has nine more years to run and was costing an eye-watering £17,200 for each of the 32 LSC staff employed there.

The information was contained in documents leaked to the Guardian newspaper. As I reported previously the Learning and Skills Council dropped a bombshell on Oaklands College’s plans for the new Smallford campus when its inability to budget meant that there was no money left to meet its promise to contribute £44 million to that project. Then they threatened sixth form funding though the Chancellor dug them out of that hole in the budget. It now beggars belief that £12.5 million looks like being thrown away in St Albans because of further financial incompetence on the part of the LSC and their complete lack of professionalism. It is just a kick in the teeth for all the teaching professionals who actually are delivering education on the front line in Hertfordshire.

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