Welcome to the Public Works blog.

Public Works is UNISON Scotland's campaign for jobs, services, fair taxation and the Living Wage. This blog will provide news and analysis on the delivery of public services in Scotland. We welcome comments and if you would like to contribute to this blog, please contact Dave Watson d.watson@unison.co.uk. For other information on what's happening in UNISON Scotland please visit our website.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Private Sector Fails Again


The recent failures and subsequent closure of the private Hamilton School in Aberdeen show the important role that public services play in protecting us all. While many who opt for private over public provision don’t think they use the public sector its clear that their taxes turn out to be great value when things go wrong.

Investigations by the Care Inspectorate, Police Scotland and Education Scotland uncovered serious risks to children at the school which led to its immediate closure. Not only have these public bodies stepped in and removed the children from a risky situation, the local authority has taken the costly step of opening a building and providing teachers for those children to ensure that there is as little disruption to their education as possible.

The report from Education Scotland is breathtaking and concludes that:

Due to the extreme and serious management failings, along with the endemic, negative ethos within the school, HM Inspectors are not confident that children at the Hamilton School and Nursery are safe. In addition, the wellbeing and welfare of staff is of major concern.
As a result of the on-going and negative impact of ineffective leadership and in the absence of open, fair and accountable arrangements for governance, The Hamilton School and Nursery does not have the capacity to make the wide-ranging and urgent improvements necessary to meet the needs of children and keep them safe and well-looked after.
HM Inspectors recommend that the Registrar for Independent Schools takes immediate and serious action with regard to The Hamilton School including reviewing its registration as an Independent School
.”

The myth of the efficiency and effectiveness of private delivery is well and truly quashed.

Where the private sector fails to deliver essential services the public sector has to step in. This is why everyone must pay a fair share of taxes. You never know when you may need to call on public services, even when you explicitly opt out and choose a private provider, you may like the parents of Hamilton school, be very glad that the public sector came to your rescue.

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