28/04/2003

NASUWT vents anger at Jarvis contract award

The NASUWT has reacted angrily to the news that PFI contractor Jarvis has been awarded a £1.9 million government deal to support under-performing secondary schools.

The NASUWT were particularly concerned as Jarvis had been in charge of maintaining the section of track which saw a train crash at Potter's Bar in September 2002 that killed seven people.

Commenting on the three-year government contract given to Jarvis to rescue failing schools, Eamonn O’Kane, General Secretary of NASUWT, said: “Given the dismal record of Jarvis with Railtrack, it is hardly surprising that its involvement in the education service will be met with trepidation by teachers.

“It is puzzling that the government believes that private sector involvement in helping schools in difficulties should be superior to using the existing expertise in the system. In many cases, these private companies simply poach staff from other parts of the education service, thus bringing little outside knowledge to the contract.

“There is a world of difference between building a school and running a school.”

Jarvis is an infrastructure services and facilities management group, which was also recently appointed as preferred bidder on a 35-year scheme to provide and manage accommodation for more than 400 students on the University of Reading’s St George’s Hall campus.

This is the second partnership between Jarvis UPP and the University of Reading will have capital value of £15 million. Jarvis say the accommodation will be operational by September 2004.

Through its Schools Partnership Programme, Jarvis is leader in schools PFIs, providing education facilities for some 80,000 pupils and staff at 104 schools.

(GMcG)

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