Q2 Support Services for Education (SSE)
We support the main recommendation for Cabinet to Retain Support Services for Education within the democratic and accountable control of this Council as the Best Value option.
The recommendation supports the Trade Union response to this project that we support a plan to improve the efficiency and innovation within the in-house service. Will the Leader and Cabinet support the proposed Service Improvement and Innovation Plan with funding on an Invest to Save basis, where, for example, IT and process improvements are identified?
The Trade Unions I believe will welcome a model that directly involves Schools, SCC, Students and parents, Professional Associations and the formal recognition in the recommendations that this is the Best Value option for the service users, Somerset Taxpayers and the dedicated staff involved.
We believe that a fully supported Service Improvement and Innovation Plan will lead to this service continuing to demonstrate Best Value now and into the future.
As requested, please find below a transcript of the response to your SSE question asked at yesterday’s Council meeting:
Frances Nicholson response:
Thank you for the question about SSE and your helpful comments.
Clearly I can’t pre-empt the decisions of the Cabinet, but I am sure it will take your comments on board, as indeed the comments from the Scrutiny Committee when it meets to discuss this, which will be before the Cabinet Meeting. A great deal of thought and work has gone into the development of SSE and I am sure it will place the unit in good stead for the future for the benefit of Somerset’s children. The whole work is towards providing support services to schools to narrow the gap, so again I am grateful to the trade union for their positive response to the recommendation.
With reference to your specific reference about funding, the Council has developed an invest to save fund specifically to do exactly this, and all invest to save proposals will be considered, I know relevant directors and senior managers are very aware of this opportunity and will make best use of it.