There are calls for the Department for Education to explain how the collapse of Carillion will impact schools.
The construction and maintenance company worked either directly or indirectly with almost 900 schools, providing maintenance support and services including school meals and cleaning services.
According to Carillion’s former website, prior to being forced into administration it delivered more than 32,000 school meals every day to UK primary and secondary schools. It also cleaned over 468,000 square metres of property across 245 schools, provided mechanical, electrical and fabric maintenance services to 683 schools and facilities management to 875 schools.
A Government statement has confirmed that it had been working with councils and academy trusts since before Christmas to “make sure contingency plans are in place”.
Robert Halfon, the Chair of the Parliamentary Education Committee, has written to both the Education Secretary and Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington, to ascertain both the direct and indirect impact of the company’s collapse on areas within the DfE’s responsibility.
The letter stated: “It would be helpful if the Department published an analysis by constituency or local authority level of where the impact of Carillion’s collapse will be felt.”
A DfE spokesperson has responded, saying that the Department continues to offer support to schools to “help minimise disruption for pupils” through its designated advice service.
Luke Morgan, a Partner with Palmers, said: “The scale of the Carillion collapse is without precedent. The knock-on effect is that any schools who had engaged Carillion to undertake maintenance work will currently be in limbo and may find themselves diverting resources to ensure that there is no shortfall in these vital services.”
Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary of the National Education Union, said: “Head teachers and other school staff face another strain on their excessive workloads as they try to make short-term contingency plans and new arrangements for the long-term, while Carillion staff working in and for schools will be anxious about their job security and their pensions.”
If your school is facing issues relating to the Carillion collapse, you should seek expert legal advice, particularly in relation to contractual and financial issues. To speak to a member of our education team, please contact us.