Why Barnet’s Education and Skills must be an in-house service

Barnet Council outsourced the Education and Skills services including catering to Mott MacDonald trading as Cambridge Education in 2016. Mott MacDonald then sub-contracted the catering service to ISS.

Force Majeure

In April 2020 Mott MacDonald informed the London Borough of Barnet that they intended to use the Force Majeure contract clause to withdraw from the contract.

            “As a result of the complexities and consequences of the COVID-19 crisis there would need to be substantial revisions to the way in which Mott MacDonald delivered the Education and Skills contract. This could include changes to the terms and conditions of staff and salary arrangements and other commercially confidential conditions, which would be unacceptable to the council and would undermine the delivery of the service.

The Council agreed that termination of the contract may be the most appropriate course of action. The Council rejected retendering the contract and asking Cambridge Education/Mott MacDonald to continue to deliver the service. They decided to examine two options:

  1. Bringing the service back in-house.
  2. Transfer all services into a new Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC).

The report Why Barnet’s Education and Skills must be an in-house service is a detailed analysis of these two options prepared for UNISON NEU GMB NASUWT and the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP). It makes an overwhelming case for in-house provision.