They’re all plundering the public purse with questionable rationale, but should this week’s “winner” have been the Head of Press and PR for an “environmental arms length body” in Oxfordshire (£50k pa), or the newest in a long time of Olympic Development Managers (£41,610 - £44,262k pa) at the London Borough of Redbridge, adding to the enormous cost to taxpayers of the 2012 games, or even the Community Safety Officer to be employed in London on £15 per hour in order to tackle domestic violence and hate crime – a daunting task even for the police who are in place to do this job?
Perhaps any one of these would’ve fitted the bill, but Warwick County Council must carry the can this week for the two new posts they advertise:
“Healthy Schools Advisor (2 posts)
£39,794 - £43,358 per annum
Are you an outstanding Educationalist looking for your next challenge?
Warwickshire Healthy Schools is a successful team looking for two new advisors who will have a key role in implementing the Healthy Schools enhancement model.
We are looking for highly motivated, inspiring individuals who:
• are experienced in working in schools on management and/or the health agenda and working in partnership with other agencies to enhance provision
• are strategic thinkers who are able to contribute to realising the vision of the 21st Century School for Warwickshire schools
• can demonstrate effective data analysis skills for the purpose of school improvement
• can work creatively to develop and deliver high quality training, presentations and resources to meet a wide range of audiences
• have a passion to contribute to improving health and wellbeing outcomes in the context of school communities
• have excellent communication skills and are able to build and maintain good relationships, networks and partnerships with a wide range of colleagues and organisations.
We can offer you:
• a role in the Local Authority contributing to the achievement of better health and wellbeing outcomes for children and young people in Warwickshire
• an opportunity to work with schools and partners across Warwickshire
• an extremely hard-working staff team who are professional and dedicated
• opportunities for personal and professional development."
The health police – schools division.
Does this have anything to do with the Change4Life initiative or is it just in duplication? It’s difficult to tell because this advert leaves us non-the-wiser in terms of the actual practicalities of the role. Will these highly paid individuals be within the schools banging the drum for eating a bit of fruit and doing a bit of running around, or are they based in their own nerve centre, busily developing and pushing the ‘health agenda’ for schools.
The thing about these positions is that they’re created to combat a hugely complicated problem. Parents generally feed their kids and hold sway over their activities so the influence of these people must be wide-reaching and really hugely profound to reverse current trends and attitudes and make the sort of impact that warrants their salaries.
If they can do this in Warwickshire then I’ll happily be proven wrong, but I implore the council to give taxpayers a chance and revisit these posts in 2 years in order to provide proof that the kids are healthier and that there’s been a significant and quantifiable benefit as a direct result of hiring these two individuals. If it turns out that they’re just window dressing to make the council look good – get rid, and feel horribly guilty that you wasted good money in needy times.