Criticism of security firm in schools
Union leaders have condemned the use of security firm G4S in city schools.
The company, which provides security and maintenance advice at five new-build secondary schools, has been heavily criticised by the Leicester branch of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) which said it had a poor human rights record.
In July, it emerged senior staff in some of the schools where it empties bins and changes lightbulbs, as well as providing security, had raised concerns about the quality of its service.
The firm recently hit the national headlines for its poor handling of the Olympic Games security contract.
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Now, the NUT has raised its concerns with city council bosses.
Peter Flack, assistant secretary for the Leicester branch, said: "It can't be right a company that has such a poor human rights record, should be involved with Leicester's schools.
"It's involvement with Palestine and UK Border Agency detainees has been widely criticised for its poor treatment of people and I think steps should be taken to review the future of any contract with the company given this information, coupled with the concerns of school staff about the current service it provides."
The schools G4S provides caretaking services to are Fullhurst Community College, in Braunstone; Soar Valley School, in Rushey Mead; Judgemeadow College, in Evington; Beaumont Leys School and Rushey Mead School.
Complaints, which are thought to relate to basic daily tasks, pre-date the difficulties experienced at the Olympics.
The agreement with G4S is between Leicester City Council and Leicester Miller Education Company (LMEC) which oversees the BSF – Building Schools for the Future – programme.
A spokesman for Leicester City Council said: "We want to ensure all our BSF schools in Leicester receive high quality facilities management.
"We are working to determine the best form of facilities management provision for those schools who manage their own contracts.
"If any schools require facilities management services to be procured under BSF then LMEC will put forward suppliers to fulfil that.
"However, it is not our intention to enter into new direct contracts with G4S for facilities management in our BSF schools."
He said the five schools using G4S had 25 year contracts with the company.
The spokesman said: "As with any contracts, within that there are provisions covering early termination."
A G4S spokesman said: "We work very closely with the education partnership and schools' management teams to ensure the facilities are in the best possible condition to support pupils' learning."
The issue is due to be discussed by councillors on the children and young people's scrutiny committee on October 30.