£280,000 HS2 Contractor Contacts Just 8 Schools in 4 Months.

In December it was revealed that HS2 Ltd had signed a £280,000 contract to ‘educate’ primary school children as to the benefits of the project, following on from a similar programme in secondary schools.

Typical of HS2 spending control, they had accepted a bid which exceeded what was deemed the maximum value of the project, which involves getting pupils to assemble balloon-powered cardboard cut-out trains.

Whilst HS2 Ltd said at the time that “The materials in this pack are for educational purposes only and are not intended to be a representation of any particular project”, the cardboard cut-outs have “HS2 engine for growth” printed on them.

Well it now turns out that for that £280,000, in the first four months of their contract (from October to 20th February), Hopscotch Consulting managed to contact just eight schools.

That’s right, eight. And that might not even mean getting them involved in the programme, as the parliamentary answer just says Hopscotch have managed to contact these schools. You know, maybe send an them an email, phone them up, or even a letter with some sample materials. Eight. For over quarter of a million quid. I mean, for me I’d consider that a pretty poor output for a single afternoon.

The lucky eight all seem reasonably close to the HS2 line too;

Birmingham: Overseal Primary School & Parkfield Community School;

Camden: Argyle Primary School, Carlton Primary School & Netley Primary School;

Coventry: Park Hill Primary;

Wakefield: Ackworth Howard School & Sandal Castle Primary School.

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