Can’t say I’m feeling any sympathy other than for the decent employees given this idiotic company has been pursuing me for an unjust fine for 18 months. The people I have been dealing with have been prize merchants.
The policy of a lot of companies over the last 20 years has been to sell their real estate and then rent it back. Because of various arguments (allows better cash flows, we can reinvest the money in the business, we’re not in the real estate business, etc, etc, blah, blah). It’s now coming back to bite a lot of them in the arse.
The education authorities have been doing this by way of Private Financial Initiatives (PFI) for 20 years too. They’ve sold off countless school grounds and buildings for the development of ‘new academys’ to the private sector, mostly because of the deteriorating fabric of the buildings due to little or no buildings maintenance. The education authority’s then rent them back for a fixed term of 25 years or so. The first PFI’s are coming towards end of contract soon, that’ll be an interesting re-negotiation.
One of the reasons that they did that was that schools and universities were all done through the LEAs. Academies are funded by central government and can bypass the LEAs, and all those pesky rules.
And successive governments have loved underfunding and cutting out local government because control, and other nefarious reasons.
I think you’ll find the Universities have always been autonomous and the LEA education budgets were devolved sometime before the PFI’s.