The borough was certainly wise to look before it leapt - powerful international organisations like Goldman's aren't generally in the habit of throwing money around without wanting something back - but perhaps it was a bit rash to turn it down outright. After all, other schools that have taken the sponsorship have benefited, and what parent doesn't want things like decent security, technology and food for their kids. Having said that, councils hardly have a great track record negotiating with influential elements of the private sector, so Tower Hamlets may have decided it was best to play it safe and tick along as it was.
Either way, it's not great news for the government, which has also caught flak for being inconsistent in how much companies must invest to secure sponsorship. (The official figure stands at £2m, but has dropped as low as £600,000 and even zero in certain cases). The government says such private sponsorship is key to raising educational standards. Of course, many will ask how we ever got into such a position in the first place.