Capita extends NI primary schools managed IT services deal
Education Authority agrees additional two year contract to support primary and special needs schools with cloud-based solutions for collaboration and procurement
Northern Ireland has opted to extend a managed IT services contract with Capita to meet the technology needs of 1,100 schools in the country for an additional two years.
Valued at around £60m, the extension of the C2k EN(ni) contract will continue to see managed services provided by the company to all primary, post-primary and special needs schools in Northern Ireland up to March 2019.
Functions to be included in the contract include a cloud-based network to support improved collaboration between students and teachers, as well as the supplying of learning resources that can be supported by Office 365 and Google’s G-Suite for Education.
Additionally functionality will include providing an online catalogue of software, hardware and literary content as part of a newsdesk service.
John Collings of Northern Ireland’s Education Authority said the contract extension would build on work over the last five years with the company to expand IT service availability.
“The use of technology has seen great results throughout NI schools with improvements in grades, attainment and behaviour,” said Collings. “This extension will ensure continuity of service and enable schools to continue to develop and further embed their use of ICT to support teaching and learning both within and beyond the classroom.”
Capita said the latest agreement was a vote of confidence in its collaboration with education authorities in the country to try and provide innovative technology for overhauling teaching and learning experiences.
In recent years, think tanks such as The Education Foundation have highlighted growing pressure on education providers to support knowledge sharing and cloud technologies, as well as better ensuring universal broadband access.
To this end, the Crown Commercial Service (CSS) in 2015 launched its ICT Services for Education framework. Scheduled to last until April 26, 2019, the framework is intended to facilitate the provision of educational ICT infrastructure services by local authorities, regional broadband consortia, maintained schools, free schools, academies, and further education colleges to better address needs for service innovation.