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Capita Group PLC (CPI)

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Friday 01 October, 2004

Capita Group PLC

Re Contract

Capita Group PLC
01 October 2004



1st October 2004
                              THE CAPITA GROUP PLC

              THE DEPARTMENT FOR EDUCATION & SKILLS AWARDS CAPITA
                          NATIONAL STRATEGIES CONTRACT
                                        
Today the Schools Standards Minister David Miliband announced a new strategic
partnership with The Capita Group Plc ('Capita') for the delivery of the
National Strategies.

Following an intensive tendering process, The Department for Education and
Skills ('DfES') has selected Capita to support the National Strategies, a
national programme focussed on raising pupil attainment by improving the quality
of teaching and learning for children between 3 and 16 years old. Capita will
support the DfES in the design and delivery of the Primary and Key Stage 3
Strategies, with an emphasis on improving literacy and numeracy standards in
primary schools, the development of the Foundation Stage in early years settings
and extending the impact of the Key Stage 3 Strategy to support teaching and
learning of all 11 to 16 year olds. The new five year contract worth £177.5m
will start on 1 April 2005.

Schools Standards Minister David Miliband said:

'The National Strategies have played a significant part in helping teachers to
raise standards of learning across the whole curriculum, and in particular
literacy and numeracy standards in the primary years. This new partnership
offers us the opportunity to build on this success and to take forward key
elements of our vision for raising standards in schools set out in the recent
five year strategic plan for children and learners.'

Rod Aldridge, Executive Chairman of Capita, said:

'The National Strategies represents one of the most ambitious change management
programmes in education, and their execution to date has had a significant
impact on improving standards in learning. We look forward to working with the
Government to ensure levels of achievement are increased even further so that
its ambitious targets are met.

'This prestigious contract will be delivered by Capita Strategic Education
Services and will draw on the depth of education expertise and specialist
capabilities we have built up across the Group. Capita's expertise in
educational, change and operational management will enable us to deliver this
major programme in a flexible, responsive and innovative manner. We have an
exceptionally strong offering in the education market supporting educational
establishments, Local Education Authorities and the DfES and a considerable
track record and depth of transformation and operational capabilities. We
welcome the current National Strategies team to Capita and look forward to
building on their achievements to date.'

Capita's focus will be on ensuring that the National Strategies can be delivered
in an efficient manner that is fully responsive to the specific local needs of
schools, early years settings and LEAs and meets the requirements of all
parties, whilst being flexible enough to evolve to meet future requirements.
This will be achieved by strengthening the regional delivery model and improving
access to training and materials for schools and practitioners, through
effective use of web-based facilities and development of materials that can be
selected and tailored by individuals. Approximately 300 staff, including both
professional educationalists, who make up the regional field force, and experts
in a variety of operational services will transfer to Capita on 1 April 2005.
This will include the two current National Directors responsible for the Primary
and Foundation Strategies (Kevan Collins) and the Key Stage 3 Strategy (Sue
Hackman).

                                     -Ends-


For further information please contact:


The Capita Group Plc                020 7 799 1525
Rod Aldridge, Executive Chairman
Paul Pindar, Chief Executive
Shona Nichols, Group Marketing Director

Capita Press Office                 0870 2400 488

The Capita Group Plc is the UK's leading provider of integrated professional
support service solutions. The Group's service capabilities encompass customer
services, financial services, human resource services, software services,
systems and strategic support and property services delivered to both public
sector and private organisations. With over 21,000 employees at more than 200
offices across the UK and Ireland, Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange
(CPI.L), and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 with revenues for 2003 of £1,081
million.

In April 2003 Capita was named Company of the Year in the Royal Bank of Scotland
Sunday Times Business Awards. Capita has won Management Today's Most Admired
Support Services Company Award in 2003, for the third year running.

Further information on The Capita Group Plc can be found at: www.capita.co.uk.

Editor's Notes

1. The National Strategies were first introduced in 1997 with the focus on
raising literacy standards in primary schools. This was followed in 1998 with
the introduction of the Numeracy Strategy, and in 2001 with a focus on improving
teaching and learning in key stage 3, the early years of secondary education
covering 11-14 year olds, recently extended to 16 year olds in key stage 4.

2. The Primary Strategy was launched in 2003, reinforcing the government's
continuing commitment to improving literacy and numeracy standards, but in a
context of ensuring that all primary children receive a rich and broad
curriculum, as offered in 'Excellence and Enjoyment', DfES 2003. This includes
supporting Sure Start in improving teaching and learning in children's early
years of development, and in particular the transition from the foundation stage
to primary school. The Key Stage 3 Strategy has extended its remit to supporting
the Department's work on improving behaviour and attendance, as well as,
improving teaching and learning in the core subjects of English, mathematics,
science and ICT for all 11 to 16 year olds.

3. The National Strategies will have a key role to play in the New Relationship
with Schools, one which promotes the informed professionalism of teachers and
children's personalised learning needs. A commitment to the National Strategies
was re-confirmed in the Department's 'Five Year Strategy for Children and
Learners', July 2004.

4. The Department will be working with Capita SES, a strategic educational arm
of The Capita Group Plc which has considerable experience in providing
educational support to Local Authorities and schools.

5. The Department placed a notice in the European Journal in May, 2003 inviting
expressions of interest in the contract to provide educational and operational
support services for the National Strategies.

6. Forty one companies responded to the notice, of which six submitted
Pre-Qualification Questionnaires. These were evaluated in November 2003 and two
companies that met the Department's minimum standards of economic and financial
standing and technical capacity were invited to negotiate for the contract and
to submit their best and final offers by the end of June 2004.

7. At each stage, the Department undertook an evaluation of the tenders against
strict criteria following government procurement guidelines, including an
independent scrutiny through the Gateway Review Process conducted by the Office
of Government Commerce. It was also supported by legal and commercial advisers
from Field Fisher Waterhouse.

8. The contract is primarily fixed priced and set at £177.5m over the five year
period. The focus of the evaluation was on the range of services offered by the
two companies, and the selection of the winning company on its capacity and
capability to deliver a step change through its proposals.



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