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Northern Ireland schools to continue with Capita IT services

Two-year, £60m contract extension covers ICT services for 1,100 schools

Northern Ireland’s Education Authority has extended its IT services contract with outsourcing giant Capita by two years in a deal worth about £60m.

The extended contract with Capita Managed IT Solutions covers ICT services for about 1,100 schools. The authority signed the original £170m, five-year contract, known as C2k EN (ni), in 2012, and the new agreement will take it to 2019.

After taking over the contract in April 2012, Capita migrated to a new ICT service, with the first major parts available in September 2013 and completion a year later. The 2012 contract included the creation of Europe’s largest cloud service for the education sector, said Capita.

Capita provides a managed IT service to 350,000 users, covering every primary, post-primary and special needs school in Northern Ireland. This includes the delivery of a cloud-based network for access to educational resources and collaboration. Resources include Google’s G-Suite for Education and Microsoft’s Office 365. It also offers schools an online catalogue of hardware and software and topical literacy content.

John Collings, director of education at the Education Authority, said that over the past five years of the contract, the organisation has delivered a range of IT services and improved the level of education in Northern Ireland.

Read more about IT in schools

“The use of technology has seen great results throughout the schools with improvements in grades, attainment and behaviour,” he said. “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.”

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