Wednesday 11 February 2015

Barnet Taxpayer about to give Capita another billion quid to run our schools?

The Education & School meals contract has been published for tender and the top price they are looking for is just under a billion pounds!

“The upper estimate of 986 000 000 GBP contract value includes assumptions on optimistic growth success and is inflation adjusted at 2.5 % per annum over the possible 10 year contract period. The lower end of the contract value of 89 000 000 GBP is inflation adjusted at 2.5 % per annum and assumes that the joint venture vehicle only carries out the Education Services business of LBB over the initial 7 year contract period.

The potential return to the JV from providing services will depend on many commercial factors including, but not limited to, the services that the Council and individual stakeholder members agree to purchase from the JV, the performance of the JV, market conditions, and the arrangements for financing activities and sharing returns agreed between the Council and the partner in establishing the JV.

Bidders should seek independent legal and commercial advice in relation to the potential value of the opportunity of the scheme as a whole.
Estimated value excluding VAT:

Range: between 89 000 000 and 986 000 000 GBP

See for yourself.

So what are Barnet actually looking at outsourcing? Read this. It makes you wonder what role governers will have in future and where local democracy comes into all this.

"Short description of the contract or purchase(s) The London Borough of Barnet (the Council) is seeking an investment and delivery partner to create a joint venture vehicle to: deliver education services (the services) to the Council and to stakeholder members (i.e. Barnet schools); to develop new and innovative service offers; and to expand the services' client base. The core objectives of the Council in setting up the joint venture are to: 1. Maintain Barnet's excellent education offer. 2. Maintain an excellent relationship between the Council and schools. 3. Achieve the budget savings target already set by the Council. In addition the Council would be seeking to: 1. Deliver high quality products and services directly to the Council and other customers; 2. Provide opportunities to develop skills in the existing and future Barnet workforce; 3. Create a sustainable organisation which is fit for purpose now and in the longer term; 4. Provide long term financial benefits to the Council. The investment and delivery partner will be expected to provide up front financial investment to achieve the Council's budget savings target for these services and to provide business acumen and commercial discipline to deliver the objectives of the joint venture. The joint venture vehicle will have the benefit of the strong relationships that existing Council staff have built up with the Borough's schools as a result of their experience, professional specialist knowledge and skills. It is anticipated that this, together with the input of the investment and delivery partner, will enable the joint venture vehicle to capitalise on this opportunity to create an education services venture to support the Council and stakeholder members, as well as potentially a business at a national level serving new customers in the public and private sector. Key elements for consideration in dialogue will be the most appropriate form and composition of the joint venture vehicle and the most effective way of actively engaging stakeholder members in the governance of the vehicle and/or the commissioning of services to be provided by that vehicle. The investment and delivery partner will be expected to respond to the changing commissioning needs of the Council and individual stakeholder members, emerging statutory requirements in the education sector and changes in schools' performance. The stakeholder members consist of 24 secondary schools, 88 primary schools, one all through school and 4 nurseries throughout the Borough, serving some 54 524 pupils. A full list of stakeholder members will be provided in the pre-qualification questionnaire. The services to be provided by the partner through the joint venture vehicle to the Council and stakeholder members comprise, but are not limited to, the following: Strategic and financial management of the service — Strategic oversight of the Education and Skills service. — Strategic support and advice to the Schools Forum. — Management of the Dedicated Schools Budget and the distribution of funding to schools (including SEN place-funding and top-up funding). School improvement — Statutory local authority services, such as monitoring, supporting and challenging schools, and intervening in maintained schools where necessary. — Narrowing the gap service (DSG funded). Special educational needs (including changes implemented from 1.9.2014) — SEN placements and performance team. — SEN Early Support Programme. — SEN Transport — assessing pupils' eligibility for SEN transport support; brokering provision (liaising with the family and school and commissioning appropriate transport/travel assistance); and managing the contractual arrangements for the provision of transport/travel assistance. — Educational psychology team (part traded). — SEN placements (DSG funded). — SEN specialist support services (DSG funded). Admissions and sufficiency of school places — Pupil place planning. — Admissions Service (DSG funded). Vulnerable pupils — Education welfare service (part traded). Post 16 learning — 14-19 service to ensure sufficiency and breadth of supply. — Monitoring, tracking and supporting participation. Traded services — Catering service. — Governor clerking service. — Barnet Partnership for School Improvement (BPSI). — Newly Qualified Teachers support. — Educational psychology (part). — Education Welfare Service (part). — North London Schools International Network (NLSIN). The new delivery model would be expected to take over all of the services above. Please see MoI for more information about these services. In addition, the services to be transferred to the joint venture vehicle may include the operation and performance of some incidental and related corporate support services, inside and outside the education sector, but these are not expected to constitute a significant share of the joint venture's operations. This may include, for example, the brokering and contract management arrangements in respect of transport for Adult Services. The joint venture vehicle will be awarded a contract for a minimum term of 7 years, with a maximum 3 year extension by LBB to supply the services which originate from core services funded by grant from Central Government. All schools have the ability to procure services independently from the Council and it is envisaged that existing contracts awarded by schools and relevant third parties will be assigned and/or novated to the joint venture vehicle (note: most of these contracts are on a 12 month rolling basis). The joint venture vehicle is expected to grow its business by contracting with schools, academies and the wider education and skills sector both within London and beyond. The joint venture vehicle will also be able to identify new markets within the Education sector for the services it can supply. LBB may transfer certain assets into the joint venture vehicle where these are necessary for the provision of the Services. The period during which the partner investor is locked into its investment will be a matter to be discussed as part of the dialogue process."

Interesting that this comes to light at the same time as the Independent exposes Capita as shortchanging small businesses in its operation of a government contract.

Makes you wonder, doesn't it.

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