Kent County Council names eight suppliers on £500m education framework

Southeast England authority goes big – despite £100m black hole in finances

Kent County Council – which looks after most of the southeastern England county – has named eight vendors on a framework to supply education management systems in deals that could be worth up to £500m.

The procurement exercise is designed to provide "establishments with the tools for the collection and management of data, providing efficient reporting and a means to communicate effectively to all stakeholders with access anytime, anywhere."

Outsourcing big guns Capita and Civica have been named on the framework, which, according to a notice, also sets out to "manage data and resources efficiently, streamlining processes and providing workflows to improve the learning environment."

The deal, first advertised in January, is set to be in place for four years from October.

Kent County Council's annual spending is around £1.7bn, excluding the amount spent on schools, and its leadership is currently staring into a COVID-shaped black hole in its finances to the tune of £100m.

Despite its financial struggles, go big or go home appears to be its motto. The authority presiding over the southeasternmost corner of England had in July invited IT services companies and BPO specialists to bid for places on the £500m framework agreement that is set to offer a range of outsourcing services.

In a market notice, the council said it was looking for suppliers to "improve efficiency, provide an agile and reliable solution that will transform and meet [the council's] business objectives."

The Framework Agreement for Managed Services was expected to see "the outsourcing [of] day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for transforming and improving business processes, through efficiencies, effectiveness and cutting operating costs."

Kent County Council also runs a framework for software worth up to £500m. Companies on that framework include Bytes Software Services, Capita Business Services, CDW, Civica, Insight Direct, Phoenix Software, Softcat, Software Box, SoftwareONE, and Trustmarque Solutions. It was signed in 2020 and was set to last four years. ®

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