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Client success stories

Building schools for the future

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has responsibility for the entire UK educational system: a high profile policy area that concerns virtually every citizen. Capgemini was given the privilege of facilitating rapid evolutionary change in one of the most interesting consultancy projects of the year.

Change has been most dramatic in the area of capital investment, where the annual budget has seen tenfold growth between 1997 and 2005. This brings new opportunities, combined with great responsibility for ensuring that additional investment makes a positive difference to outcomes.

In response, the DfES set up the “Building Schools for the Future” initiative, in which public bodies and private companies team to create risk-sharing local partnerships. The DfES, with its national relationship facilitator Partnerships for Schools, acts as partner and guide: a truly collaborative approach to educational policy.

As Stephen Crowne, Director General for the Schools Capital Division tells us: “Businesses act as risk partners from an early stage. They are rewarded for working more efficiently and delivering better quality and value. Collaborative working is the key to mutual success”.

Educational inspiration

The program focuses on secondary schools, with a budget of over £2 billion (e2.8 billion) each year, and is encouraging architects, designers, educationalists and construction companies to create exciting, visionary places for children to study. Projects funded by the scheme are now winning awards, while arousing the enthusiasm of children and parents.

This scheme has also led to major change within the DfES, itself. As Stephen Crowne tells us: “We had to change in three main ways: We are becoming policy innovators, and we needed different skills to do that job. We are moving from administration to strategic management. We also need specialist capability for new activities we had never carried out before.”

Facilitating evolution

Working with consultants from Capgemini, the Department has achieved rapid development in culture, behavior and working practices, while meeting all its delivery targets without disruption. Capgemini has helped in delivering new skills when needed, and in managing and mitigating risks as the Department moved rapidly into unknown territory.

Stephen Crowne summarizes the experience: “We are fostering a truly collaborative approach to creating excellent educational environments, and we have found that the best way to do this is by collaborating with an expert outside company. Thanks to Capgemini, we have been able to switch resources flexibly to deal with urgent matters while enabling our policy experts to focus on delivering our policies.”
Educational investment in the UK is going through a revolution, and Capgemini has made a real contribution to making it a success.




Written in collaboration with:

Stephen Crowne
Director General for the Schools Capital Division DfES

Joan Minogue
Executive Consultant, Capgemini


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