Babcock Clinches £125m Deal with Devon Council

Babcock International Group PLC (Babcock) has been selected by Devon County Council as the preferred bidder for its new seven year contract to deliver education and inclusion support and improvement services to Devon schools. Once approved by the Devon Cabinet, there will be a mandatory 10 day standstill period before continuing to final contract award, with services due to commence in April 2012. 

Babcock and Devon County Council will be forming a new partnership to deliver this contract with Babcock owning 80% of the entity and Devon County Council the remaining 20%. 

Devon County Council is responsible for the delivery of education services to 364 schools across the region which includes the districts of North Devon, Mid Devon, East Devon, West Devon, Exeter, Teignbridge, South Hams and Torridge. 

The new partnership will deliver the following key services:

• School Improvement; including a dedicated school improvement advisory team, curriculum support, school data and assessment and school governor support;

• Curriculum Enrichment; including digital media facilities, outdoor learning, school library and music services;

• Inclusion Services and Learner Support: including educational psychology and Special Educational Needs;

• Workforce Training and Development; including leadership, supporting and promoting continuous professional development and working with Newly Qualified Teachers;

• Business Management and Resources; including finance, contracts, quality management, personnel and resources; 

Austin Lewis, Managing Director of Babcock’s Education and Training business said: 

“Being chosen by Devon County Council as provisional preferred bidder builds on our proven track record in delivering improved educational outcomes for all pupils and reducing overall costs for local authorities which is becoming an increasingly vital factor in the delivery of local services." 

“We look forward to applying our unique educational management expertise and experience in Devon. Our approach is already delivering improved outcomes and reducing costs for our other local authority partnerships.” 

Through its experience of commissioning and delivering Service Delivery Agreements (SDA), Babcock will work with Devon to remodel their SDA to focus on outcomes and reflect the new roles of the local authority and the greater range of partnerships with schools. It will improve efficiency and sharpen priorities to raise educational standards and reduce costs. 

Devon’s Head of Education and Learning, Sue Clarke, said: 

“The council’s over-riding objective is to secure continuing access to sustainable education improvement, enrichment and inclusion services that offer value for money to the local authority, Devon schools and early years settings,” she said. 

“We have required that, within Devon, services must be available to all council maintained schools, irrespective of the size of the school or its location.” 

The new partnership will develop a regional and national centre of excellence and will generate new services through contracts with schools, local authorities, central government and new partners across the South West region and across the country. It will aim to deliver a return to Devon County Council in excess of £10 million over the life of the partnership, including savings and dividend returns. 

The partnership will also be contributing to the Devon Education Fund, providing work placements to Devon pupils, supporting Youth Council projects, offering local apprenticeships each year and providing mentors for young people in Devon from its own workforce. 

Babcock already has an established presence in the local community with over 4,000 staff employed in the region. It was voted Best Employer in the Region at the Plymouth University Enterprise Awards 2011. Its Marine and Technology Division owns and operates the Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth as well as the ship yard in Appledore and its Education and Training business has a base in Exeter. The company also delivers training and apprenticeships to young people from all of these sites and is also co-sponsoring the new Plymouth University Technical College.' 

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Notes for Editors: 

1. The seven year contract with Devon County Council will commence from April 2012 and it will be the second education partnership for Babcock. The first was initiated between Babcock and Surrey County Council in 2004, and operates as Babcock 4S, voted Education Supplier of the Year in 2010. Babcock estimates the value of the contract at £125 million over the seven year period. 

2. As the largest school support service organisation in the country, Babcock 4S partners with selected local authorities, schools, academies, central government and regional and national programmes including the Advanced Skills Teacher National Assessment Agency to deliver a wide range of school support and development services and integrated education services to both improve outcomes and reduce costs. 

3. For further information regarding Babcock Education, visit our website. 

4. Babcock International Group is the UK’s leading engineering support services company with revenue of £2.9 billion in 2011 and an order book of around £12 billion. Our market-leading reputation is based on one key fact: Babcock is a partner that can be trusted to deliver™ ( 

For further information contact: 

Mike Dennehy
Education and Training
Babcock International Group
Tel: +44 (0)1372 834 303
Mob: 07872 820 589 
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