Capita plc (Capita) and Microsoft have today announced a new partnership to roll-out over 20,000 Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ laptops to Northern Ireland’s teachers. Capita was awarded a new six-month contract for £17m with
Northern Ireland’s Education Authority (EA), through funding provided by the Department of Education, to supply the state-of-the-art laptops.
The first laptops are currently being rolled out in a series of pilot programmes at three schools in Northern Ireland. Capita anticipates delivering the majority of the laptops by the end of June.
The new laptops are to be issued to all statutory nursery, primary school, EOTAS centre, special school and post primary teachers in Northern Ireland and will be used to support student learning and teacher professional development.
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7+ laptops were selected by Capita to support innovative teaching in Northern Ireland and to help teachers realise the benefits of hybrid working and learning. The rollout is also being accompanied by a new professional learning programme to enable the teachers to build on their skills and access additional supports aligned to their personal learning and career preferences, while providing essential education software to best support the education experience for children and young people.
Capita is utilising its significant experience of operating in Northern Ireland, in education, digital transformation and the distribution and setting up of new devices to deliver the rollout. Capita secured the new contract following a competitive procurement process.
This significant contract will provide substantial benefits to Northern Ireland’s teaching community, including; greater flexibility and accessibility in lesson delivery, savings and environmental benefits as a result of device adoption and the potential to deliver more engaging curriculum content.
Costi Karayannis, Capita’s Managing Director and Client Partner for Education and Learning, said: “We are delighted to have won this new contract to provide over 20,000 new state of the art laptops to Northern Ireland’s teachers. These new devices will enhance the classroom learning experience for students and enable teachers to continue their professional development.”
Sara Long, Chief Executive of the Education Authority (EA) said: “Today is an exciting moment for EA as we commence the rollout of new teaching devices for all of our statutory schools. We want to provide the best possible services and support to help our children and young people be the best that they can be, and to achieve this, we must make sure that schools have access to state-of-the-art technology and innovative, high quality teaching solutions.”
“The new light weight devices will enhance the in-class learning activities and engagement for pupils whilst also supporting the work of teachers in terms of productivity, peer-to-peer collaboration and access to high quality online teaching and learning tools.”
“I wish to thank Microsoft Ireland and Capita Education for working in partnership with us to ensure the successful delivery of devices to statutory Nurseries, Primary, EOTAS centres, Special and Post Primary Schools by year’s end. We look forward to continuing our work with Schools, children, and all of our project partners as we strive to support our teachers and give our young people the best start in life.”
Anne Sheehan, General Manager of Microsoft Ireland said: “Today’s announcement marks the first significant milestone in the Education Authority’s strategy to transform the lives of teachers and students over the next decade by implementing a versatile and innovative cloud first education service.
“We are very proud to have partnered with Capita to deliver this digital transformation project, which will fundamentally change and enhance the way digital learning is delivered across 20,000 schools in Northern Ireland. Through our bespoke end-to-end education solutions, and the versatility, connectivity and security offered by the Surface Pro 7 device, we hope to empower educators to test and trial new ways of teaching and interacting with students, while shaping resilient and future-ready students who will have the digital skills to become the next generation of innovators and digital leaders.”
To mark the start of the roll-out, Costi joined the EA’s CEO, Sara Long, and Education Director, Michele Corkey, along with Frances Meehan from Education Information Solutions, at St Patrick’s High School in Keady, County Armagh, to meet the first tranche of teachers receiving the new laptops.
Notes to editors: The total IFRS 15 transaction price (order book) is £16.98m.
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