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Serco chosen for joint local authority school improvement partnership

Date: 22 Jul 2011

Serco has been chosen by Warrington Borough Council and Halton Borough Council as their partner to deliver school improvement services to the 160 schools across the area.

The partnership, which is set for an initial three years with options to extend by up to two years, will be launched in September 2011. Around 20 experienced school improvement staff will move into Serco's Education & Children's Services team.

The award of the contract will enable Serco to build on the improvements already made in pupil attainment with some 500 schools over the past ten years.

Following a shift in local government resources, schools now have increased autonomy and funding to purchase services previously provided directly through government grants. Working closely with both local authorities, Serco is well placed to serve schools in the immediate area and beyond more widely within the region.

Commenting on the award to Serco, Kath O'Dwyer, Director for Children's Services, Warrington Borough Council said, "The performance and pursuit of excellence in our schools is vital to the future of our children and young people and very important to both councils. We believe we are the first local authorities in the country to enter into such an arrangement and are delighted to be partnered with Serco who have a strong track record in the education field."

Halton Borough Council's Strategic Director of Children and Enterprise, Gerald Meehan, said: "This exciting new initiative is a positive step for both councils and our local schools. It will mean we can maintain and improve on the high standards already in our schools because the expertise and specialist skills of council staff will be retained. This new approach highlights the real difference partnership working can make."

Global Director for Children's Services, Elaine Simpson said, "We are delighted that Halton and Warrington Councils have chosen to work with us on this exciting new service. Over the past ten years we have shown the passion, skills and experience we can bring to these services. This partnership also gives us a platform to support schools and authorities more widely across the region.

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Last Updated: 22 Jul 2011