back to article Do you really want your kids' future in the hands of Capita? Well, too bad

Won't somebody think of the children? Capita – perhaps the UK's least favourite outsourcing badass – is to oversee the admin, processing and support for all primary school national curriculum assessment (NCA) tests in England. The six-year contract worth £109m was awarded by the Department for Education's Standards and Testing …

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Thank $deity my children are out of school

and hopefully c(r)apita will be gone the way of Carillion by the time grandchildren appear.

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Re: Thank $deity my children are out of school

Perhaps your children can get jobs correcting all the mistakes Crapita makes in scoring the tests. $Deity knows Crapita won't be smart enough to know the correct answers to anything. =-J

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Anonymous Coward

This is a really, really bad idea, when will they learn?

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When Lucifer's testicles turn into ice cubes.

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Anonymous Coward

They wont ever learn.

The chance to palm it off to someone else who then takes the rap when it all goes titsupclusterfuck is just too much for them to resist.

Crapita, meet the rotted corpse of Carillion. Your dual occupancy grave awaits.

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Why?

Why are we still dealing with this bunch of yahoos?

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Mushroom

Re: Why?

The question that should be asked in this continuing fiasco is: Qui bono?

What ties has government got to this bunch of shysters or is it the case that they have got some kind of "kompromat" over our beloved leaders?

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Re: Why?

golfing does miracles for your business...

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FAIL

Re: Why?

Because we have an even bigger bunch of Yahoos in charge of the contracts for Capita.

There is nothing more appealing to a "Civil Servant" than having its ego massaged by Capita contracts division saying, "let us handle all of this for you and rest assured we can do it for far, far less than you would have to pay to do it in-house"

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Re: Why?

Why are we still dealing with this bunch of yahoos?

Because they take the blame.

That's their entire business model. Get paid to take the blame by the government yahoos who are actually to blame.

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Facepalm

Re: Why?

"Why are we still dealing with this bunch of yahoos?"

Crapita or the Whitehall dorks that keep hiring them?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why?

"Why are we still dealing with this bunch of yahoos?"

Because, like it or not, schools have been using their SIMS program for years.

Its not perfect by any means (like the three PRINT icons on one screen where only one worked), but its the best out of a bad lot of schools information management systems. Now that SOLUS3 (the remote updater program) finally works, its a lot better than it has been in previous years.

Although there are always bugs whenever a new release is out every season, the response on fixing them is good. And you have a LOT of schools using the same system so you don't feel alone.

The more savvy school IT techs don't install the latest release until at least two months on.

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Childcatcher

Re: Why?

I gave AC an upvote purely out of sympathy.

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Can the parents opt out of this under the GDPR thing?

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Nope. Legitimate buisness interest covers it.

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More like illegitimate business, the bunch of bastards.

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Anonymous Coward

The six-year contract worth £109m was awarded

well, given that the only other candidate was (probably) Cambridge Anal, no surprise the good guys who think of the children got this job. And hey, they haven't been hacked yet, right?

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IT Angle

Crapita

Anybody who reads Private Eye will be painfully aware of their (Capita's) less than sterling record on providing services to the public sector.

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Childcatcher

Re: Crapita

Anybody who reads El Reg will be painfully aware of Capita's utterly terrible record on providing services to the public sector.

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DJV
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Capita will manage "end-to-end" services of the NCA tests

"Mismanage", Shirley?

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Press 'F' for fault reporting

Or future publicity when faults occur. DM will have plenty of sadface pics of schoolkids awaiting test results. Or how much of a risk premium is baked into the contract for reputational damage if/when the system goes tits up.

Or if Capita's bid was lowest because it's reputation isn't worth much anyway.

But I'm a bit curious about who else bid. On paper, it seems fairly straightfoward. Print lots of papers, box'em and ship them. Challenge I guess will come with collecting, marking and publishing where there's scope for Capitaesque cock-ups. Like not being able to find enough examiners who'll take the generous pay offered. Scanning & offshoring may solve that problem, and boost margins I guess. Or just skip that stage and use sophisticated algorithmic scoring and advanced AI to distribute marks.

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Re: Press 'F' for fault reporting

Or just skip that stage and use sophisticated algorithmic scoring and advanced AI to distribute marks.

Why even both scanning the test responses? Just broadly allocate the marks according to the socio-economic class of the pupil, injecting a small amount of randomness, and the results will mostly accord with current outcomes. It'd certainly keep the Daily Mail happy and the education minister du jour will be able to point and say "Look, my reforms and spending cuts haven't disadvantaged anyone."

Am I getting too cynical in my old age?

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Re: Press 'F' for fault reporting

Am I getting too cynical in my old age?

Nope. Cynical would be the creation of a 'Premium' service where parents can bid on 'A' grades for their sprogs.

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Re: Press 'F' for fault reporting

DM will have plenty of sadface pics of schoolkids awaiting test results.

Nope, they will not. It is primary school tests we are talking about. The tests are a DoE B&D fetish which the kids do not care about and the teachers can only swear about.

So it is in fact a present of 110M to Crapita - an excellent state subsidy masquerading as a contract which is actually about doing f*ck all.

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Re: Press 'F' for fault reporting

@Rich 11

I find that my thoughts on cynicism are similar to some people’s attitude to violence: If it is not working for you, you probably aren’t using enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Press 'F' for fault reporting

"'Premium' service where parents can bid on 'A' grades for their sprogs".

Isn't that what most of the "elite" do anyway with "fees" to schools etc.

It's just dressed up as "donations" anyhow. "Why thank you Tarquins parents. Here are his 9 A levels.

"He scored an A in "Alphabet" an A in basic remedial maths, an A+ in prole shafting, A in quelling peasant revolts, A in abusing staff, an A++ in virtue signalling".... Etc Etc

It's been happening for years anyway as not *one of the dumb fuckers in parliament / lords seems able to grasp the fact that the country is on its arse, wages have dropped, prices of energy and food have soared, services are at breaking point but in their gated community, all is well.

*One or two exceptions but only one or two.

Cynic? Moi? Most definitely.

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Anonymous Coward

£2.42 per paper

To be fair it is not a lot per paper considering all the work.

For printing, posting to the wrong address, at the wrong time, sending the marking sheets out to the schools instead of the papers. Getting the compleated papers back, sending them out to the wrong people for marking, with the wrong marking sheet.

Getting the results back and putting them against the wrong student's name

Posting out the wrong student results to the wrong school months past a deadline so kids can't start their next level of education.

Claiming everything is fine with Johny's physics exam results (he didnt take physics)

Making a web portal that doesn't work apart from to show some people other peoples results.

Dealing with the inevitable public enquiry about why everything went wrong.

All of this ineptitude for just £2.42 per exam.

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What are the other options?

Who else would you want to run these contracts TATA? They won the DBS contract taking over from Capita 8 years ago and were meant to build a new DBS system. 8 years later and there contract is months from finishing and still no System. I wonder why this company doesn't make the news when they fail to get things right.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What are the other options?

Because its Indian.

And we all know how impoverished they are, what with their probes to Mars..

Billions of £$€ in aid and 90% of the population have no clean water or sanitation and live in absolute shit.

The sooner we say TATA to TATA the better. They proved their lack of worth when they bought what was left of the UK steel industry and promptly fucked that up.

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Re: What are the other options?

They will.

But there's no story until it's either actually failed, or the NAO reports that it's going to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What are the other options?

This,

Who else is going to run it, everyone hates outsources, and in house are lazy anyway, its a no win situation.

The comments are going to s**t on any company that gets the win

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I'm completely fine with this...

.... with just one stipulation.

Any data breach, any at all, results in the CEO doing one day in jail per record per person whose data is leaked; no parole. Obviously if the CEO has rock solid documentary evidence that they have given all required resourcing, support, and authority to a subordinate responsible for data security, then they may pass the buck to said subordinate, and so on down the chain to find the guilty party.

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Re: I'm completely fine with this...

re LucreLout

No, not pass the buck. Share the buck at best.

Unless they also pass the megabucks remuneration too. Total remuneration incl share deals, pensions etc). Their mega reward is for the responsibilty.

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Phonics screening check?

Fuck... I had to look that one up and became concerned that Capita would gain responsibility for Children learning something like word association with the result that they all end up speaking Capita Management Buzz Speak.

Having delved deeper...

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phonics-screening-check-2018-materials

In particular...

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/715823/2018_phonics_pupils_materials_standard.pdf.pdf

... Yes it is a .pdf.pdf file but What The Actual Fuck is that?

Perhaps as a result of not being a Parent I could be missing some of the subtleties assuming there are any, Jub puts in an appearance, but even so I cannot see how the involvement of Capita will improve the situation.

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This Capita must really be a quality company! Why, they recently snagged another large contract from our lovely govt for fire and rescue (despite the profit warnings à la Carillion)!

https://www.civilserviceworld.com/articles/news/minister-defends-mod%E2%80%99s-new-%C2%A3400m-fire-and-rescue-deal-capita

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So Capita have been contracted to build (because why would they bother building something before they are sure they have won it) a system which needs to be up and running in less than a year.

It’s not difficult to see this will be a disaster from the outset.

Won’t someone please think of the children?!

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Anonymous Coward

"Won’t someone please think of the children?!"

As long as its not Crapita or the Govt.

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Capita, acting on behalf of fictional authority to train the human cattle...

From an early age, we are dispatched into the custody of strangers for training; academic excellence is not a measure of intelligence or growth as a human being but a measure of the degree to which our training has succeeded. Well-trained believers in legal, political and economic fiction reinforce the system of control. Arguably, the best trained (ie. the most highly qualified) are most subservient to fictional authority and represent the biggest obstacles to change.

http://freecriticalthinking.org/daily-pickings/2698-register-train-and-control-the-human-cattle

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Met some very nice people here but they don't practice what they preach. My colleagues highlighted double digit savings across a category of their own internal spend.

As it's a category that spends 10's of millions of pounds I think the advice should be "healer heal thyself" !!!

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