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.
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 …
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"
"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.
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.
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?
"'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
.... 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.
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...
... 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.
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)!
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?!
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.
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