ALMOST 400 people who provide support to schools across Worcestershire will be run by a private company after the county council struck a £38million deal.
From October, Babcock International will offer support services to the county’s schools and academies.
A total of 391 people, who are in positions ranging from training teachers to educating psychology, are currently controlled by Worcestershire County Council.
But after a meeting last week, the council’s cabinet agreed to appoint UK-based Babcock as the supplier of the services, known as ‘Learning and Achievement’.
Council bosses believe the move could save the authority £2.5million over the next three years.
Coun Marc Bayliss, cabinet member for commissioning and transformation, insisted education was a key priority for the Tory-lead council.
But he said he believed transferring the positions to Babcock would help improve the way the county delivered the services to schools.
“We are obviously living in a time of continuing financial constraints and the council needs to find new ways of delivering at the same high level of quality of services,” he said.
“Babcock is the UK’s largest provider of support services to schools, academies and multi academic trusts and they work with over 50 authorities across the UK.”
Coun John Campion, cabinet member for children and families, said he backed the move as he believed the only other option would be to ‘salami slice’ the service.
“Commissioning it out and working with Babcock is absolutely the right way to protect that service that we are able to offer,” he said.
“To have a world class county we need world class education and world class people feeding into that job market, so I think it is vitally important that this work continues.
“Babcock has received national and international recognition for delivering high quality services and I am absolutely confident they are able to deliver what we need them to deliver.”