Further education success for Ward Hadaway | 28 June 10

LAW firm Ward Hadaway has chalked up another success in the education sector.

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) element of a £104m schools project in Hartlepool on which Ward Hadaway is advising has reached financial completion.

It is the latest in a series of successes for the firm in the education sector.

Last month, Ward Hadaway was appointed to provide legal advice to Bedford Borough Council on a £250m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project.

The ICT element for the Hartlepool BSF scheme covers six secondary schools across the town – English Martyrs, St Hild’s, Dyke House, Manor College of Technology, High Tunstall and Catcote School plus the Council’s Pupil Referral Unit.

Financial close has now been reached for the ICT managed service provision for the project, on which Ward Hadaway is advising Hartlepool Borough Council.

Northgate Managed Services has been chosen as the ICT Services supplier and is supplying a new cutting edge learning platform, teaching and learning tools and systems support across the six schools.

This will give pupils access to state of the art computer equipment and learning packages.

Ward Hadaway advised Hartlepool Council on the agreement, which has been delivered on time and using the competitive dialogue procedure, which is designed to deliver best value for the authority.

Melanie Pears, partner and head of public sector at Ward Hadaway, said: “This is an important step in Hartlepool Council’s drive to help transform the education experience for the area’s school children so we are delighted to have helped to reach this stage.

“Technology is playing an ever greater role in our lives both at home and in the workplace so access to high level systems will give pupils a real advantage in years to come.”

Councillor Cath Hill, Hartlepool Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “Technology has made massive strides in recent years and in our hi-tech generation young people are used to accessing information instantly – learning anywhere and any time.

“The ICT contract will enable Hartlepool’s secondary schools to meet that challenge and create a new and uniquely flexible teaching and learning environment.

“It will complement traditional face-to-face teaching and will create a learning revolution which will set the standard for many years to come.”

The design and build element of the Hartlepool BSF scheme is due to reach financial completion this summer with construction at the sample school – Dyke House – set to start soon afterwards.

Ward Hadaway has a long track record of working on BSF projects, including one that has won a national award.

The Nottingham BSF scheme, on which Ward Hadaway has advised Nottingham City Council, won the Best Education Project award in the Public: Private Finance Awards 2010.

Ward Hadaway was one of only 12 law firms to appear on the first legal panel of Partnership for Schools (PfS), the Government-appointed organisation responsible for delivering the BSF programme nationally, and was reappointed for a further three years last summer.

So far, Ward Hadaway has worked on almost £700m worth of BSF projects across the country.

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