Simon James, Chief Operating Officer at Entrust

Take Ten with Simon James, Chief Operating Officer at Entrust, Capita's joint venture with Staffordshire County Council

Entrust, our joint venture with Staffordshire County Council is a specialist provider of education services to schools.
Tell us about your role at Capita Local Public Services?

I am responsible for co-ordinating the day-to-day running of Entrust and I am also responsible for several of Entrust’s business units including outdoor education, music services, skills and employability, schools advisory services and facilities management services.

What is your biggest success or proudest moment at Capita?

I joined the business to lead the transformation of the facilities management services business (catering, cleaning and grounds services to schools and public buildings with a £32m per annum turnover) and arranged for a third-party company, Compass Group Plc, to deliver the service on our behalf improving our operating margin.

If you could describe Capita in three words, what would it be?

Entrepreneurial and customer focused

What do you like most about your role?

The fact that every day is different and the impact we have on outcomes for learners. Even on difficult and challenging days I know that we have improved someone’s skills and knowledge which will hopefully give them improved opportunities in life.

Tell us something people might not know about Capita Local Public Services?

We teach 11,000 children to swim every week! Only 50% of children leaving primary school achieve the end of key stage 2 expectation of swimming by recognised stroke for 25m (one length of a typical leisure pool) so we’re proud to be doing our bit to improve this statistic.

Over to you…
When you were a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up?

A lawyer following in my father’s footsteps. Unfortunately he didn’t agree! As an early adopter of automation, he believed that IT would take over much of the work in the legal profession – it’s yet to happen albeit AI does potentially suggest that it is possible in the future.

What do you do in your spare time?

I have two young labradors who require a lot of attention.

If you had to eat just one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?

Roast breast of duck, braised red cabbage, mange tout, dauphinoise potatoes and a redcurrant and port wine jus.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

Live everyday as if it was your last and you will never have any regrets.

Tell us something people might not know about you

I went to school with Nick Skelton the equestrian show jumper who won an individual olympic gold medal at Rio in 2016 (among many other medals during prior seasons). He was always highly competitive in any sport and I spent a lot of my early years coming second to his frequent firsts.   

Entrust making a difference to children, young people and schools

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The Council and Capita have created a joint venture brimming with innovative ideas and practical solutions and, four years on, there are real results and positive feedback from both schools and parents. At a time when school budgets are in the spotlight, Entrust is a ground-breaking move that is making a true difference to children and young people – and delivering long-term economic and financial benefits.

John Tradewell Director of strategy, governance and change, Staffordshire County Council

Entrust: Inspiring futures through outcomes-focussed partnerships

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The Council and Capita have created a joint venture brimming with innovative ideas and practical solutions and, two and a half years on, there are real results and positive feedback from both schools and parents. At a time when school budgets are in the spotlight, Entrust is a ground-breaking move that is making a true difference to children and young people – and delivering long-term economic and financial benefits.

John Tradewell, Director of Democracy, Law and Transformation, Staffordshire County Council

Capita Local Public Services celebrates Responsible Business Week

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As individuals, we can all seek to work responsibly. It is no coincidence that our Corporate Value ('VOICE') prominently include words like 'honesty', 'integrity' and 'ownership'.

Chris Terry, Compliance Director