Simon Smith, Managing Director at Link2ICT

Ten questions with Simon Smith, Managing Director at Link2ICT, the education division of Capita's joint venture with Birmingham City Council

Link2ICT is part of Capita Birmingham Limited, which is part of Capita PLC, that supplies technology to schools and educational establishments in Birmingham and across the country.
Tell us about your role at Capita Local Public Services?

I am managing director of Link2ICT which is the education arm of ICT and digital solutions. We provide services that enable schools, nurseries and adult and youth services to get the most from their investment in technology by supporting whole school development and improving learning outcomes for all. Done right, technology can make a positive impact on learning and teaching. We are committed to supporting the education sector to ensure learners are safe, confident and responsible users of technology.

What is your biggest success or proudest moment at Capita?

One of our successes at Link2ICT is the digital monitoring service. With increasing demands to safeguard our children from online threats such as radicalisation, cyber bullying, pornography and grooming, the Digital Monitoring Service protects young people by monitoring and alerting schools to potentially harmful content or behaviour.

The service has been running for two years now and in the last 12 months alone, we have identified and alerted schools to incidents with over 300 young people, a number of which have been escalated to the police and counter-terrorism unit. I’m proud on a daily basis simply knowing that through our service we are potentially saving countless young people from serious harm.

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

Variety, quality, impact

What do you like most about your role?

Helping to shape services that make a difference to teaching and learning. It’s great when we get feedback about how a piece of software or a service we have delivered is being used to improve outcomes for young people.  Working with a team who really care about the service they deliver and the impact it can have is very rewarding.

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

That we are change makers! Whether that’s protecting our children from serious harm or providing services that enable schools to increase funding in the midst of cuts, we are tackling the issues that the public faces every day. From early years to the elderly, we are making changes that help to improve and change lives.

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

A pilot I’ve always had a love of flying and always wanted to be able to fly a plane the closest I ever got was a birthday present to fly a flight simulator.

What do you do in your spare time?

Three grown up children and three grandchildren take up a lot of spare time. I enjoy visiting other countries and we have a motorhome so during the sunnier months we often spend weekends away.

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

Fillet steak and chips

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?

Aim for the moon because if you fail you’ll still be amongst the stars

Tell us something people might not know about you:

I met my wife working on a service desk for Capita SIMS software when she worked at a school who could call in for support

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

Link2ICT Digital Monitoring Service

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With pupils researching so much more online, this service has enabled us to quickly pick up on areas that could be a potential concern. At times, items flagged have resulted in pupils gaining additional support from relevant agencies and being effectively safeguarded. We are confident that our use of the Link2ICT Monitoring Service helps us to fulfil our safeguarding obligations

Link2ICT's Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL)

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