DfES picks Consolidated for school exam reforms

The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has brought in agency support to help it communicate with businesses, students, parents and teachers over plans to radically reform secondary education.

Consolidated Communications is handling the mammoth brief, believed to be worth around £150,000.

The agency will help communicate the overhaul, which aims to transform education for 14 to 19-year-olds, as outlined in the 2005 Education White Paper.

‘These are incredibly significant reforms designed to encourage young people to stay in education longer, and give the business community a better workforce,' said board director Katie Eva.

The programme will see the introduction of a specialised diploma from 2008, as well as revised GCSEs and A-levels.

Consolidated is currently planning how to engage with four different audiences: students and parents, businesses, higher education bodies, and teachers.

‘With higher education there will be an element of direct contact with department heads, via regional conferences and roundtables,' said Eva, who leads the account.

‘Consumers will be targeted via media relations, especially the youth media, and our work with businesses will be to explain the new system, and get them to acknowledge and help develop it,' she added. Eva reports to DfES marcoms managers Gill Isherwood and Angela Friend.

The win strengthens Consolidated's grip on the DfES. It already handles two briefs for the department - covering student finance and foundation degrees.

Consolidated won a three-way pitch to scoop the account. The tender process was handled by the Central Office of Information.

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