Leeds City Council has been at the forefront of efficient education benefit administration since 1993. Using their in-house application they began saving administrative time by assessing Education Benefits at the same time as Housing Benefit. In 2004 Leeds moved to the Capita Revenues and Benefits system and by using the integrated Education Benefits module they realised further improvements.
Leeds City Council is the second largest metropolitan authority in England. With an annual budget of over one billion pounds, the city is home to 715,000 people.
Before installing Capita Revenues and Benefits in February 2004, Leeds City Council ran an in-house system. Part of the IBM-based application included software for education benefits - statutory free school meals and school clothing scheme. The latter being a local benefit scheme, administered by Leeds and some other local authorities.
Any new software had to reflect current working practices. For example, when customers submit an application form for housing and council tax benefit, they are automatically considered for education benefits too. In December 2004, Leeds City Council staff spent one week at Capita’s Trowbridge Offices to lend their considerable expertise in education benefits to the design phase. This was followed by a another visit to finalise the design early in 2005.
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