UK schools set to save £840 million thanks to launch of nationwide IT programme

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Virgin Media Business has today announced a £1 billion deal with London Grid for Learning (LGfL) to roll out a new IT framework for 23,500 schools across the country.

TRUSTnet, as the national framework is called, is forecast to save schools £840 million over the next three years.  It will beef up security for students and allow teachers to do things like collect homework via the cloud, or host parents’ days via video conference.

TRUSTnet provides the following benefits to participating schools:

 

  • Simpler procurement – procuring services through TRUSTnet will be both simpler and cheaper than the current processes schools have to go through
  • Fast, reliable broadband service – through TRUSTnet, schools will have access to Virgin Media Business’s IPVPN, with speeds that are up to ten times faster
  • Secure access – the new contract will keep children safe when going on line by providing schools with a sophisticated, centrally hosted, education specific Internet filtering service that enables schools to adapt local filtering policies to their individual requirements
  • Educational content – TRUSTnet will give schools access to a suite of educational content, a service already being successfully utilised by LGfL customers. The service ensures that all content is age appropriate and relevant to the individual needs of each student

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Technology in schools will be transformed and taxpayers saved millions of pounds, thanks to the national roll-out of an initiative that has already saved London schools an estimated £100 million in just three years.

London Grid for Learning (LGfL), a consortium of local authorities and schools, has today announced the launch of TRUSTnet, a package of digital services and content powered by Virgin Media Business that will enable 23,500 schools across Britain to access the latest technology without complex and costly procurement procedures.

By bundling ICT infrastructure, services and content into one simple and cost-effective package, TRUSTnet is forecast to save UK schools up to £840 million over the next 3 years.

Brian Durrant, chief executive of the London Grid for Learning Trust, said: “When we established the London Grid for Learning over ten years ago, we couldn’t have imagined the impact it would have in enhancing education provision in the capital region – or that we would now be making these benefits available to every school in the country.  TRUSTnet creates the potential for the impact of LGfL to be felt in classrooms across the nation – not only in the services it delivers now, but by supporting innovation in schools’ ICT and attainment for learners for years to come.”

LGfL’s new contract with Virgin Media Business was secured via a comprehensive EU compliant competitive process.  It builds on the consortium’s established success in the London region, which has saved participating schools an estimated £100 million since 2011[1] and provides over a million students across the Capital with access to world leading content and technology.  LGfL and Virgin Media Business, supported by Atomwide, are now extending this highly successful model to the rest of the UK under the TRUSTnet banner.

The deal will give schools access to ultra-high-speed broadband, school-specific security systems and a wealth of resources to supercharge the learning environment – from collecting homework via the cloud to hosting parents’ days via video conference.

The new contract, which is set to run until 2028, could have a total value in excess of £1 billion and will also allow schools to replace outdated infrastructure with the most advanced voice and internet technology available, enabling staff and pupils to bring their own devices, work remotely and receive content tailored to their individual needs.

Mario DiMascio, executive director, Virgin Media Business, said: “Our children are growing up in a completely connected world – preparing for jobs that haven’t been invented yet – so schools must be immersed in digital technology to prepare them for life beyond the classroom.  TRUSTnet make this experience possible for every single child in the country.

“As the UK leads the information revolution, it is this kind of investment in the next generation that will determine our future.  We already have a bigger digital economy than any other developed nation, but we must continue to lead the way in education technology if we’re to sustain this powerful competitive advantage in the global marketplace.”

The launch of TRUSTnet comes as Virgin Media Business prepares to launch Generation Tech, a state-of-the-nation study that will show the deep impact technology is already having in education, and what the future holds.

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