South West Grid for Learning chooses Netmedia in partnership with RM to deliver learning platform services

South West Grid for Learning chooses Netmedia in partnership with RM to deliver learning platform services

Netmedia Education, an Espresso Group Company working in partnership with RM has been appointed preferred bidder by the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) to deliver innovative network services which will provide the foundation for a school’s learning platform. The initial term for the contract is five years, with an option to extend for a further three years; value over the first three years is £2.75m.

SWGfL provides broadband Internet and Web-delivered education services to 2,400 schools and over 1,000,000 educators and pupils for 15 Local Authorities in the South West of England.

The solution will provide:
• an integrated authentication platform, which allows secure access to Web-delivered services using a single set of security credentials;
• a Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) compliant data interchange service, which allows separate applications to exchange school data;
• educational collaboration tools and an online 'learning space';
• a virtual desktop which provides schools with an easy to navigate ‘front end’ to the complete range of services provided by SWGfL.

The solution will be built using open standards, such as SIF and Shibboleth, which have been identified by Becta as the preferred approach for delivering Web-delivered services in UK schools. The adoption of these standards makes it straightforward for 3rd party service providers to offer their Web-delivered products to SWGfL.

Commenting on the contract, Hilary Guckian, CEO of the SWGfL Trust, said: “At a time when policy makers are increasingly looking to technology to provide a link between home and school, we intend to provide the foundations for a schools learning platform that allows secure access to Web-delivered education services for all of our users. Working together, Netmedia and RM have provided us with an innovative platform, which will be one of the first to embrace the key open standards identified by Becta as essential.”

David Wimpress, CEO of Netmedia, said: “The use of proven, open standards in our solution will provide real benefits to all involved in teaching and learning throughout the SWGfL and beyond. Data exchange to and from schools will happen transparently and securely. This will help reduce the administrative burden on teachers and give them more time in the classroom. We are looking forward to working with our partner RM and the SWGfL in delivering this innovative and exciting development.”