Becta has today launched its Learning Platform Services Framework. The framework provides UK schools, colleges and local authorities with an EU approved supplier network to deliver high quality, value for money learning platform services.
The framework of ten suppliers is EU compliant, which means local authorities, schools and colleges are free to conduct a mini competition among the approved suppliers, reducing the cost and time of a full procurement.
The suppliers are approved to provide managed service solutions drawing on proprietary and open source components to offer a learning platform for schools and colleges.
A learning platform gives teachers an opportunity to improve learning. It gives children and young people an opportunity to learn in the ways which best suit them – by providing a personal online work space; by allowing access to learning materials at anytime and anywhere; and it gives an opportunity for materials to be tailored to meet the needs of individuals. Parents can follow their children's progress more easily and resources can be shared with the wider community. The framework will help schools and colleges meet the Government target of providing all learners with an online personalised learning space by 2008.
Dr Stephen Lucey, Becta's Executive Director for Strategic Technologies explains: "This framework has two advantages. Firstly it makes the whole procurement process much easier and so much cheaper. Secondly, purchasers can be confident they are buying robust and sustainable technology and services which give value for money."
The ten suppliers were selected following a rigorous and comprehensive evaluation process. Their performance will be closely monitored by Becta for the three year duration of the framework.
"One of the real advantages of learning platforms is they can help schools communicate better with parents so they can play a bigger role in their children's education. Every learner has the right to benefit from the advantages that technology brings to education. This framework will make it easier for schools and colleges to get the most from what technology has to offer teaching and learning," said Dr Lucey.
Schools, colleges and local authorities can get more information on Becta's Schools website [http://www.becta.org.uk/schools/learningplatforms]
Notes to editors
The ten framework suppliers are:
* Azzurri Communications Ltd
* Etech Group
* Netmedia Education
* Pearson Education Limited
* Research Machines plc
* Serco Ltd
* Viglen Limited
These companies had to clearly demonstrate their capability of providing Learning Platform Services to educational institutions through an intensive evaluation programme covering technical, commercial, value-for-money and quality assurance elements.
There has been full collaboration between Becta and Partnerships for Schools when considering how the Becta Learning Platform Services Framework will operate alongside the established Building Schools of the Future approach.