UK schools set to save millions

London Grid for Learning (LGfL), a consortium of local authorities and schools, has announced the launch of TRUSTnet

LGfL says the package of digital services and content powered by Virgin Media Business 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 £840m over the next three years.

Brian Durrant, chief executive of the London Grid for Learning Trust, said: “When we established the London Grid for Learning over 10 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 approximately £100m since 2011[1] and provides over a million students across London 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which is set to run until 2028, could have a total value in excess of £1bn and will also allow schools to replace outdated infrastructure with the most advanced voice and internet technology available, enabling staff and pupils to bring their own devices, work remotely and receive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 of 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. 

“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.”