Open Source Could Save UK Schools £60 Million A Year

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A national partnership has been launched today at Bletchley Park, to encourage UK local authorities to look at implementing open source solutions in all areas of their education services, in order to save up to £60 million a year

Bletchley Park, the home of the Enigma machine and where most of Germany’s codes were cracked during the Second World War, is today playing host to the launch a national partnership, that aims to encourage UK local authorities to look at implementing open source solutions in all areas of their education services.

The event is led by the North West Learning Grid, a regional body that consists of 17 local authority members from the north west of England, which includes more than 2,000 schools. It aims to work together to deliver regional broadband, digital resources and virtual learning environments.

The national partnership being launched today at Bletchley Park is hoping to encourage the UK local authorities to work together to save £60 million a year across their educational ICT budgets, through the use of open source solutions.

“The 17 Local Authorities comprising the North West Learning Grid will now be looking at the feasibility of implementing open source solutions in all areas of their education services,” said the CEO of the North West Learning Grid, Gary Clawson.

“A 10 percent reduction in the cost of ICT provision would save local authorities and their schools, nationally, around £60 million per annum without impacting upon the high levels of ICT facilities that UK schools enjoy,” he added.

The announcement follows the release of the National Digital Resource Bank (NDRB), back in March this year.

The NDRB will make about £30 million worth of open content available to UK schools over the next 12 months. The North West Learning Grid worked with Sirius Corporation, an IT services provider that specialises in enterprise-class open source infrastructure solutions, to implement the open source technologies used in the project.

“All main political parties now accept that open source will save the UK public sector at least £600m per year. We are delighted to see the North West Learning Grid taking the first real steps to achieving this,” said Mark Taylor, CEO of Sirius.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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