Press Release | March 2021
RM’s IT managed service with Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council runs to a quarter of a century, following a further extension to August 2025
LONDON, 10th March - RM, a leading supplier of technology solutions to the education sector, today announced an extension to its long-standing IT managed services contract with Dudley Council. This relationship – which dates back to 1999 – has now been extended until August 2025.
Dudley Council is a metropolitan borough in the West Midlands, supporting a population of 312,000 residents. It borders Sandwell to the east, the city of Birmingham to the south east, Bromsgrove to the south, South Staffordshire District to the west, and the city of Wolverhampton to the north.
The Council took advantage of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) opportunity in 1999 known as Building Schools for the Future (BSF) to form a partnership with the educational technology company, RM, to provide educational establishments across the Council with a fully managed ICT service – known as Dudley Grid for Learning (DGfL).
Since then, this partnership has gone from strength to strength, evolving both commercially and technically into a standalone contract that has continued to meet the needs of DGfL schools including 79 educational establishments – across Primary, Secondary, and Special Educational Needs – representing both Local Authority and Multi Academy Trust-based establishments. The true benefit of DGfL for its schools lies in its operational scale, economic purchasing power and a wealth of technical and educational expertise to meet the needs of their students.
Through listening to the ever-changing challenges and priorities that impact the participating educational establishments, the service has successfully evolved over time. Since 2016 the service has comprised a set of Core Network Infrastructure Services complemented by a range of Optional Services that schools can select on an annual basis to tailor the DGfL service to meet their specific requirements at any one time.
This contract was due to end in 2021, so the Council undertook an extensive exercise last year to ensure the service continued to deliver value for money. This resulted in RM being appointed for a further four and a half years as part of a contract extension worth up to £10.2m over the contract term with significant opportunities for new services and onboarding of additional schools.
The first phase of the extension will see an upgrade of the current infrastructure utilising cloud-based services, with RM working closely with individual schools on their cloud journeys, recognising that this varies between establishments – from those already benefiting from serverless environments, to those just at the start of this journey.
“This latest extension is a strong endorsement of the service that RM has provided to schools right across the Borough for many years. During this time, needs have evolved in line with the adoption of technology within schools – not least over the last eleven months where our partnership has supported schools successfully transition to a hybrid model of in-school and remote learning for all of their students. My team at RM are excited to be selected to apply our expertise with existing and emerging technologies to ensure that pupils in schools across Dudley receive the education they need, in and – increasingly outside – the classroom, as these schools take advantage of all that is now possible with the latest technology infrastructure available to them”.
John Baskerville, Managing Director of RM
As part of the contract, RM employs 24 people in the local community, and whilst a company of this size relies on staff across the globe to support a customer of this size, the majority of dedicated employees will continue to remain in Dudley for the duration of this contract.
“Our priority during the COVID pandemic has been to provide our schools with a highly effective ICT provision, supporting schools to learn new skills and work differently to educate the pupils of the borough. We are pleased to be able to offer schools a best value contract that offers social value back to the community, RM employ local people providing an excellent service supporting the education of Dudley children and young people”.
Cllr Simon Phipps, Cabinet Member Commercial and Customer Services at Dudley Council
For more information on how RM could support your school or trust, visit rm.com/education.
RM’s technology business unit enables the improvement of education outcomes around the world through the innovative use of existing and emerging technologies. With a heritage dating back almost 50 years, supporting schools, teachers and pupils across the globe – from pre-school to higher education – including examination boards, central governments and other professional institutions. rm.com/education
About RM plc
RM’s technology division is part of the listed company RM plc – the £189m turnover British business, with c. 1,837 employees globally. Established in 1973, RM plc’s Group purpose is to enrich the lives of learners worldwide. rm.com
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