Schools and colleges could save millions of pounds on their IT budgets by using a new procurement deal arranged by education IT agency Becta.
The infrastructure services procurement framework deal covers system design, hardware and software, training, implementation and ongoing support, and will be handled by a network of 16 suppliers.
Although the full range of services can be purchased as a managed service, schools can also buy individual services.
Because the framework is EU-compliant, schools can buy services above EU purchasing thresholds without having to conduct a time-consuming EU-purchasing exercise.
Becta said the deal will reduce risk for schools and colleges, leaving them with more time and money to focus on the education needs of their pupils.
The agency said that because many schools have already developed their own IT strategy, there is an emphasis on compatibility between new and old equipment to cut costs and reduce disposal needs.
Becta's executive director for educational technology, Stephen Lucey, said many schools were concerned by the time and expertise needed to plan, purchase and operate an efficient IT system — and added the framework deal should help solve these issues.