The Western Australian Department of Education has awarded South Australian-based school communication company MGM Wireless a two-year contract to supply schools in the state with a new student absence SMS notification service, in a deal worth AU$2.67 million.
Under the new contract, WA government schools including childcare and early learning centres will have access to MGM products for attendance management and notification, social messaging, event reminders, late breaking news, and emergencies.
The MGM software will be linked to each school's student database, which will allow parents of students who are absent from school without an explanation to be sent an SMS message from the school automatically. Parents will also have the opportunity to respond via text message to advise of their child's reasons for being absent.
Other alerts that parents could potentially receive via SMS from schools will include special events or emergencies that may result in school closures.
Tim Yorke, Department of Education strategic service delivery, said that MGM Wireless was the successful bidder after a rigorous tender process.
"The submission provided by MGM Wireless showed it had the capability and capacity to provide the services required by schools and offered best value for money," he said.
"The department has a basic requirement that SMS software be available to schools to send automated text messages to parents/carers to advise when a student is absent from school without explanation. In some cases, the parent/carer may be unaware that the student is away from school."
Currently, over 320 WA government schools use MGM systems, but the most recent tender process was to replace the current contract, which has been in place since 2007 and expires this month.
Under the terms of the contract, the WA government will have the right to extend the initial two-year term three times by a further year, potentially increasing the overall contract term to five years.
MGM Wireless executive chairman Mark Fortunatow said the company is looking forward to progressively upgrading the current installations, as well as installing it in many new schools that have been on hold pending the outcome of the tender process.
MGM Wireless said it expects the new contract to boost its 2015 financial year revenues by 8 to 14 percent on its 2014 financial year.