Management Information Sheet

Netmedia Contract

MI Sheet TypeInformation
MI Number:68/11
Publication Date:18/03/2011 12:00:00
LA Contact:Jo North (01603 306445)
Audience:All Staff

Netmedia Contract

Message from Karen O'Kane, Head of ICT Services:

Important information regarding Netmedia Virtual Learning Environment

We wish to inform you that the centrally funded Norfolk County Council (NCC) contract that enables your school to use the Netmedia Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will cease at the end of August 2011. It is not possible to renew the contract.

You will be aware that NCC Members have requested that ICT Solutions is integrated with NCC's ICT Services to create a single shared ICT service in 2011 and that this is being achieved via the ICT Services for Schools Project. You will also be aware of the position in relation to VLE funding: See MI 33/11

Karen O'Kane met with some of you at the ICT Services for Schools Project school consultation workshops (held in November 2010 and January 2011) and was grateful for the feedback you gave her regarding your current service experience and requirements for the new ICT service going forward. Your feedback has strongly influenced the shape of the new ICT service which is being developed with a view to affordability, recognising the very different national context which now exists, in terms of funding and central government priorities.

School feedback regarding the VLE included:
  • The idea of a VLE is great but Norfolk's VLEs are complex and time consuming for staff;

  • The Fronter VLE might not be suitable for primary schools;

  • Some primary schools make significant use of Netmedia and want a simple yet effective replacement for it when the contract expires in August 2011;

  • Espresso is widely used by primary schools and they want to retain it (this contract also expires in August 2011).

  • As a consequence of this feedback the proposed ICT Shared Services' offering in relation to VLE will be as follows. We will:
  • Offer Fronter as a VLE for secondary schools and seek to negotiate a two year contract extension during 2011 for those schools that use the system. Primary schools may also choose to use Fronter;

  • Negotiate a contract to make Espresso available to schools;

  • Use Google Apps to create a simple to use, secure and supported VLE for primary/special schools ensuring that essential functionality and access to content, including Espresso, is delivered. We will provide implementation support for those schools that wish to use it;

  • Train members of our Locality Teams (groups of ICT Shared Services' staff that focus on a particular geographical area or cluster of schools) in the Google VLE, so they are able to support schools to obtain greater benefits;

  • Continue to develop the Google VLE over time.

  • We am very grateful to the primary and special schools who have contributed to the Google VLE requirements gathering exercise. Karen's team is looking forward to working with you over the coming months as the solution is developed, and then piloted, before being made available to those schools who wish to use it. If your school would like to be involved in this process please contact Kurt Frary by phone 01603 223856 or email who is leading on this.

    We will be holding further school consultation workshops during May 2011 (details will be sent to you nearer the time) and we look forward to seeing you there.