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Northgate Education, a leading UK provider of ICT managed services and solutions to the education sector, today announces that it is partnering with Fronter, a leading European learning platform provider, to help bring virtual learning environments to teachers and learners throughout the UK.

Northgate has selected Fronter as its preferred Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) supplier, which means that Northgate will be able to offer Fronter’s VLE to its primary and secondary school customers in the UK. The partnership allows Northgate to offer a trusted and leading-edge learning platform which is fully integrated into Northgate’s Managed Learning Environment (MLE).

The Fronter VLE is approved by Becta, has recently been selected by London Grid for Learning for all schools in London and is currently used by more than 2 million users in eight European countries, and enables:

• a personalised learning experience through the provision of an online personal work space, with customised learning resources, assignments, assessment and guidance;

• children and young people to learn at their own pace in the ways that best suit them, with access to the learning environment at anytime and anywhere;

• collaboration and communication between learners, teachers and peers

• teachers to respond more effectively to individual learning needs by tailoring content and activities, and monitoring learner achievement;

• parents to follow their children’s progress more easily.

The partnership will give schools greater confidence in choosing suppliers as they seek to meet the government’s target of providing all learners with an online personalised learning space by 2008.

The first MLE launch, with the fully integrated Fronter VLE platform, will take place in Bristol. Northgate is providing an ICT managed service to Bristol City Council as part of the government's Building Schools for the Future programme (BSF).

Darren Lemon, Managing Director of Northgate Education, said:

“Northgate Education is helping to build schools fit for the future by providing sustainable ICT solutions today. Our vision is of teachers and learners empowered by technology, working within managed learning-led environments that are fit for the twenty first century – enhanced through personalised learning and collaboration.

“By partnering with Fronter, we are continuing our commitment to provide leading-edge and affordable education solutions that place the needs of teachers and learners first – by opening up choice in products that can help to transform the education process.”

Nils Olav Sundsteigen, Managing Director of Fronter UK, added:

“Over the last eight years, our mission has been to develop and sell a cutting edge learning platform throughout Europe. Our new relationship with Northgate Education enhances the opportunity to do this both in the UK and further afield.

“Northgate and Fronter have formed this partnership based on their common objective: to enable transformation in the education sector through ICT. We strongly believe in our offering for BSF projects in the UK over the coming years and will work hard together to ensure we provide the best solutions for teachers and learners alike.”

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For more information:

Fellows’ Associates
Kathy Sutton 020 7849 3403; 07966 890401; ksutton@fellowsassociates.com
Naomi Stevenson 020 7849 3508; 07966 890403; nstevenson@fellowsassociates.com

Notes to Editors:

1. Northgate Information Solutions (www.northgate-is.com) is a leading provider of ICT and managed services solutions and software to the public safety, local government, education and human resource sectors. With divisional headquarters in Hemel Hempstead and Belfast, Northgate has 25 major offices across the UK and six international offices. Founded in 1969, the company has over 3,300 employees.

2. Northgate Education (www.northgate-is.com/education) is the second largest provider of managed services in the UK. It provides technology services to over 1,200 schools, with more than 350,000 teachers and learners successfully supported by the company. Northgate provides services to every school in Northern Ireland through C2k, the largest and most comprehensive e-learning initiative ever implemented in the UK, is providing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) managed services to Bristol City Council as part of the government's Building Schools for the Future Programme (BSF), and to over 150 education sites in Hartlepool, from primary schools through to further education. In January 2007, Northgate were awarded an ISO 20000-1 accreditation by the British Standards Institution, for provision of IT service management activities.

3. Fronter is an international application development company with roots in Norway. Since the start up in 1998, Fronter has experienced solid European expansion and growth. More than 2 million users in over 2000 learning institutions in eight European countries have made Fronter a leading player within net-based learning and collaboration. Fronter is the only ICT-company who has won the highly acclaimed European Seal of Excellence in Multimedia twice.

4. Fronter is an open standard and open source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which is purpose made for professional educational institutions. The platform has extensive functionality within learning management (LMS) and publishing and content production (LCMS). A great strength resides in collaboration and personal management. Fronter functions as a portal as well as providing system administration, set-up and integration. Currently, the platform consists of more than 80 different tools covering most everyday ICT tasks for the teacher and learner.

5. The partnership means that Northgate will propose Fronter to their new and existing customers as the preferred VLE supplier, where there is no existing VLE or preferred supplier in place.

6. Northgate’s MLE is capable of integrating with a wide range of VLE products.

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