Councils poised to sign £23m schools infrastructure deal

South Tyneside and Gateshead councils have chosen Morse as their preferred bidder to install ICT managed services across 12 newly built schools over the next five years.

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South Tyneside and Gateshead councils have chosen Morse as their preferred bidder to install ICT managed services across 12 newly built schools over the next five years.

Once cleared, the project would see Morse installing a complete ICT infrastructure in each school, rolling out industry-standard technologies to give staff, students and parents a secure, reliable infrastructure linked to a single Morse-managed datacentre with full failover capabilities.

As well as installing PCs and laptops in each school, the infrastructure will also include a voice over IP network, electronic whiteboards and a contactless card system giving access control to buildings and enabling cashless payments. Many schools are also likely to want facilities to enable video-conferencing, webcasts and simultaneous broadcasts, according to Paul McCarthy, managing partner for Morse Infrastructure Consulting.

The contract could be worth £23m in its initial phase – and contains an option for the councils to extend it by a further five years.

The programme is expected to get underway next year. It would see Morse working first on three schools that were recently completed under the Government’s Building Schools for the Future programme. The remaining nine schools that are due a new ICT infrastructure under the contract have yet to be built.

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