Telecoms savings for schools

17 Jan 2006

Cable & Wireless (C&W) has hooked up with the Irish Primary Principals Network (IPPN) to launch a new telecoms services for primary schools that will enable them to save up to 30pc on monthly phone bills and re-invest these savings into the schools.

The joint venture, which will be known as ScoilTel, will target all 3,300 primary schools in Ireland. The 30pc savings accrued through the new service will also be used to help fund a nationwide bullying prevention campaign.

The IPPN, which was established in 2000, has more than 6,000 members, and has already deployed technology as part of its objective of supporting school leaders and enhancing the quality of education in Ireland.

With a select team of partners, it has rolled out a range of high-quality online and multimedia services to its members. With the recent deregulation of the Irish telecoms market, IPPN saw the opportunity to make telecoms savings for primary schools.

After a thorough tender process, it chose C&W to provide a special package to its members. Ten schools were chosen to trial the service for a six-month period. Feedback has been positive, with savings of up to 30pc on monthly telephone bills.

“We are actively encouraging all principals to take up the service so that they can realise immediate savings on their schools’ phone bills,” explained Seán Cottrell, director of IPPN.

This isn’t the first time that C&W worked with schools on technology projects. Last year, four Belfast school children went to the international academy in Jamaica to receive specialist web support, leadership training and technical advice.

“This cost-effective and reliable service will generate savings that can be directly re-invested in improving the facilities and services of each school,” said Noreen O’Hare, country manager, C&W Ireland. “The IPPN’s decision to invest funds from our partnership to help prevent bullying in schools should also be commended.”

The principal of St Joseph’s New School in Dundalk, Gerry Murphy added: “It’s great to see the end of a monopoly and the beginning of lower charges for hard-pressed school budgets.”

By John Kennedy