learning-possibilities-wins-second-consecutive-education-investor-award-for-technological-infrastructure

Learning Possibilities, the UK’s leading cloud based learning platform provider, are delighted to announce that they have won the Education Investor Award for Technological Infrastructure for the second year running.

The prestigious Education Investor Awards have been running for several years to date, and set out each year to recognise innovation and achievement in the education technology sector.

A panel of high profile, independent judges from across the education sector selected Learning Possibilities from the eight organisations shortlisted under the Suppliers category, to be presented with the Education Investor Award for Technological Infrastructure.

Stephen Heppell, Executive Chairman at Learning Possibilities Ltd., who was recently awarded a NAACE Award for Lifetime Achievement in educational technology said:

“We’ve been awarded the Technological Infrastructure Education Investor Award 2015, and I’m pretty chuffed about that. To be recognised with such a prominent award is really exciting! We invest in education by supporting better learning and it’s great to have that acknowledged.”

Learning Possibilities are the suppliers of LP+4, a learning management system built on Microsoft Technology, hosted at a Tier4 data centre in the UK providing a secure engaging digital learning environment to over 1.6 million users globally.

The Award recognises the Company’s project in Wales called Hwb, where over 500,000 teachers and learners use the company’s platform. Winning the award closely follows the announcement of the three year renewal of Hwb+, the all Wales learning platform built on LP+4.

welsh-government-signs-3-year-extension-with-learning-possibilities

Learning Possibilities, the provider of Hwb+, the all-Wales Learning Platform, and UK’s leading cloud-based learning platform provider to schools, today announced that its contract to provide Hwb+ to Welsh schools has been extended to August 2018.

Learning Possibilities continues its commitment to deliver ‘a world-class’ bilingual platform playing its part in the ‘Learning in Digital Wales’ programme. With all schools in Wales having seamless access to Office 365 and single sign-on to 3rd party content through Hwb+, the transformation of teaching and learning practices in Wales is well underway. The adoption of the platform is confirmed with a number of Hwb+ accredited trainers, 18 Hwb+ centres of excellence and several seconded teachers as digital leaders, across Wales.

On the extension Minister for Education and Skills, Huw Lewis said:


“I have made a clear statement about the importance of digital skills for Welsh learners by announcing that digital competence will become the third cross-cutting responsibility for all teachers in our new Curriculum for Wales. This places digital competence on an equal footing with literacy and numeracy and underlines the importance of our ongoing investment in digital learning tools such as the Hwb+ platform, to give all teachers and learners the same opportunities to build their digital skills.”

Stephen Heppell, Learning Possibilities’ Chairman also commented:


“We are excited to continue being a major part of this important national project and look forward to supporting the transformation of education in Wales and the implementation of the Donaldson report. I am proud to see schools in Wales using the Hwb+ technology to drive the adoption of digital skills.”

The extension of the Hwb+ contract continues to be an integral part of the strategy to transform Wales into a truly digital nation.

throwbackthursday_rohin-mistry-celebrates

This October Rohin Mistry, our Service Delivery Manager is celebrating his 10 year work anniversary at Learning Possibilities.

I was lucky enough to catch Rohin for a quick interview, to take a quick look back at his successful career within the company.

10 years! That’s quite an accomplishment. So where did it all begin?
Rohin: “I started working at Learning Possibilities while I was still at University. It came about as my Placement Officer at the time was interested and impressed with the work that the Company were doing, and felt it fit in well with my degree. As a result of the placement and with help from my Placement Officer, in my final year, I actually decided to base my dissertation on virtual learning environments.”

On graduating university with a degree in Business Information Systems, what made you decide to come back to Learning Possibilities?
Rohin: “At the time I remember that my tutor wanted me to continue on to do an MPhil , but I ended up coming back to Learning Possibilities to start my career…little did I know I would still be here ten years on! I felt that Learning Possibilities, a company set to transform education with technology was something I wanted to be a part of.”

Do you remember your first role within the company?
“Back when I started, I first worked at the Warehouse, and then became an Engineer/Technician. Overtime I eventually became part of the 1st line support team on the Support Desk, and then my role subsequently progressed into Support Desk Supervisor, Support Desk Manager and finally Service Delivery Manager, which is where I am today.”

With all that progression, and that it’s now your 10 year work anniversary with LP+, how do you feel looking back on your achievements?
“I feel proud of my achievements, and am also very appreciative that I’ve had the opportunity to work with such great colleagues. I am really enjoying my current role as no two days are the same, so it certainly keeps you on your feet! I get to work with big international contracts, which means I’m working with clients from around the world on a regular basis. I try not to look back too much, but one of the best moments for me personally, was the launch of LP+4, something we had all worked so hard for. After so much commitment towards the creation of the product it’s very rewarding to see the platform support the goals of the Company, by helping to transform education worldwide.”

I asked Rohin why he tries not to look back too much, and he simply answers..
“because the only way is forward”. A superb work ethic, if I do say so myself.

throwbackthursday_education-investor-award-2015

“Keep moving forward”…is a phrase that isn’t new to me, and I don’t think it will be to you either. There is a big focus on us all as individuals to keep progressing, both personally and professionally, and where I can understand the concept behind this phrase, I somewhat disagree with it.

Yes, it is imperative to strive and to work towards your goals, achievements and future – but isn’t it nice every now and then, to also take a look back?

Around this time last year, Learning Possibilities were shortlisted as finalists for the very prestigious Education Investor Awards for Technological Infrastructure. Much to our delight as a company, we were presented with the award on November 13th, 2014 during a celebration of the innovation and excellence among businesses involved in the education sector.

For those of you who aren’t quite familiar with the Education Investor Awards, each year an expert panel of judges look for organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to the sector during the academic year.

Learning Possibilities, in my opinion, is made up of a committed, hardworking and passionate workforce, who continuously work together to produce ground-breaking solutions to support, aid, and to transform education globally. On looking back, I remember this proud moment quite clearly, how thrilled we were (and still are) as individuals and together as a company, to have had our work recognised in such a prominent manner.

It’s recently been announced, (yes, you might have guessed it) that we’ve been shortlisted as finalists for the same award again this year. There are currently lots of exciting things going on at Learning Possibilities, and we are all SO happy to be shortlisted again for the Technological Infrastructure Education Investor award for the second year running,. With this said, we do have to wait until November to hear the results. So for now, I shall ask you to wish us luck in the meantime, and I’ll close this blog with another popular phrase…”watch this space”!

learning-possibilities-awarded-iso270012013-certificate

Learning Possibilities™, the provider of Hwb+, the all Wales National Learning platform, and UK’s leading cloud-based learning platform provider to schools, today announced that it has been awarded the ISO 27001:2013 certificate for Information Security Management Systems. The award is the only internationally recognized and most prestigious certification for Information Security Management, a company can have.

The certification was awarded after 18 months of rigorous work updating processes and systems to meet the requirements of this internationally recognized best practice framework. The ISO 27001:2013 is a management system that helps Learning Possibilities identify the risks to any important information and put in place the appropriate controls to help reduce the risk. It is a key component for data security and management, and covers the company’s management system, premises and data centre.

Tony Sheppard, Project Manager & Information Security Manager for Learning Possibilities said:

“Learning Possibilities has proved it has the requisite information security controls in place to protect sensitive client data. This achievement combined with our LP+4 SharePoint learning platform, has made us a leading education provider. Our platform was selected by the Welsh Government to run the bilingual national learning platform for Wales – Hwb+, and in 2015 were selected to be on the G-Cloud Framework, a true testament of the confidence our customers have in our security controls and our ability to follow internationally-recognized security standards.”

The ISO 27001:2013 adds to the quality management certification that the company has held since its incorporation in 2005, including the ISO 9001:2008 certification; and is testament to the company’s commitment to quality, data security and efficiency in Information Security Management.

/ENDS

About Learning Possibilities

Learning Possibilities are the suppliers of LP+4, a learning platform used worldwide. The company has a long history of building and implementing e-learning solutions across a range of countries and cultures, and have developed a wealth of experience and expertise in cloud computing for education and government customers. The Learning Possibilities platform built on Microsoft technologies is currently used by over 1 million users across the UK.

In 2014 Learning Possibilities won the Education Investor Award for Technological Infrastructure. In 2012, Learning Possibilities won the national contract to provide the LP+4 learning platform to all schools in Wales.

In 2010 the LP+ platform won the prestigious BETT ICT Education Partnership Award. Learning Possibilities is also the publisher of the LP+ Adopt e-maturity framework for schools, selected by Becta (UK Department of Education) as the National Learning Platform Adoption Model for England.

For more information contact Bansri Mehta | +44 (0) 20 8236 1018 | bansri.mehta@lpplus.com

tauheedul-education-trust-selects-learning-possibilities

Learning Possibilities, the UK’s largest cloud based learning platform provider, will provide its award-winning learning platform to all schools in the Tauheedul Education Trust – one of Britain’s leading academy groups.

Tauheedul Education Trust runs a growing network of primary and secondary schools in the North West, West Midlands and East London. Educational excellence and social mobility are at its heart. The Trust supports both Muslim faith-based and non-denominational schools. Working particularly in areas of deprivation, the Trust has many years of experience of helping children and young people – Muslims and non-Muslims – to raise their aspirations and achieve outstanding results.

Learning Possibilities will be developing and delivering an umbrella site with content and analytics for administration and collaboration purposes across all schools within the Trust, in addition to a bespoke managed learning environment, for the individual schools.

Mufti Hamid Patel, CEO of the Trust, said

“The LP+ learning platform will be an important internal communication vehicle, strengthening ties within and between schools and with the Trust. The bespoke solution will become a dynamic teaching and learning tool for students, staff, parents and governors to aid learning, increasing engagement and celebrating innovation.”

Dr Mehool Sanghrajka, CEO of Learning Possibilities, made this announcement:

“We are delighted to be working with the Tauheedul Education Trust. We look forward to a long partnership and working closely with the Trust to meet their digital learning needs.”

why-information-security-standards-make-sense-to-school-leaders

Having worked with Learning Possibilities as a client, a consultant and as a Project Manager, I still find myself relating almost all my activities to the following phrase, “What Would School Leaders Think?”

For most people in schools, awareness of Information Security standards is limited, and usually only heard about when talking about data protection or when they have been told that they can’t or shouldn’t do something, by their IT Manager, the Local Authority or a Governor.

In fact, most schools should be able to easily understand not just the importance of Information Security but how it is assessed at companies like Learning Possibilities, and that understanding is all dow​n to thinking like OFSTED.

As with OFSTED visits to schools, companies certified to ISO27001 (the principal Information Security standard) will have regular audits and inspections from an external body.

As with OFSTED, Leadership is key. It is not about recording security incidents or how quickly they are dealt with, it is not about recording how well your backups run and it is not about recording the results of penetration testing. It is about looking at how Leadership set objectives, evaluate them and justify subsequent decisions.

Yes, there is record keeping. Yes, there are processes and procedures that have to be followed. Yes, there is regular training on Information Management, Information Security and Data Protection. Yes, there are issues and risks to be dealt with. However, these are there to provide evidence to Leadership and the quality of work is more important than ticking boxes on the 114 controls across 14 groups.

Internal audits are the book scrutiny sessions and staff observations. External audits are the OFSTED visits. The Information Security Management System contains your Statement of Applicability (let’s call it your SEF), your policies and procedures, your record of decisions, your Objectives and Measures (5 year plan?).

It goes on. There are so many similarities and helps show School Leaders that Learning Possibilities understands the impact of OFSTED, not just because of the educational impact, but because we have our own version to go through. We also know all too well about it being about key decisions, not just weighing the pig!

External audits are done each year, and you recertify after 3 years. Out of the 3 possible outcomes only the top outcome, which is effectively a 100% adherence to the standard, gets you the certificate.

What does this mean for our customers? Well, the standard is a way of showing both the importance of Information Security to us as a company across all our work, and also that we put in the time and effort on it, ensuring that it is part of our core ways of working.

So, after a 13 month programme of work we are more than pleased to say that we passed our External Audits for this year and have now been issued with our certificate, after coming through with flying colours, the equivalent of Outstanding.

I say a 13 month programme of work … we have already started on the work for the next 3 years, including the work on the international update of ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015, the standard for Quality Management. Another opportunity for us to hold ourselves open to inspection against the highest possible standards.

learning-possibilities-named-as-supplier-on-ground-breaking-g-cloud-framework

Learning Possibilities, the UK’s leading cloud based learning platform provider, today announces that it has been awarded by the Crown Commercial Service, an executive agency of the Cabinet Office (UK), to deliver key components of the G-Cloud6 programme, the latest iteration of the G-Cloud framework.

This now means that Learning Possibilities has standardised Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings available on the Digital Marketplace.

The difference between G-Cloud and other frameworks is that organisations pay for services as they use them, rather than being tied to inflexible, long-term contracts. G-Cloud allows the public sector to buy cloud-based digital services off the shelf, avoiding lock-in to expensive contracts with single suppliers, and encouraging cost-effective, innovative solutions.

Mehool Sanghrajka, CEO, Learning Possibilities Ltd commented:

”Being awarded a place on G-Cloud 6 is a reflection of Learning Possibilities’ proven track record and on-going work in supporting Public Sector organisations. As a long standing supplier to Government and a leader in delivering Cloud based services, we understand the need for greater cost efficiencies, as well as transparency and agility in the procurement process.”

Learning Possibilities was assessed on its products, security and support services through an OJEU tendering process. The G-Cloud Framework Agreement will allow Learning Possibilities to supply a wide range of specialist cloud services across the whole of the UK public sector through the G-Cloud programme. This award places Learning Possibilities on the Digital Marketplace as suppliers to the G-Cloud Framework and provides the vehicle through which Learning Possibilities can play a major role in supporting the UK Government’s drive to transform public sector IT and delivery of modern, efficient and effective services to the citizen.

With Learning Possibilities’ experience in delivering some of the public sector’s most successful and innovative projects aswell as bringing our current economies of scale, the company is well positioned to collaborate and provide resilient Cloud services to help shape the future of services together with the Government.

All of Learning Possibilities’ services were made available on the Digital Marketplace on 2 February and are part of the sixth iteration of the G-Cloud framework.

Always Amazing When It Comes Together

always-amazing-when-it-comes-together

I was delighted to read that Estyn, the Welsh school inspection service, has applauded Barry Island Primary School (BIPS) on offering excellent learning experiences to their pupils, in particular for using highly innovative and effective practices in developing Hwb+ learning.

Hwb+ is our LP+ platform in Wales and this is, to the best of my knowledge, the first time Estyn has mentioned a private company.

What are Barry Island doing that is different? They are following a simple formula that delivers; firstly engage the SLT in aligning Hwb+ to their school improvement plan. This gives the platform a purpose. Next, have a plan to roll out the platform across the school; in this case the school trained one class, and then added a new class every half term. Finally, ensure that there is adequate CPD. In BIPS case, this was through previous class staff becoming mentors for the new classes.

Becky Cadman, Acting Head Teacher at BIPS commented, “The key in including all stakeholders is not only the ‘what’ but also the ‘why’. Sharing the concept behind the facilities and ensuring everyone has an eye on the desired final outcomes as a collective!”

Education Investor 2014 Awards Winner

education-investor-2014-awards-winner

Learning Possibilities, the UK’s leading learning platform provider, wins the prestigious Education Investor Award for Technical Infrastructure 2014.

The winners were announced at an awards evening held at the Hilton Hotel, Park Lane. A celebration of the innovation and excellence among businesses involved in the education sector.

More than 700 guests attended this year’s ceremony, where awards were presented in 27 categories, with the shortlist judged by a panel of 17 experts drawn from across the education sector.

The LP+ learning platform is built on Microsoft technology and is hosted at a Tier4 data centre in the UK, providing a secure, engaging learning platform to over 1.6 million users globally.

On winning the award, Mehool Sanghrajka said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won the Education Investor Award for Technical Infrastructure! We have had a brilliant year at Learning Possibilities, and it’s great to be recognised with such a prestigious award. But the work doesn’t stop here. We have so many exciting things coming up, It’s going to be another great year!”

Winning the award comes as another high point for Learning Possibilities, a company that has enjoyed huge success this year, with strong growth. Due to its strong reputation and credibility in the UK, the company recently secured a multi-million pound deal with the Welsh Government to deliver LP+4 to all 1700 state schools.

The LP+4 learning platform was launched in 2012 at Microsoft Head Quarters in Reading. Through the use of innovative interfaces and role based access, schools have access to intranets, email, websites, parent and governor sites, and class and subject sites where collaboration, assessment and project work can take place. In essence a solution for collaboration, communication and curriculum with a designed pathway for forward evolution. This year at BETT, Learning Possibilities will be celebrating ten years of hosting the LP+4 learning platform.