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National Award recognises Northern Grid for Learning's best practice in getting people online



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Press Release



Northern Grid’s achievements in providing safe and secure internet connections for schools and local authorities across the north east were recognised at the prestigious 2010 Nominet Internet Awards evening in London on July 7th.



The award was presented to Mick Young, Christine Jack (members of Northern Grid’s E learning team) and Easynet’s (Northern Grid’s Internet Service Provider) Phil Paddon by the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP and Graham Walker from Race Online 2012.






On Monday 12th July Race Online 2012 launched their campaign to get millions of people online by 2012.  The campaign has the support of Prime Minister David Cameron yet no government funding has been identified to support the scheme.


The Nominet Internet Awards recognised Northern Grid’s achievements in making the Internet a more secure, open and accessible experience for the region’s children and adults in schools and local authorities.


Northern Grid is overall winner in the Getting People Online category. This success means Nominet will promote Northern Grid in the UK and internationally as an example of best practice, and an organisation that demonstrates creativity and innovation.


The Rt Hon Alun Michael MP, Chair of the judges, said: “I am proud to be celebrating so many examples of best practice within the UK Internet industry. This year we were delighted to receive a huge number of high quality entries”.


Northern Grid demonstrated how, by working in partnership with local authorities, they are able to deliver cost efficiencies through aggregation and drive down the costs of broadband technologies. This award recognises the importance of LAs working together to ensure their limited budgets achieve the best possible services for their schools. The award is particularly significant in the light of the new coalition government’s radical education spending review.


Michael Gove, Secretary of State for education has announced huge cuts to the harnessing technology fund, introduced by the previous Labour government to ensure schools have access to high speed and reliable broadband.


Working with Easynet, Northern Grid provides a regional network that exceeds national standards.  Support is provided to teachers, pupils, governors, parents and carers to allow them to fully exploit the benefits of broadband technologies.


Northern Grid has a national reputation for the development of an extensive range of online resources and support materials for learners with special educational needs, their teachers, parents and carers.  One of the most successful online applications is SEN Switcher, designed to help learners with profound and multiple learning difficulties.


After the ceremony Christine Jack, E Learning Manager, said: “We are delighted to have received this award which recognises the hard work done by schools and Local Authorities in the North East, and the important role broadband technologies and resources have in supporting teaching and learning.”



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About Northern Grid


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Northern Grid for Learning supports schools and local authorities to achieve the highest possible standards by embracing the opportunities technology can provide for 21st century education.


Northern Grid, established in 1999 to deliver the Government’s strategy to introduce broadband connectivity to schools, has been highly successful in establishing a robust, reliable regional network. All schools within Northern Grid’s partner local authorities were connected to broadband technologies two years ahead of schedule and the network is regularly upgraded to ensure schools have the broadband provision they need.


A key focus is supporting the transformation of learning through technologies and digital resources.  Northern Grid provides teachers with tools and support to enhance their teaching and allow greater personalisation of students’ learning experiences, in their drive for whole school improvement.


By collaborating regionally and nationally with schools, agencies, the commercial sector, Regional Broadband Consortia (RBCs) and the wider education sector, Northern Grid undertakes activities that provide best value, promote best practice and establish the region as a national centre of excellence.


Northern Grid is owned by the seven Local Authorities of:





North Tyneside

Redcar and Cleveland


South Tyneside.


The latest spending review has shown that by working together and aggregating procurements Northern Grid has saved its partner Local Authorities more than £7 million over the last year.



For further Northern Grid information contact:


Christine Jack

E Learning Manager

Northern Grid for Learning

0191 4611 844 / 07799 583 177



About Nominet


Nominet operatesat the heart of e-commerce in the UK, running one of the world’s largest Internet registries and managing over eight million domain names. Nominet maintains the register of .uk domain names and runs the DNS infrastructure that keeps .uk working.


It runs the technology that locates a computer in the Internet hosting the web site or email system you’re looking for when you type in a web address or send an email to an address that ends in .uk.


Nominet is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee that has members not shareholders, pays no dividends and its charges only cover its running costs. Anyone with an interest in the Internet may become a member. Nominet has over 2,800 members representing all areas of the Internet industry.


Nominet also runs the Tier 1 registry for UK ENUM, a new UK registry service that combines telephone numbers and the Domain Name System to simplify the way telephone calls over the Internet work.  ENUM lets callers know that you can receive VoIP calls – it allows more VoIP calls to be connected directly over the Internet, for no charge, rather than via the traditional PSTN network.