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The Department has signed a brand new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft on behalf of schools. This has been delivered following extensive negotiations led by Government Procurement Service (GPS) in collaboration with the Department’s commercial team. The new MoU was launched on 1 January 2013 and operates until 31 December 2015, enabling all UK schools choosing to purchase Microsoft software to access significant pricing discounts and savings, together with enhanced licensing terms.
The original MoU was launched back in January 2004 and has been periodically extended up to its final expiry date of 31 December 2012. The Department recognised that the scope and operation of Microsoft’s licensing arrangements had changed significantly in recent years to the extent that the MoU needed to be entirely reviewed and updated to match the latest educational licensing landscape.
In negotiating the new MoU with Microsoft, the Department has managed to retain many key features and benefits established in the original agreement but it has incorporated a significant range of new improved features and enhanced benefits for schools covering all of the latest academic licensing arrangements offered by Microsoft to the schools sector.
This agreement is not contractually binding and involves no financial commitment for the Government or for schools. It will only apply when, or if, schools choose to buy new or upgraded Microsoft software licences. If your school prefers to use alternative software packages, there is no obligation to switch to Microsoft software now or at any time. Furthermore, the MoU enables schools to operate a mixed economy of Microsoft software with other alternative vendor solutions without many of the previous disadvantageous Microsoft licensing consequences.
All UK schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are eligible and can choose to access the discounted rates and preferential licensing terms available under this agreement. This includes maintained schools, academies, Free Schools and independent or private schools. It also covers those institutions offering further education services covering sixth forms and 14-19 students.
Note: This MoU does not cover the Higher Education and Universities academic licensing arrangements offered by Microsoft. These sectors are catered for by separate licensing agreements with Microsoft.
More details about how the new MoU operates are outlined in the Key Features and Benefits Overview available on this page.
To further help with understanding, a set of Q&As is also available.
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Questions about the Memorandum of Understanding with Microsoft for schools academic licensing
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Key features and benefits
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Information about Microsoft Education licenses and software.