SANDWELL, England, November 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
- New figures suggest 1:1 computing can generate £300,000 in additional lifetime earnings through improved educational attainment
- Launch of Shape the Future UK aims to bring 1:1 computing to schools across the country
Microsoft and RM Education, in collaboration with Intel, have joined forces and now proudly announce the launch of Shape the Future UK. Shape the Future is a global Microsoft initiative that aims to close the opportunity gap between rich and poor by putting technology in the hands of every child. From today, government-funded UK schools will be eligible for the scheme which provides a range of high-quality, affordable, Windows 8 devices with top-flight software pre-installed to students and teachers for their own personal use. Available exclusively from RM Education, the devices include laptops and tablets, powered by Intel processors, suited to a range of different users from manufacturers including RM, Asus and Acer at more than 30% off RRP.
And here's why: new figures from Experian suggest that, for some children, home access to a computer could generate up to £300,000 in additional earnings over their lifetime; UK-wide this would amount to £6.6bn in additional income. There is a large body of existing data supporting the educational and wider economic benefits of access to ICT. Research suggests that of all the potential economic benefits derived from digital inclusion, home access for children delivers the greatest but, until now, there was no realistic way of enabling it.
Joice Fernandes, Worldwide Leader of the Shape The Future Programme, Microsoft, said, "Shape the Future has the power to put knowledge in the hands of children. That knowledge empowers them to shape their own future. I passionately believe that Shape the Future is a true force for good - as has been proven with our projects around the world. I'm thrilled that we are now bringing this programme to the UK."
Tim Hatch, Director UK Education, Intel, commented, "Technology in Education is moving into a new era of mobility and usage, with more and more students continuing their learning beyond the classroom, especially at home. We at Intel are very excited about this program and that we feel it will help bridge the accessibility of technology to all students, with a scheme that is all encompassing and fair. We need our students from whatever their backgrounds to have that equal start in life and help them become the next generation of informed, flexible and collaborative employees."
Mike Allen, Managing Director, RM Education explains why the three companies have come together, "We all know how technology can deliver learning that is more exciting, more engaging and more effective. Just imagine what we could achieve if every child, regardless of background, had their own device. It's a great opportunity to close the attainment gap and to level the playing field. I can't wait to start talking to schools about how they can take advantage of the scheme."
Shape the Future UK is being launched at Shireland Collegiate Academy in Sandwell, an outstanding school led by Sir Mark Grundy, Executive Principal, which has provided 1:1 devices for the past four years. Kirsty Tonks, Director of e-Learning at Shireland said, "Students who have had their own device are remarkably different learners from their predecessors. Their abilities to learn independently and to push the boundaries of their learning are both outstanding. We've never seen levels of progress as high as those we've achieved with students who have had 1:1 devices. It doesn't come without significant effort on the part of teachers, students and families to make it work but their stunning results speak for themselves."
To see the range of Shape the Future devices, please visit http://www.rm.com/shapethefuture
Or follow us on Twitter #UKStFLaunch
Notes to Editors
 - To be eligible, schools must fund the purchase of Shape the Future devices with at least 50% government money.
[*2] Taken from Impact of 1:1 PC Ownership Experian, 2012 (based on PriceWaterhouseCoopers research).
1:1 PC ownership is a key component for driving forward digitisation
- Equipping our children to compete in the global economy
- Driving equality and social mobility
For some people 1:1 PC generates £300k in additional earnings. UK-wide this could amount to £6.6bn in increased lifetime earnings.
 - PriceWaterhouseCoopers analysis, Champion for Digital Inclusion, The Economic Case for Digital Inclusion, 2009
Shape the Future UK - How it works
Shape the Future is an innovative, simple and cost effective way to get all students using 1:1 devices at home and in the classroom. Drawing on citizenship and digital inclusion programmes, Microsoft®, RM Education and Intel® support the affordability of this PC and software package, which has already worked successfully for over 21 million students in 56 countries. This is a unique hardware and software offer - designed to provide a great value 1:1 programme for all. Likewise, teachers are also eligible for this scheme.
All devices in the Shape the Future range are designed for education and come packed with over 20 top educational software titles from Microsoft including essentials for learning such as Microsoft Office Professional® and innovative new software such as Kodu.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
About RM Education
RM Education has been helping teachers to teach and learners to learn for nearly 40 years. We develop, manufacture, install and manage hardware, software, IT networks and services and classroom resources all specially designed for schools to help deliver inspiring engaging learning.
Schools and local authorities outsource their IT to RM Education and we also provide systems that help mark exam papers, deliver school performance data and enable access to learning platforms from home or school. Our customers include schools, colleges and universities, local government, central government education departments & agencies.
Intel, the world leader in silicon innovation, designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world's computing devices. Founded in 1968, the company has developed technologies, products, and initiatives to continually advance how people work and live.
The company also leads programmes in areas such as education, sustainability and regional volunteer initiatives.
Intel has over 80,000 employees in 300 locations in 50 countries around the world. In the UK, Intel is headquartered in Swindon with other smaller sites in London and Winnersh Triangle.
For fiscal year 2011, Intel reported record revenues of US$ 54.2 billion.
SOURCE RM Education