Jisc secures agreement to provide a continuing legacy for schools resource

Jisc is delighted to have finalised an agreement to preserve and host the Vital subject portals, an invaluable resource for schools.

From 1 April 2013, management of the established subject and special interest portals will move from The Open University. The portals direct teachers to some of the best subject resources available, helping to bring about innovation in the classroom to inspire learners.

Guy Lambert, CEO of Jisc Advance said: “We are delighted that the DfE and The Open University selected us to provide a legacy for the Vital programme. We’re looking forward to taking over the reins of these established resource portals, accessed by up to 6,000 users every year. Over time, we aspire to be in a position to extend the value the Vital portals already deliver to the curriculum and to teaching and learning. Vital currently serves teachers in England; our ambition is for all teachers across the UK to benefit from this invaluable resource.”

The portals will be free to access, complementing Jisc Advance’s new subscription offer to schools which is due to be launched in Spring 2013. This service will provide local hands-on practical support to:

• Optimise the use of schools’ and academies’ existing technologies
• Link the use of technology to improvements in learning outcomes and progression
• Provide opportunities to share with and learn from peers
• Provide open access to resources and professional development opportunities.

Peter Twining, director of Vital, commented, “I’m thrilled with this agreement with Jisc Advance which is a win-win for everyone concerned. It provides a huge endorsement of the work Vital has been doing, it will help Jisc raise its profile within schools, and most importantly ensures the ongoing support for teachers that the Vital subject portals provide.”

Current Vital users will be contacted by Vital in Spring 2013 informing them of the changes and increased benefits. They will be offered the opportunity for their registrations to be transferred to Jisc to ensure continuity of service. Users can rest assured that the portals will remain similar with possible enhancements introduced in the future.