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WMnet is one of England's nine Regional Broadband Consortia. It was established under the  National Grid for Learning  programme to enhance the quality of learning  through the development of a distributed, regional learning network built on a broadband backbone giving all 2,500 schools in the region affordable and reliable broadband connectivity.

The 9 RBCs

 

- East Midlands:www.embc.org.uk
- East of England:web.e2bn.net
- Lancashire and Cumbria:www.cleo.net.uk
- London:www.lgfl.net
- North:www.northerngrid.org
- South East:www.segfl.org.uk
- South West:www.swgfl.org.uk
- West Midlands:www.wmnet.org.uk
- Yorkshire and Humberside:www.yhgfl.net
  

WMnet comprises 13 local education authorities which work together to:

  • Provide a broadband infrastructure connecting schools via a high-speed network to the National Education Network
  • Embed effective educational practice with ICT
  • Support innovative uses of broadband for teaching and learning 

The vision guiding WMnet is collaboration and local ownership in a regional consortium.

This site provides:
- information and documentation about the initiative
- links to partner LAs and their e-learning initiatives
- links to learning resources and collaborative projects
- exemplar curriculum activities and projects elsewhere on the National Education Network

Contact::
WMnet, c/o ICT Development Services, Wedgnock House, Wedgnock Lane, Warwick, CV34 5AP
Email: info@wmnet.org.uk
Phone: 01926 418126

 
 WMnet Vision
The following principles were agreed by all partners when WMnet was founded in 2000:
  1. WMnet is a grid for learning. WMnet enables access, collaboration, pedagogical innovation and learning gains. Whilst other services such as administration and professional development are important, our focus is on learning for school age pupils.
     
  2. Both network infrastructure and content are being developed in parallel. A delivery mechanism with no content is as useless as content that cannot be delivered.
     
  3. That the aim is to provide public access to content, to support learning at home and other access points as well as at school. To that end, content developed and procured by WMnet will be web-based. WMnet will promote the use of its materials for lifelong learning, including within the context of UKOnline schemes.
     
  4. All relevant public institutions (libraries, museums, community centres, etc.) need to be connected at a bandwidth that comfortably supports learner needs. A 2Mbs connection to secondary schools is but a step on the road.
     
  5. Whilst the West Midlands has both local needs to meet and local resources to exploit, WMnet sees its regional work in a national context. Technical and educational standards, particularly relating to regional content, must comply with those emerging at a national level in order that each region gains value from the others and interoperability is achieved between education and other services.
     
  6. WMnet embraces a policy of inclusion, with respect to both broadening access and ensuring that materials which are developed appropriate to the needs of those with additional needs.

Broadband connectivity must exploit the benefits of ICT to:

  • Be sensitive to the needs and expectations of local and regional communities
  • Empower the individual learner anywhere and anytime
  • Provide access to lifelong learning opportunities for the whole regional community
  • Foster regional productivity
  • Ensure the development of skills and knowledge needed to function in a global market place
  • Ensure full inclusion to foster social and economic cohesion as defined within the regional strategy
  • Maximise the benefits of the various local and international government sponsored initiatives

In order to achieve these outcomes, the following processes will be developed:

  • Development and co-ordination of bids for regional funding
  • Creation of a sustainable regional community grid for learning
  • Best value though the combined purchasing power of the region
  • Sharing of knowledge, content and good practice
  • Creation of appropriate strategic structures to identify, manage and evaluate the outcomes.

 
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