The WA Department of Education and Training (DET) has granted local content provider, MGM Wireless, preferred tender status to supply its SMS-based school attendance product suite to public schools across the state.
Up to 800 schools are covered by the deal, making it the "largest agreement of its type in the world", according to the Adelaide-based company's executive chairman, Mark Fortunatow.
Previously, contracts were secured piecemeal, either school by school or, as in the US, district by district. The new WA deal aims to equip primary and secondary schools with an automated SMS communication service which is used to notify parents if their children have not come to school.
"This area sounds deceptively simple but it's actually very complex. There are a whole range of important privacy issues and security, confidentiality of data and child protection issues," Fortunatow said.
DET chief information officer, Bevan Doyle, said details of the project were yet to be finalised and contract negotiations would begin shortly. MGM was the only business now being considered for the contract.
Fortunatow said several other deals were in the pipeline for MGM but would not be drawn on the details. The company also services about 7000 US schools via a distribution agreement with education software specialist, VIP Tone.