RM to make 460 redundancies following education cuts

By Nicola Brittain
29 Sep 2011 View Comments
School children using Ordnance Survey computer software

UK-based RM has announced about 460 redundancies and a significant restructure as a result of the recent squeeze on public sector spending and the termination of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in June 2010.

Much of RM's work was to provide technology, such as e-learning platforms and whiteboards, to schools. It also provided systems for marking exams and delivering school performance data.

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The proposed redundancies will mean the company will have lost almost 23 per cent of its workforce since September 2010 and it follows approximately 40 redundancies last summer.

The redundancies are the result of planned restructuring within the organisation that will see a number of office closures and departmental consolidations.

The redundancies will affect all levels of the organisation, according to the trading statement released today, although the board said it was looking to "minimise the effects on front-line staff" in an attempt to reduce the impact of the cuts on its clients.

There will be significant restructuring too. Lord Andrew Adonis, the former schools minister, is to become a non-executive director of RM.

In addition, three non-executive directors are to stand aside. They include Professor Sir Tim Brighouse, former London schools tsar.

The three major departments of RM, Learning Technologies, Education Resources and Assessment and Data will be replaced by Education Technology, Managed Services, Education Resources and Education Software.

The group is also looking to dispose of several divisions, including the Computrac business in the US, and Easytrace, a control and cashless catering system.

Dacta, a joint venture with Lego Education Europe, will also be offloaded.

In addition, the group said it plans to make more use of its operation in Trivandrum, India.

RM has about 500 employees at the Trivandrum office, which was set up in 2003. Some 80 of the 500 staff are devoted to software development, customer and operational support, with the remainder providing back-office shared service support for customer order entry, IT, finance and HR.

However, the group said it anticipates that around three-quarters of RM Group employees will continue to be located in the UK.

The move follows research by RM into the outlook for the UK education market, which found that about 40 per cent of both primary and secondary schools were planning to reduce their IT spend over the next year.

RM in based in Milton Park, Near Didcot.

 

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