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SumTotal Customer, National College for School Leadership, Wins Prestigious Award



SumTotal Customer, National College for School Leadership, Wins Prestigious Award

SumTotal Systems (Nasdaq:SUMT), the industry's largest provider of learning and business performance technologies, services and processes, today announced that a new online learning environment from the National College for School Leadership (NCSL) -- powered by the SumTotal's Learning Management System -- has won a prestigious national award in the United Kingdom. The NCSL Learning Gateway, which allows participants on NCSL programs to carry out much of their study online, recently won an award of excellence at Britain's e-Government National Awards in the strategic plan/achievement category.

The NCSL Learning Gateway is revolutionizing professional development for England's school leaders, and is currently being used by 18,000 headteachers, deputies, middle leaders and business managers. The platform gives participants the power to personalize their learning as never before. It provides them with a single access point to all of NCSL's online learning technologies and allows them to create their own "learning pathway" to fit around their individual circumstances. They can access learning when it is convenient to them, choose activities and content to suit their own learning styles, specific needs and experiences, as well as track and evaluate their progress.

Tony Richardson, Director of Online Learning at NCSL, believes this is a groundbreaking example of blended learning in action -- combining online, private and face-to-face study in one program. "The NCSL Learning Gateway is more than a technical solution. It's about empowering program participants to take responsibility for accessing their learning," Richardson said. "The result is that they can save time, fit learning around their working lives and get even more out of NCSL programs. It's also about helping school leaders to learn to be online learners themselves -- something that they will be asking their students to do in schools as ICT and online learning become commonplace features of learning both inside and outside the classroom."

Judges at the e-government awards were particularly impressed with the way the NCSL Learning Gateway has gone from strength to strength since its launch a year ago.

Jonathan Dale, who has led the Learning Gateway development at NCSL, said: "The number of users has almost quadrupled since we launched the Gateway and we've had a constant stream of positive feedback. A recent survey of 700 Gateway users found a large proportion felt their perceptions of online learning had changed for the better since using the environment. Many of them said flexibility of where and when to learn was one of the chief benefits. Over two-thirds also said they had come to the conclusion online learning was as good as or better than traditional delivery methods."

"We've also achieved huge cost savings through the introduction of the Gateway," Dale added. "Traditionally a program would require five or more face-to face days. Now, just three are required for our 'Leading from the Middle' program -- the remainder of the learning takes place online. This two-day saving equates to approx GBP 3.6 million in the cost of providing supply teachers."

Learning Gateway is accessible through the College's website (www.ncsl.org.uk) and is currently being used by participants across four NCSL programs: Leading from the Middle (for subject heads and pastoral leaders), National Professional Qualification for Headship, Leadership Program for Serving Headteachers, the Certificate in School Business Management and the Diploma for School Business Management. The system has the potential to scale up to 250,000 learners.

Liz Storey, Bursar at Feversham College in Bradford, was one of the first NCSL program participants to graduate after using the Gateway on the CSBM qualification.

"The Learning Gateway has been a really useful tool for me. I found it a helpful aid to my learning in a range of ways," Storey observed. "For example, it was really helpful to be able to see immediate results from tests, and it was easy to plot my learning because the system allows you to save progress in course workbooks."

Another Gateway user said: "It enables me to continue learning with a full-time job, two children and a husband who works long hours. The impact is significant. The flexibility is invaluable."

Other users have said the Gateway has given them greater confidence using online resources and has meant they now feel more comfortable using ICT resources in their teaching.

"On behalf of all SumTotal employees, I'd like to congratulate NCSL on winning this prestigious award. Learning Gateway is a great example of the value of a blended learning approach, and we're proud that SumTotal is powering the underlying platform for this important initiative," said Andy Eckert, SumTotal CEO. "Thanks to great partners like BT and our direct sales force, our international business is clearly picking up, particularly in the UK and northern Europe. We anticipate this to be a growth area for us in the future, and having success stories like NCSL's Learning Gateway certainly will help us to expand our reach."

The contract to develop and implement this was awarded to a joint bid from SumTotal partner BT, along with SumTotal Systems and FM Systems.

Learning Gateway

Learning Gateway includes access to:

-- e-learning activities such as '360 degree diagnostic' tools, 'scenario based learning' and needs analysis and evaluation tools

-- course materials

-- a Learning Management System (which allows users to organize and track their learning)

-- tutors and fellow program participants through the College's talk2learn online communities, which now have 56 000 members

-- discussion forums with experts, policy-makers and ministers, which take place in the talk2learn communities

-- booking information on the face-to-face workshops that accompany all the College's programs

About NCSL

The National College for School Leadership offers opportunities to develop the potential of school leaders at every level and to enable their schools to work collaboratively with other schools. The College's Learning and Conference Centre in Nottingham, opened by the Prime Minister in October 2002, is the focus for many of its activities, but NCSL programs can also be accessed around the country through its network of nine affiliated centers. NCSL programs fit around teachers' busy schedules, with much of the studying done at home or in school, often via the Internet. Participants can also communicate with each other via the College's popular online communities, which now have over 56,000 members. For more information on NCSL, visit NCSL's website at www.ncsl.org.uk or phone +870 0011155.

About SumTotal Systems

SumTotal Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:SUMT) is the business performance and learning technology industry's largest single provider of technologies, processes and services. Formed by the merger of industry pioneers Docent and Click2learn, the company is uniquely focused on helping organizations harness and manage mission-critical intellectual power to solve real-world business problems and produce significant bottom-line results. SumTotal has helped accelerate performance and profit for more than 600 of the world's best-known companies and federal and local government agencies, including Microsoft, AT&T, US Army, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard, Vodafone, Lucent, Accenture, Cendant, Harley-Davidson, Wyeth, Wachovia and D & B. SumTotal Systems is headquartered in Mountain View, CA, with offices throughout the US, as well as in London, Paris, Heidelberg, Sydney, Tokyo and Hyderabad, India.

Safe Harbor Statement/ Forward-Looking Statements

"Information in this press release contains forward-looking statements. These statements represent SumTotal Systems' expectations or beliefs concerning future events and include statements, among others, regarding SumTotal Systems' new product, SumTotal Enterprise Suite 7.0. These statements are not historical facts or guarantees of future performance or events and are based on current expectations, estimates, beliefs, assumptions, goals and objectives, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from the results expressed or implied by these statements. Readers of this press release are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ include, but are not limited to (i) unknown errors or bugs in SumTotal Enterprise Suite 7.0; (ii) unexpected shipment problems or delays of SumTotal Enterprise Suite 7.0; (iii) customers or partners delaying purchasing decisions; (iv) the acceptance of SumTotal Enterprise Suite 7.0 and future product offerings; (v) the ability to successfully implement SumTotal System's solutions; (vi) the ability to successfully address technological developments and standards; (vii) ability to successfully manage growth, significant current and expected additional competition, and the need to continue to expand product distribution and services offerings; and (viii) other events and other important factors disclosed previously and from time to time in SumTotal Systems' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the quarterly report filed on Form 10Q on November 15, 2004. SumTotal Systems assumes no obligation to update the information in this press release."

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Category: LMS Announcement

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