Local Authority deal marks breakthrough for Apps Central

Perth-based school app pioneers Apps Central, whose software has transformed communications in over 600 UK schools, has signed a milestone agreement with East Ayrshire Council, its first UK local authority partner.

The deal agreed with the Council will see the leading Scottish “edtech” company provide 65 tailored smartphone and smartpad apps for use in all the local authority’s primary, secondary and nursery schools.

Mick Empson, founder of Apps Central said:

“It’s a great boost  to have secured this agreement with the award-winning East Ayrshire Council, building on the excellent relationship that we already have with many individual schools across Ayrshire.”

“Apps Central is growing even faster than projected. As well as this milestone agreement, we are also celebrating signing up our 500th Scottish school partner, and we are confident of doubling our turnover this year. Success in a rigorous procurement process and the ability to enter a formal partnership with a progressive local authority of EAC’s standing is a great boost to our confidence, and bodes well for future similar deals across the UK.

He continued:

“Our focus now is on ensuring that we provide the authority and its school communities a premium service as word-of-mouth recommendation is key to continued success. We hope that this wider partnership will allow us to demonstrate the benefits of efficient communications, increased parental involvement, and strengthening of the all-important school communities.”

Linda McAulay-Griffiths, Head of Education at East Ayrshire Council said:

“The digital world is moving and changing at an incredible pace, offering more efficient, smarter and better connected ways to keep in touch.

“It made perfect sense to become involved with Apps Central, whose product offers us the clarity, speed and a joined up approach to communications adding value to what we already do.”

Apps Central  ends the 2018-19 academic year on a high, as Carmuirs Primary in Falkirk last week became the of its 500th Scottish school to enter a partnership with the firm.

The company’s school app has been downloaded over 200,000 times, and is in use in all but a handful of local education authorities (LEAs) in Scotland, its primary market to date. As well as the 100% use in East Ayrshire, penetration rates are highest in Dundee, where 60% of schools are using the app, Falkirk (59% of schools), Stirling (58%) and South Lanarkshire (55%). Meanwhile, an independent survey by the online portal Edtech Impact, found that 96% of customers agreed that the apps improved parental engagement, as well as saving schools money, and reducing teacher workload.

Apps Central expects to have formed partnerships with 750 schools across the UK by end of the 2019.



Notes to editors

  • As well as providing the app, Apps Central provides training to teachers and school administrators with over 4000 people now trained in how to operate its intuitive and
    easy-to-use software, a process that typically takes 45 minutes. It also provides a customer support service, and aims to respond to all enquiries within 2-5 minutes.
  • The app also provides detailed school calendar events information, location maps of events linked to satnavs . It enables the sharing of events via social media and the updating of information on contingencies such as late buses or changes to the normal school timetable.
  • The software can send the calendar to the school website. Alternatively the software can receive calendar information from Outlook and Google calendar using industry standard iCal feeds.
  • The app provides all the school news and this can be automated using RSS feeds and automatic feeds from Twitter.
  • The software platform will also send messages out to all people who have downloaded or selected groups , take live feeds from the school calendar website, and access all contact details, lunch menus, school brochures.
  • Based in Perth, Apps Central was founded in 2014 by former Saatchi’s and Airmiles marketing executive Mick Empson, and developed with £1 million of private investment. It is chaired by the former Noble Group director and venture capitalist Charles McMicking. The firm currently employs seven people, and expects to create three more jobs in the next year. The company’s products, priced between £300-£500 per school or nursery, have been developed in partnership with Stirling digital solutions company Vidatec.
  • The company also provides school websites and an online parent evening booking system.