Following CMA intervention, ESS has equipped and signed binding commitments that system eligible schools can now educate to exit longer-time duration machine contracts a 300 and sixty five days early.

Education Utility Solutions Restricted (ESS) is the largest supplier of faculty management data machine (MIS) machine in England and Wales. Within the UK, most express schools are required to occupy an MIS in website online to manage data on staff and students including for going via attendance and safeguarding.

In April 2022, the Opponents and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into whether or no longer ESS’s habits was once anti-competitive by effectively limiting schools’ ability to settle an different MIS machine supplier and other than its competitors. The CMA was once eager that clients of ESS – that system certain schools in England and Wales – had to pass from one-300 and sixty five days contracts to three-300 and sixty five days contracts, and not using a need ample time to invent different preparations with other machine suppliers. The CMA was once eager that these modifications diminished schools’ want of MIS machine supplier and made it complex for other suppliers to compete with ESS to retract enterprise.

To manage with the CMA’s concerns, the CMA has secured ESS’s provide and signing of legally binding commitments that will enable certain schools – that system those which had in actuality thought about switching suppliers but reasonably concluded that they did no longer occupy ample time to realize so – to educate to an impartial adjudicator for a 12-month ruin clause. If granted, the clause will enable them to exit their contemporary three-300 and sixty five days contract with ESS on 31 March 2024 and settle an different supplier, might presumably peaceable they so want.

Ann Pope, Senior Director of Antitrust at the CMA, mentioned:

This ruin clause will give eligible schools 12 months to settle whether or to no longer exit their contemporary contract and, if they attain, to swap to a contemporary supplier – longer than ESS in the origin equipped. The commitments secured from ESS can even bolster competition in the MIS market, giving schools extra want and ESS’s competitors an additional likelihood to compete.

Schools can educate for a ruin clause from noon at the present time till 10 February 2023. Any applicants will more than in all probability be notified by the impartial adjudicator – Evelyn Partners – as as to if or no longer they’ve been worthwhile by no later than 31 March 2023.

The CMA’s decision to settle for ESS’s legally binding commitments brings this investigation to a shut. The CMA will proceed to visual display unit ESS’s compliance with the commitments and intervene if it suspects a breach.

Extra data can even be found on the CMA’s investigation into habits of Education Utility Solutions Restricted case online page.

Notes to editors

  1. The commitments equipped by ESS are done so voluntarily. Commitments are designed to take care of the CMA’s competition concerns; the giving of commitments would no longer point out a finding that competition law has been infringed. In this case, the CMA notes that ESS maintains that its behaviour was once no longer anti-competitive.
  2. Safe out extra data on how to educate to the adjudicator, Evelyn Partners, on the ESS web sites from noon at the present time. Evelyn Partners has been appointed, with the CMA’s approval, as a completely impartial adjudicator.
  3. The CMA opened its investigation because it had sensible grounds for suspecting that ESS might presumably want infringed the Chapter II prohibition of the Opponents Act 1998 (Act) in the provision of MIS machine in the UK.
  4. The responses to the CMA’s consultation are summarised, on an nameless basis, in the decision. As is standard assignment, the CMA would no longer intend to submit the pudgy responses.
  5. For media enquiries, contact the CMA press website online of enterprise on 020 3738 6460 or
  6. All enquiries from the usual public must be directed to the CMA’s Overall Enquiries personnel on or 020 3738 6000.

Printed 10 January 2023