Schools could save 20 to 60 per cent by avoiding government-approved software packages, according to the Open Schools Alliance. Becta, the schools technology agency, is losing institutions' money by guiding them towards "proprietary" software that can only be used on a limited number of computers, says the IT industry group.
Iain Johnson, the alliance's chief executive, said: "The agency's own research shows schools can save lots of money by using open-source software. It can be used on an unlimited number of computers, and given to pupils to take home. But alliance frameworks steer teachers away from it.
"Industry is moving towards open-source but education isn't. Why?"