Double First Limited, now trading as ‘Engage’, was founded in 1987. The company initially focused on accounts and administration software for independent fee-paying schools in the UK and was then acquired by specialist school ICT provider, du Pré plc at the turn of the Century. Working closely in the school environment and with the new owner’s backing, we recognised in the early 2000s the need for schools to have a much more holistic approach to how they handled data to broaden understanding and optimise operations. This became the launching point of our single platform, multi-faceted Engage school management information system.
More than £7.8m has since been reinvested in the development of Engage to become the most powerful and flexible school MIS solution in the marketplace for independent and international schools. We have pioneered several innovations, from rich data management tools, to the workflow oriented, highly customisable Daybook that has found infinite new applications in recent times with helping schools facing lock-down, remote learning and welfare and back-to-school challenges. At every step we have applied the feedback of schools to take Engage to the next level, keeping it in step with modern educational and real-word demands.
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Locally focused, globally adopted
We remain extremely focused on the UK independent school scene and we are proud that our first ever school customer continues today as an Engage user. For well over a decade we have also operated in key educational markets all over the world and today we consider ourselves to be a leader in the provision of global school and financial information management software to worldwide independent and international schools. With multi-lingual and multi-currency capabilities, helpful in any increasingly cosmopolitan school environment, together with a single database platform and flexible, innovative feature set, Engage has been widely adopted in multiple jurisdictions across 60 countries and six continents. We remain headquartered in the UK, from where much of our research, development and 21/6 support is performed, but also have wholly owned offices in South Africa and Australia and embedded team members around the globe.
We recognise that to be effective, you need us to provide global knowledge and best practice but apply that with local expertise and passion for the great educational efforts of the individual schools that we serve, whether you are located just up the road from our locations or anywhere in the world.
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Every day, we help schools succeed
Having become self-funding and continuing to experience rapid growth, the business was de-merged from du Pré in early 2017. In 2019 it underwent rebranding to Engage, a poignant moment recognising that for many our key product was so visible across school communities it had defined our identity.
In a planned succession related to the retirement of our majority shareholder, Double First was acquired by Australia’s leading K-12 software company, the Education Horizons Group (EHG) in 2020, making us a closely integrated part of a leading edtech group serving more than 2000 schools, 1.3m students and 195,000 teachers. In this new relationship we are continuing to invest in Engage, contributing our expertise towards solutions of tomorrow and additionally offering a broad-range of products from EHG to further enhance remote learning, facilities management and collaborative multi-curricula management (including IB).
In the shifting sands of 2020, Engage offers you a firm foundation for your school and a passion for enhancing your ability to holistically develop all pupils and students in your care. EHG’s vision – Every day we help schools succeed – summarises our guiding light over the past 33 years and our absolute focus for those we serve, now and in the future.