This brings the security of strong leadership, extra sustainability, flexibility and the capacity to support school improvement. All 6 schools work closely together, sharing their strengths and ensuring that collectively they are providing the very best education for their children.
Prior to becoming a Partnership, each school had adopted different approaches to investment in ICT. Some schools had a wide estate of ICT equipment, where others had barely invested and were not adequately equipped to teach computing at school.
The Partnership needed an ICT provider to assess the ICT provision across all sites and to recommend a strategy to ensure that all schools were adequately equipped. They needed their ICT support to be creative, flexible and to have a holistic approach and needed a proactive technician who could find resolutions rather than problems.
They selected ICT Solutions for a professional, reliable and flexible service which, as a non-profit making organisation offers excellent value for money.
ICT Solutions carried out a complete ICT audit and immediately identified some sites that needed urgent attention. One Primary school within the trust had been formed by amalgamating an Infant and Junior School. This school had no wireless and was using a thin client solution that was so slow the teachers had lost any faith in using it. It was immediately agreed for flood wireless to be installed. The thin client system was replaced with a selection of handheld devices meaning that the ICT teaching was no longer restricted to one room.
A single technician was employed to work across the Partnership giving flexibility to move around sites if necessary and to respond to any issues quicker. The technician service has saved the partnership money by finding ways within restricted budgets to ensure provision is in place. For example, when ICT Solutions recently arranged the installation of new interactive screens in one school, the technician facilitated the move of some of the redundant kit, which would otherwise have been recycled, to another site within the partnership.
Over the summer of 2019, as part of the equipment refresh, the partnership agreed to move to a Microsoft 365 cloud platform for their staff and admin teams. This would allow for collaborative working, not just within the school but across the partnership, with each school having a Microsoft tenant along with the partnership itself.
All staff members were issued with a Microsoft Surface Pro device, which was managed via InTune, and received a days training via Microsoft covering Office 365 components such as Sway, Teams and OneNote, with all teachers attaining the Microsoft Innovative Expert badge. Each site is now moving their local server stored documents in to Teams and Sharepoint to allow for remote working and collaboration.
ICT Solutions continues to work with the partnership. A full refresh of the entire partnership estate is in its advanced stages which will include a reconciliation of equipment across the estate and a trial of new technologies including virtual reality, robotics and other new products from the ICT Solutions innovation suite.