CASE STUDY

Rumworth School

Ofsted describes the education and support provided by Rumworth School in Bolton as Outstanding.

The PC Support Group implemented a robust, secure, reliable and cost-effective IT solution that functions efficiently in the background, enabling everyone at Rumworth to make the most of technology to teach and learn.

Key Benefits

Significant direct savings using PCSG fully managed IT services
Cost savings through reduced maintenance, time spent fault fixing and lost staff time
Quicker response to IT issues that are resolved promptly and efficiently
Improved communication through a more flexible and reliable messaging system via Office 365
Reliable and friendly partnership working to achieve shared goals
Secure, compliant and resilient data storage and management
Fast and reliable internet access

Client Quote

When I think of the cost savings in terms of downtime and my time previously – there are significant savings using The PC Support Group even with the monthly fee we pay for their fully managed service. It is worth every penny! I feel so relieved now that our data is fully secure and managed by specialists.

John Williams - IT Network Manager (Learning Technology), Rumworth School

The Client

Ofsted describes the education and support provided by Rumworth School in Bolton as Outstanding.

More than 200 students aged between 11 and 18 with learning difficulties and additional needs become more confident,

resilient and independent each year, thanks to the skill, dedication and care provided by teachers and support staff.

The Challenge

Rumworth School has a mission to provide students with a wealth of learning opportunities which will not only give them an enriching school experience but will also equip them with the skills and confidence to progress smoothly towards a life of opportunity.

The school passionately believes that each of their students should have access to, and experience everything and more, that is provided at a state secondary school. To achieve this, the provision of fast, reliable and fully-functioning IT systems and equipment is essential.

But Rumworth’s IT systems were delivering poor performance and suffering from inadequate support, partly due to legacy arrangements in which it was sharing IT resources with a neighbouring high school, resulting in frequent downtime that impacted on teachers and students alike.

 

An aging and inadequately implemented IT infrastructure and server farm meant that system and data access was slow, unreliable and falling short of meeting the needs of the students and staff; while the internet connection that was being shared with the school next door was slow and unreliable, causing ongoing frustration as well as hindering the daily tasks. Additionally, the school’s wi-fi coverage was patchy, falling short of the school’s dream of having pervasive wi-fi securely available to all students, as a previous provider had said the construction of the building meant pervasive wi-fi wasn’t possible.

Compounding these problems was a complex and slow IT support logging process, which meant that it was difficult to report problems promptly, slowing down the diagnosis and fixing of the issue even further; and long times waiting for a fix without expectation setting.

The Solution

The PC Support Group worked in partnership with Rumworth School to fully understand its requirements and operational parameters and developed a practical and cost-effective plan to resolve the IT challenges the school was facing.

The solution would physically separate Rumworth’s IT from its high school neighbour, incorporate the cloud-based Office 365 service, and create a refreshed IT environment of its own, in which technology would be regarded as an asset, promoting engaging teaching and learning, not an ongoing problem, limiting the school’s ability to do what it does best.

To give the best performance and capabilities, the solution included the deployment of a new, on-site server farm with failover and replication resilience to replace the old and failing legacy infrastructure in the High school, while a dedicated, managed wi-fi solution replaced an outdated local authority version, instantly providing faster and more reliable connectivity to the internet for teachers and pupils.

 

In addition, a simplified, but highly-effective IT request system for logging issues formed a key component of a fully-managed IT support contract with The PC Support Group, ensuring that issues are captured and resolved quickly and efficiently by a team of expert engineers, just a phone call away and available at any time. Finally, a new managed firewall solution ensured that all necessary safeguarding measures would be in place to provide an appropriate level of data protection for the school and its pupils.

The PC Support Group also developed and managed a comprehensive implementation plan to ensure a smooth transition to the new systems and ways of working, with minimal disruption to the school, staff and students.

Client Quote

Having immediate access to friendly and knowledgeable IT professionals has made our lives so much simpler, which is exactly what we needed.

The PC Support Group goes above and beyond our expectations – it is so useful that they are able to remotely maintain our IT systems as this has meant our issues are sorted very promptly. They are also able to support the multiple operating systems that we use here at the school, so we’re able to provide the best service possible to our students, which we are very passionate about.

John Williams - IT Network Manager (Learning Technology), Rumworth School

The Results

Rumworth School now has a reliable, secure and integrated IT system, with a highly responsive and expert support service that enables the school to maximise the role that technology plays in providing an outstanding education for its students.

Downtime has been reduced to a minimum, resulting in the smoother running of the school day, increased productivity and reduced disruption for teachers, staff and students. Fast and reliable access to all systems is now the norm, thanks to a virtual desktop system which has led to more efficient and standardised working wherever anyone may be. With school budgets under constant pressure and scrutiny, efficient and cost-effective working is essential.

The new server farm means that the school is confident its data and systems are secure, available and compliant with current regulations and best practice. Managed wi-fi along with a microwave leased line and state of the art internet security and managed monitoring means fast and reliable internet access, giving teachers the ability to plan and deliver stimulating and engaging lessons and activities for students.

Finally, a simple and efficient IT logging system for issues is enabling a quick response and resolution and an increasingly close relationship with The PC Support Group, who relish the opportunity to play a part in the success of Rumworth School and its students.

Client Quote

We didn’t really have any IT support before, so to go from nothing to the fantastic support we now have is really amazing. We are a different school - life is so much easier for me. The whole process before of even logging an IT issue was a headache, let alone getting an issue resolved. Now, the process is so simple, and a lot of our issues are solved within 10 minutes.

We feel we have a great working relationship with The PC Support Group. They are like an extension of our school and we couldn’t be without them now.



John Williams - IT Network Manager (Learning Technology), Rumworth School

What next?