Providing early stage education to 600 pupils from the Acklam and Linthorpe areas of Middlesbrough, Green Lane Primary School places IT at the heart of the teaching curriculum to enhance the learning environment. ‘The quality of care at Green Lane is excellent and not only guarantees pupil well-being and safety, but also establishes an atmosphere of tolerance and empathy between staff and pupils.’ Ofsted, 2008
Green Lane Primary School’s technology was outdated – some of the computers were more than 10 years old. Moreover, the IT infrastructure was virtually unusable, with students and staff facing a wait of up to 10 minutes simply to log onto the network while data was unstructured and unnecessarily duplicated, wasting valuable storage space.
IT support times were poor; the school could be waiting several days – even weeks – before someone would be able to repair computer faults. There was no effective system to back-up data while pupils were unable to use their laptops in several areas of the school because of a lack of accessible Wi-Fi coverage and most of the network points were faulty, rendering them unusable.
Advantex designed and delivered a new network built around fast, modern servers and an IT suite featuring fully networked PCs that provides pupils with improved access to the latest Microsoft computer software and email services, as well as the internet. New switch technology enables computers and IT systems to interconnect better.
New laptops, with easy access plug-in docking stations in each classroom, make it easier for teachers to move around the school using their own portable devices. Software has been upgraded and standardised to Windows 7 – some machines also received additional memory capacity.
Two new servers replaced ageing equipment and numerous USB hard disks while the utilisation of scalable virtualisation technology has maximised value-for-money and reduced further power costs.
Green Lane offers a blue print for how other similar schools can develop and improve IT provision both practically and cost effectively. Advantex’s flexible package of equipment and support ensures the school’s needs will be accommodated well into the future.
Access to the latest Microsoft software and computers allows pupils to gain the important IT skills, across the whole curriculum, they need to progress through their school career and beyond into the working world.
Overall network performance has vastly improved thanks to the latest switching technology and fast server up-links, whereas the introduction of superfast broadband, in addition to Northern Grid, has improved connectivity and reliability.