Based in South Shields, Holy Trinity Church of England School is a small primary school (185 pupils) formed from two predecessor schools: St Mary’s CE VA Primary School and All Saints CE VC Primary School. Both schools were previously in Ofsted categories of concern. Holy Trinity opened as a Fresh Start school in September 2008 and there has been extensive refurbishment to the school building.
The school, like many others, had accumulated a disparate array of PCs, software and peripherals over many years. It had also inherited a lot of older policies from the LEA that saw teachers severely restricted from accessing local equipment– teaching PCs were not properly connected and with the school lacking an on-site technician, the network was simply ineffective and often inaccessible.
Software licensing was also an issue, often undertaken on an individual basis which made it difficult to manage and very inefficient. Against this backdrop, Advantex reacted at short notice to design and supply new technology and provide the expertise of an on-site technician.
Advantex’s solution revolved around scalable virtualisation technology to deliver a fast, effective system that will deliver outstanding performance, long term benefits and significant cost savings over the coming years.
Across the school, new wireless access points were installed while teachers’ laptops were properly connected to a new secure network for faster, reliable and easier file sharing and online access. Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with Office 365 for Education Integration was specified and configured to meet the school’s usage and data requirements.
Superfast broadband services have improved download speed and capacity levels, while a Sonicwall Firewall Solution enables pupils to access safely YouTube videos and Facebook via a school account that will block inappropriate web content and track site visits.
The school’s IT is now properly configured and managed, with a fast and secure infrastructure that will enable future requirements and upgrades to be easily accommodated. Data is now protected using Microsoft System Centre Data Protection Manager.
Computers are controlled using a Group Policy that ensures users do not have access to inappropriate or restricted software and Windows’ features, while Microsoft updates are now completed properly and on time for additional security.
Teachers and support staff can now access their PCs and online services securely at home or in the school via a secure website as part of the online solution using Microsoft Office 365 for Education.