Case Study

A Partnership Approach with Mayfield School

Estimated Read Time: 5 minutes

Client: Mayfield School

Vendors: Computeam Managed Services and Cloud Migrations

Project Date: April 2022 - August 2023

Mayfield School and Computeam “A partnership approach”

Mayfield School is a large special school of approximately 180 pupils, spread over 3 sites in Torbay, catering for a range of learners, from foundation through to KS5, with complex educational needs and disabilities.

Each site has a large number of highly skilled staff and facilities to support the ongoing development of every pupil. 

The school mission statement is simple: learning together to be the best that they can be, building on the successes of today for the challenges of tomorrow.

In this typical school environment, a notable feature is the high staff-to-pupil ratio, resulting in approximately 160 laptop devices connected to on-site servers. The impending departure of the IT Manager and the ongoing daily firefighting tasks by a junior IT technician has made it challenging to formulate a strategic plan.

The Challenge

To provide IT Support and Strategic Direction

Adam Tapp, their Finance Business Manager stated: “In one word ‘resilience’ was what we needed! The IT department consisted of one person, and if they weren’t in, we struggled. Costs were spiralling, as were issues with our devices and servers. I had an idea of where we wanted to be but had no strategic plan on how to get there. This is where Computeam were able to help with our strategy. They helped us realise where we needed to be and how to get there.

Our initial meeting was with the outgoing IT Manager and Adam Tapp, in which we provided them with some advice on an effective IT solution to address their ageing servers and offered them some short-term Support until they could recruit a replacement IT Manager.  

It was in this meeting that we were able to demonstrate how we had supported other schools away from ageing servers with our cloud-first approach and been able to significantly reduce their ongoing support requirements while improving their user experience. 

Computeam suggested that short-term support would help the School’s Junior IT technician to retain the IT on-site presence and some on-site resilience if required. This was achieved with RMM endpoint management tools on their Windows devices, providing staff with a ticketed Helpdesk solution with backup Support from Computeam. This would also enable Computeam to build a detailed picture of the IT issues.  From our evaluation and evidence, Computeam were able to demonstrate the benefits of moving to a cloud server solution.

The Solution

Microsoft 365 to centralise all data from across the 3 sites with a significant injection of new managed laptop devices and a regular device replacement plan.

The creation of a Teams structure for centralised storage of data meant that all data would be held in a GDPR-compliant location in the cloud which could be accessed from anywhere. It also allowed for easy collaboration and communication across all sites. The migration project itself gave the schools a chance to remove and rationalise any redundant data and ensure retention policies were upheld and data and the school’s communications were only seen by authorised personnel.   Server services were moved to the router allowing the ageing servers to be removed.

The Result

A reliable Central cloud tenancy that has reduced onsite support, provided a clear long-term strategy and saved money!

Business Manager Adam said: "It has been a 2-year plan. Computeam were strategic in their approach and helped us get here. We still retain their strategic insight with regular updates which enable us to continue to have a long-term focus.  

There have been both tangible and intangible results. For instance, it has changed the way I communicate; I no longer send over 100 emails a day, as the largest proportion of communication within the schools is via Teams and we have a rolling device replacement programme to ensure ageing devices are replaced before they become problematic and costly to the school.  We also never did recruit a senior IT Manager!"

Computeam Statement

It was clear that the change of personnel had brought the school’s IT situation to the fore, and a solution was required in both the short and longer term.  Providing 2nd and 3rd line IT Helpdesk to support their junior technician enabled us to really understand all the issues the schools were experiencing while utilising our ticketing system to evaluate the type and volume of tickets.

Computeam were delighted that Mayfield understood our strategic approach to technology in education and trusted us to help the school transform its use across the 3 sites.  This was a phased approach to enable leaders and staff to easily manage the change and adopt this into their working practice. It is incredibly fulfilling to see the difference it has made to Mayfield. The projects we completed, and the ongoing relationship established, relate very closely to Computeam’s passion for improving educational outcomes using technology and our cloud-first approach was perfect for this project.

Cris Cadby, CCO

Key Lessons 

Moving to a Cloud – Allowed all data to be centralised across the Trust and easily accessible no matter of location. 

Server removal – Reduced on-site support requirements and power consumption costs

Replacement devices - Strategic plan for rolling replacement of hardware to keep overall costs of support low whilst keeping user experience high.

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