Case Study

Managed services in Education - Trust wide cloud technology adoption

Estimated Read Time: 10 minutes

Client: Vantage Academy Trust

Core Vendors: Microsoft 365 , Google workspace, Neverware and Promethean

Project Date: Ongoing partnership

At the heart of Computeam’s ethos is our mission statement to “improve educational outcomes using technology”. Our ICT Support services go beyond fixing faults, to make sure that any investment in classroom technology delivers a significant educational return for both students and educators. We design high-quality hardware and software solutions, install them professionally, and include cutting-edge support and tailored user training services to guarantee effective, sustained results.

Our partnership with the Vantage Academy Trust demonstrates the success of this approach. Over the last two years we designed and delivered a cloud-based transformation programme incorporating both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace for education that has increased access to digital learning, streamlined administration, improved safeguarding & security and put ICT on a sustainable footing in terms of both cost and environmental impact.

The Challenge

At Computeam we believe that technology should play a fundamental and positive role in education.

By supporting the effective use of digital tools alongside conventional teaching methods, we aim to encourage each child’s social and intellectual growth—whether that’s in the form of academic achievement, enhanced creative thinking, or the development of skills that will prove valuable in later life.

At the heart of Computeam’s IT service, is our mission statement to “improve educational outcomes using technology”. Many schools invest in hardware and software solutions without supplementing them with the required training and support needed to ensure the best results. Meanwhile others pay for IT support that patches up ageing and error-prone systems, depleting users’ confidence over time.

If users are provided with the necessary tools, skills and instilled with the confidence to adopt ICT solutions, there’s no limit to technology’s power to excite, inspire, and engage. Our ICT Support services go beyond fixing faults, to make sure that an investment in classroom technology delivers a significant educational return for both students and educators. We design high-quality IT solutions, install them professionally, then include cutting-edge support and tailored user training services to guarantee effective, sustained results.

To showcase these principles, we’d like to highlight an extensive ICT support and transformation service provided to the Vantage Multi-Academy Trust, based in North-West England.

The Solution

Use the Microsoft Cloud to upgrade without capital costs.

The Trust has worked with Computeam for over a decade as a support provider, but stepped up their investment in an ICT transformation programme from 2019, spurred by the addition of a new-build school, Gorton Primary, using capital funding from the DfE:

To ensure that the capital investment at Gorton drove a wider improvement across all schools, Computeam worked with Vantage to design and implement an innovative hybrid-cloud solution. This included the roll-out of Microsoft 365 and Teams for staff and Google Workspace for Education for the students, with the ultimate aim of reducing on-premise server hardware to lower both cost and environmental impact too.

Server functions at each site were moved to the Microsoft 365 Cloud, while individual child logins for Google Workspace were created using Wonde, a portal which enables synchronisation back to the MIS system so that data is only input once and relocates students at the end of the school year. This is a great example of the administrative automation that Computeam puts at the centre of our managed services.

Elsewhere, in a continued effort to reduce ongoing maintenance and lower environmental impact, Promethean IFPs were deployed across the Trust, giving teaching staff the ability to deliver resources from the panels and allowing for centralised remote management. Every KS2 student was supplied with new Acer Chromebooks and older Windows laptops were converted to Chrome O/s devices using Neverware Cloudready—this extended the life of what would otherwise have been aging Windows devices unfit for purpose.

Computeam knows that student safeguarding is paramount for any Trust when it comes to online resources. 

With that in mind, we ensured that every device was filtered using Securly— a cloud-based solution that secures devices using the latest AI techniques to keep students safe. Not only does this allow devices to be covered at school, but also when they are taken home, a regular occurrence during the pandemic. Securly provides real-time dashboards and alerts meaning any unusual ICT activity, even at home, will be reported to the designated safeguarding lead.

Computeam recognized that adequate training was vital to providing an effective ICT solution. A training plan was developed to take into account the large number of users, the integration of an entirely new system—as well as providing a working method that would tackle the issue of inaccessibility for those users affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We settled on a system frequently used in teaching, whereby the learner is first given resources to assimilate and practice, before being offered practical workshop time to develop and enhance that knowledge and skill set with continued support.

This was accomplished by creating a series of short, bite-sized videos that hit all the key teaching markers associated with the relevant products, along with real life classroom scenarios and best practice advice. These were distributed internally on a Google Hub site, along with a Q&A document to provide ongoing, updated support that was available to staff as and when they needed it. These resources were shared before we ran a series of remote practical workshops, allowing staff members to practice all the skills outlined in the training plan, giving them the confidence needed to utilize the new ICT set-up.

To further enhance user adoption, we put in place a Champions scheme to cascade support through the schools with internal CPD and best practice sessions. Champions were self-elected and will prove invaluable in the successful adoption of Google Workspace across the Trust. We will be adding a number of new resources that will focus on pupil assessment and tracking, supported by hands-on workshops and our Champions scheme.

The Result

Through the implementation of a managed service that pairs the strategic deployment of hardware and software with focused, ongoing training and support, Vantage Academy Trust will reap the benefits of a hybrid-cloud solution designed to create positive, technology-led educational outcomes for both students and staff.

“Vantage is a forward looking Trust that understands fully the potential benefits that technology can bring to our schools. From our wide experience we have found that unerringly Computeam go further than other IT support providers and work to “improve education outcomes using technology”, a statement we believe we are well on the way to achieving with them.

Our strategic investment over the past two years has moved the Trust to the cloud and made a device available to every user, reaping significant benefits for teachers and staff in terms of access to learning resources. We will continue to work with Computeam as a trusted partner, to ensure our Trust is at the leading edge of teaching and learning with digital platforms”

Simon Bramwell - CEO - Vantage Academy Trust

Computeam Statement

Working in partnership with Vantage , such a forward thinking trust of schools, is exactly what gets our team out of bed in the mornings. The trust work with us on long term strategic aims and goals in a collaborative way with robust challenge and input that ensures all of our objectives are aligned.

The willingness and awareness to not only invest in technology but to match that investment in well planned and executed training is refreshing and shows why this trust is fast becoming a benchmark for others to follow.

The shared vision of improving education outcomes using technology ensures the continue to Feel the Computeam Difference.

Cris Cadby Chief Commercial Officer - Computeam

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