Case Study: Dawn House School

Dawn House School is an ‘Outstanding’ specialist school for children and young people aged 5-19 years with a severe or complex communication difficulty or Asperger’s Syndrome. The school works to ensure every pupil achieves exceptional progress and their full potential.

In July 2014 Computeam won an open tender to complete a full IT infrastructure refresh and provide an ongoing IT support service. The deadline for completion was very short but the build was completed and resulted in a successful launch at the start of the new school term in September 2014. 

The project included a completely new HP switch network and innovate hybrid-cloud Zynstra servers, reliable Meru Wi-Fi, new Toshiba laptops for staff and pupils as well as iPad tablet devices. In 2015 we replaced all the school’s legacy interactive whiteboards with Prowise interactive touchscreens and have put in a cost-saving managed print solution.  Our ongoing support service receives excellent feedback and staff training to structure the use of IT in teaching and learning has had a significant beneficial effect on school outcomes. 

The Old Network

The school’s network infrastructure was several years old and after multiple piecemeal updates, complex. This was putting severe load on the network and classroom devices could take several minutes to boot, or to perform simple tasks. 

Wireless access was based on several poor quality Wi-Fi routers, meaning access to the network and internet was not widely available. Roaming the school with a single device was difficult and logging in a classroom set of laptops was impossible.  

Dull projection meant that blinds had to be closed and lights off, which along with outdated interactive whiteboards caused frustration and lack of use of the AV in classrooms. 

Due to the poor performance of the network, staff were reluctant to plan ICT activities into their lessons, especially given the impact that delays or issues could cause for the pupils at the school.

The Solution 

Dawn House School now has a solution that supports its needs today and in to the future not just in terms of data but also budget. They have complete peace of mind knowing that servers are always secure and up to date.  They also know that the solutions can be reinstated in hours from the cloud in the event of an onsite failure. Very few schools have this level of disaster recovery in place. 

There are now a wider range of laptops and mobile devices on offer for use in classrooms. Plans are in place to develop new teaching skills using the latest tablet devices in classrooms through a programme of curriculum support training. Also, having a cloud-based communication platform like Office 365 for education with reverse back-up and preconfigured remote access is enabling staff to work more flexibly and share information effortlessly and securely.   
Confidence in ICT has improved dramatically.  Staff are now engaging with technology, enabling teaching and learning to progress.

What was once a barrier to innovation and progress is now driving new ways in education and inspiring our students. We have first class ICT on a small school budget and we couldn’t be happier

Angela Child – Head Teacher

The staff have great confidence in the new network, it just works! Computeam’s confident approach and experience has helped transform the use of ICT in the classroom. The speed of delivering the huge changes and completing what was promised within the time specified was impressive; the ongoing support offered by Computeam is an essential part of our school life and much appreciated.

Mike Roach – ICT Co-Ordinator 

Posted on February 4th 2018

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