Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre – Tailored IT Support Service to Meet IT Learning Needs
Category: Public Sector
About Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre
Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre in Barnsley opened its doors in 2012. As a secondary community school, it educates 1,100 11-16 year old students with 80 teaching and 60 support staff. With its modern, state-of-the-art facilities, Netherwood has a unique learning environment with flexible learning spaces to adapt to different lesson styles.
Capita Managed IT Solutions started to engage with Netherwood in 2015 during its exit from Barnsley’s “Building Schools for the Future” Programme (BSF). The engagement involved consultancy and vision planning to understand Netherwood’s’ IT requirements in order to develop a tailored IT solution following BSF. The school needed a flexible solution that would support it through the transition of a centralised IT managed service back to the school. Capita’s Custom Fit IT service was the ideal solution.
Kate Daniels, Assistant Principal, Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre: “We worked with Capita from the beginning of our programme to move from a centralised managed service. The engagement process with Capita was fantastic, the team listened to our needs and supported us in developing an IT vision. Knowing the Capita team understood our requirements and developed a solution to meet exactly what we wanted gave me the peace of mind that our IT was in capable hands. Capita’s Custom Fit solution ticked every box, giving us the flexibility to choose they level of service we need”
The Solution - Capita Custom Fit, tailored IT support
The leadership team and Capita worked together to design a tailored IT support service that met the needs and vision of the school – Capita Custom Fit. From January 2016, the new support service was in place and included:
Remote monitoring of the school network infrastructure, servers and hardware.
60 on-site senior technical engineer days, with the flexibility to use the days for the transition programme, IT projects, knowledge transfer and training for the school IT team
35 3rd line support calls per annum for the escalation of IT issues via the Capita Service Desk.
Staff mentoring package for the schools on-site IT team.
A dedicated point of contact for reviews, advice and planning.
Service management and report development against SLA’s and projects.
The Custom Fit solution provides Netherwood with the flexibility to achieve its IT requirements, using the on-site engineer days how and when required. The on-site days deliver a quick response if there is a service impact or an issue that the school engineers cannot resolve. They also provided the flexibility to use as needed during the transition from a centralised to in-school IT solution by providing advice, guidance and technical expertise to support the schools IT engineers, and developing their skills and knowledge of IT infrastructure to ensure no disruption occurs to learning and teaching.
Kate Daniels, Assistant Principal, Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre: “The best thing about Capita’s Custom Fit service is the flexibility it delivers. The support we required, particularly in our first year of moving from a managed service, was core to the success. Capita provided this flexibility to utilise the on-site IT engineer days as we needed – from supporting the IT technicians to delivering projects to improve the use of IT in our school”
The on-site engineer days were also allocated by the school during the first month of go-live, with a Capita engineer on-site every day to provide early life support for the new decentralised infrastructure and to support the onsite IT team. The on-site engineer also ensured all IT documentation was in place and any issues or questions were quickly resolved.
The school IT infrastructure is remotely monitored 24/7/365, ensuring minimal disruption to the learning and teaching environment. Any alerts or issues that impact the school are sent directly to the school’s onsite engineers. The Service Desk of technical specialists is accessible via telephone and Capita’s online portal. It provides nominated staff at Netherwood with access to the Capita Service Desk at any time of day. The Service Desk team log calls and assign them to the appropriate 3rd line team for resolution. Response to escalated incidents are based on priority.
Kate Daniels, Assistant Principal, Netherwood Advanced Learning Centre: “Having an IT support service tailored to our needs and with developing technology playing a key role in our school, knowing Capita is supporting our network, devices and systems gives me the peace of mind that our IT is in safe hands and teaching staff can concentrate on what matters most – delivering education to help our students achieve their best”
IT Infrastructure Projects – Enhancing the Classroom Experience
Capita has supported Netherwood with a number of IT infrastructure and development projects. Some of these projects have ensured the infrastructure is optimised to create a more reliable IT environment that makes the best use of learning and teaching technologies.
Microsoft Licensing – the school’s licensing was migrated to the Microsoft Enrolment for Education programme, delivering compliance and cost savings.
Virtual Private Network – this was set up to enable remote support from Capita when required, and software was installed to enable proactive monitoring.
A new firewall and filtering solution was establisehd to protect students and staff from online threats.
A Microsoft security solution (Endpoint) protection was deployed to all school end user devices and Audio Visual hardware, protecting students using school devices to access online learning materials.
Legacy servers no longer required were decommissioned, with migration to new servers.
A new backup and storage solution was deployed, supplying a more secure and efficient process.
Adding Value to IT Partnership
Capita has provided the onsite IT team at Netherwood access to the Capita online learning portal which provides access to IT-focused courses. Working with the leadership team, Capita carried out an IT skills audit and worked with Netherwood to develop their IT staff CPD training plans.
Additionally, the partnership with Capita offers a central contact for all of Netherwood’s IT hardware requirements. Capita’s hardware procurement team works with the school to choose the right hardware at the right price to meet its requirements.
Peace of mind - with a tailored IT support service that’s flexible to Netherwoods’ changing needs.
Cost savings – by migrating to the Microsoft Enrolment for Education programme, the school has achieved significant licensing cost savings per year while also becoming compliant.
Cost effectiveness – the ‘CustomFit’ solution means Netherwood only pays for the services it needs, and gains additional value by the flexibility to use on-site engineer days as required.
24/7/365 proactive monitoring and alerts - have assisted in the minimisation of service downtime, ensuring no disruption to the classroom.
Added value to the core IT service - with access to a range of online training and technical advice and guidance from Capita’s technical specialists.