Woodland View Junior School, Norwich
Woodland View Junior School is situated in Spixworth, just outside Norwich, for pupils aged 7 to 11 with 149 pupils on the roll and 21 staff. They have specialist facilities for design & technology, cooking and ICT which are used by all year groups.
Woodland View Junior School were regularly experiencing problems with their existing IT provider – the internet was unreliable, the equipment was aging, the staff didn’t know if they would be able to access the system when they needed it and they didn’t feel they were receiving value for their pressured budget.
Lesley O’Hanlon, Office Manager at Woodland View commented: “Our IT contractor was unpredictable, on more than one occasion it appeared that they were not doing any work as the whole system could not be relied on. We have a limited budget as a small school and we need to make sure we get value for money. With our previous ICT supplier we were spending a significant amount on support which was clearly becoming unpredictable.”
It became apparent that the existing hardware was in need of an upgrade, so the school began searching for a new ICT supplier. As well as Netcentral, Woodland View looked at the Local Authority supplier plus another larger IT company but after discussions felt these would not be able to offer such a personal service as Netcentral.
Lesley explained: “We were looking for a provider to give us individual service, and Netcentral clearly demonstrated that they had both a vast knowledge of school ICT and expertise in this area. We needed a complete overhaul but we also needed honest advice and guidance on the right direction to go in to ensure we were buying products that had a reasonable shelf life, as we didn’t have the money to waste.”
Netcentral overhauled the entire IT system providing new PC’s and laptops, supplying and installing a new server, supplying their school broadband service and replacing projectors in individual classrooms and main school hall.
After the initial system set-up and launch, the schools dedicated technician, Adrian, supported the school with a half-day visit each week, which has consequently been reduced to fortnightly as problems have been resolved in order to maximise budgets.
“Since the new system productivity in the school has vastly improved, we’ve had only a couple of instances where staff have been unable to access systems and these have been addressed by Netcentral either remotely or in person. Previously we were having problems on a weekly and towards the end, daily basis. If only the budget would allow we would love to allocate more time to the technician, as there is so much they could do within school.
“My advice to any school considering a change in ICT supplier is to give Netcentral the opportunity to support your school, you will not be disappointed. We have peace of mind knowing that the systems we have in place are reliable and fit for purpose. In addition they also provide our school with personal service; we have the same IT technician who has built a very good working relationship with all the staff members as well as the pupils.”
Lesley O’Hanlon | Office Manager