Medhurst’s Dashboard solution is so much faster than our previous remote access software, offering us immediate access to all of our familiar applications and we have found it far easier to use and manage. We have also got the added assurance that our data is secure as the software is compliant with Microsoft security standards.
Ashley Potts, Systems Network Manager
The Nottingham Emmanuel School is a coeducational Church of England secondary school and sixth form with academy status, located near the banks of the river Trent in West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire. Since its inception in 2002, the school has always strived to provide a distinctive Christian approach to education for its 1000 pupils, aged 11-19 and its motto, ‘Together to learn, to grow, to serve’ encapsulates this purpose and continues to drive the community forward towards its next developmental step of becoming outstanding in every category.
The school has 127 staff including three full time employees looking after the school’s growing IT infrastructure of 360 laptops, five full ICT suites and five partial ICT suites. Ashley Potts, Systems Network Manager, Nottingham Emmanuel School explains, “Digital technology is very important in schools and we have invested in a lot of IT infrastructure to support this. The IT team looks after the school’s network and provides technical help for all the back office operations. With the growing focus on equipping pupils with essential digital skills, we are also getting more and more involved in the classroom, providing curriculum support and even helping to teach lessons on IT issues such as security”. “To deliver and manage our software applications and provide secure access to data across the school, we had been using Citrix but the license had lapsed. We looked into renewing the license, but it would have cost the school over £20,000 to renew it with the new servers. We didn’t feel that was a viable option and as we weren’t using all of the functionality of the software, we decided to look for some alternative solutions.”
On the recommendation of HP, Nottingham Emmanuel School contacted education technology specialists Medhurst for advice on a stable and secure remote access solution. Ashley Potts explains, “Medhurst introduced us to their Dashboard remote access software for schools. The solution was trialled by 5-10 staff over a week to see whether they liked it. We were immediately impressed and all the staff found it very easy to use. Within a day the solution was installed and rolled out across the site, working immediately with no issues.” The Medhurst Dashboard works from any PC or mobile device with an Internet connection. As it is delivered from the schools’ servers, the school, in essence, has its own cloud. Re-using older equipment within school, has enabled Nottingham Emmanuel to gain a significant reduction in infrastructure costs, whilst still being able to access their applications 24/7 from any device within and outside school.
Being able to remotely access software and data is very important to both staff and pupils at the school. Staff use the Dashboard to access documents off site for meetings and for reporting. Pupils can get access to a range of specialist software that they wouldn’t be able to use on a home PC, laptop or tablet by accessing the school’s facilities, enabling them to complete and save homework back to the school servers. This eliminates the need for USB sticks and enables the students to use the schools resources out of school securely.
We also found it really useful to be able to use all of our standard software applications. We have access to the full Microsoft Office suite of applications, in addition to specialist software needed by each department including e-books, science books, 2d design and visual basic for students. Most of the pupils and staff would not have the necessary hardware to run some of this software at home, so it’s very useful to be able to offer a simple and yet secure access into the school’s extensive ICT resources.