ICT Mark AccreditationFir Vale is an 11-16 comprehensive school serving an ethnically diverse community in the north-east of Sheffield. They have been recognised as being successful in developing the strategic use of ICT, in administration and across the curriculum.


As their BSF ICT Managed Service contract came to an end they needed a partner with proven managed service experience to ensure a seamless transition from their current provider and deliver high-quality management and support services to enable Fir Vale to build on their existing ICT achievements, supporting their students in making their aspirations a reality. RM were identified as the supplier that best met these requirements.

After a formal tender and shortlisting exercise RM was awarded the contract starting in September 2015 and have already begun to build the foundations of a long-term partnership with Fir Vale School after a successful transition within tight timescales over the summer.

"Considering the enormity of the task, the transition to RM has been a success. The RM project team communicated clearly and executed all the tasks set according to our needs, and with the exception of some very minor niggles I am more than happy with the project to date."
Robert Sidebottom - School Business Manager

Transition competence and flexibility

RM engaged early with both the school and incumbent provider to discuss the implementation plan, identify responsibilities and to ensure the contractual exit obligations were identified. RM then worked in parallel to the outgoing managed service provider (Civica) and ensured that decommissioning works which were ongoing at the time did not impact the progress of the RM implementation. Intervention was required on a number of occasions however this was dealt with in a professional manner with the appropriate level of conduct and due diligence.

Despite a number of delays in obtaining the new server hardware (which was ordered by the outgoing service provider), the RM team managed to adapt and rework their implementation schedule in order that the school go -live date would not be impacted. The RM installation team worked closely with the school to ensure essential services and data were migrated from the old MIS server to the new within a very tight timescale, ensuring that all third party pre-requisites were managed and prepared prior to actual onsite visits, leading to 'right-first-time' installations and no unnecessary revisits.

RM demonstrated the ability to provide the right resources at the right time, ensuring that the same commissioning engineers were retained onsite throughout the project which helped to develop a trusting relationship with the school.

Supporting the transition process

During the first week of the new service 'go-Live' period RM provided 'floorwalkers' to support the launch of the service, performing a valuable walk-around service within the school, ensuring that any snags were identified and captured quickly, and responded to appropriately, and helped to build the confidence of teachers with any changes in technology.

Over the following weeks RM has provided the school with additional local technical resource to ensure that the expected higher call volumes due to the service change have been carefully managed and the service is stable and reliable. RM has also provided additional resource to package all of the curriculum software as the previous provider was unable to make the existing packages available for the school to use.

The school has a highly varied estate of end user devices, printers and peripherals. RM designed a solution which helped to simplify the deployment and management of these devices and associated software, ensuring that all PCs were supplied with the agreed set of packages from service go live.

An experienced RM Educational Consultant is now working with the school to identify any CPD requirements for teaching staff to further increase their confidence with the use of ICT.

ICT strategy and vision planning

Following the transition, RM has started working with the school on their ICT strategy taking into account the priorities identified in the school's vision statement and ensuring that the ICT service supports and develops this.

"Mark, Christian and the RM Flex team have already helped us become more efficient with our time and money and have demonstrated true flexibility, helping us prioritise the workload of the on-site technical team based on the immediate impact of incidents on a lesson, and we have seen fewer incidents of classroom disruption as a result."
Robert Sidebottom - School Business Manager



If you would like to talk to RM Education about a bespoke ICT support solution for your school, delivered by a trusted partner, please email your details to flex@rm.com and we'll get in touch, or call us on 0808 172 9534.

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