Sydney Russell School is an outstanding lead school within the Partnership Learning Teaching School Alliance (TSA), a Multi-Academy Trust in East London. The school has one of the largest education networks in the UK, with over 3,500 devices in use by both students and staff.

The Partnership Learning TSA is comprised of 15 primary, secondary and specialist schools serving the East London boroughs of Barking, Dagenham and Havering. The alliance draws on Sydney Russell School's experience and knowledge to enhance teaching and learning across all its sites, so the school's input was essential when reviewing network solutions for the entire Trust.

Mark Junnix, Director of IT at the Trust, and Roger Leighton, Chief Executive of Partnership Learning, shared their experiences of identifying and implementing the right network solution for Sydney Russell School and the wider Trust network.

Why we chose RM CC4

Roger and Mark brought different experiences to Partnership Learning TSA; Roger previously favoured a non-education-specific network solution as he felt it offered more flexibility, whilst Mark had a positive experience with the education-specific RM Community Connect (CC4) system at Sydney Russell School during his time there as Network Manager.

When Mark became Network Manager for the whole Trust, he was keen to leverage a system he already knew could deliver reliability without restrictions. Mark said: "I was confident CC4 would help us evolve with all our Partnership Learning schools and would minimise day-to-day issues for me and my team."

Roger explained: "Our priority was to find a system that could adapt and expand with our network infrastructure to meet the differing needs of our schools. It was clear that we needed an education specific solution and RM CC4 was the obvious choice."

RM CC4 has brought a multitude of benefits to Sydney Russell School, including ease of use, cost savings and time efficiency, as well as the assurance that their solution could be seamlessly scaled up as they add more schools to the Trust.

How RM CC4 has helped shape our network team

Having complete uniformity of network management systems across all their schools means that IT technicians across the Trust can move seamlessly across schools. A central management console allows them to easily identify and rectify site-specific issues, giving Mark peace of mind that his entire network is being managed effectively.

With CC4, network tasks which were previously carried out manually could now be managed in the office from one central management console, allowing technicians to focus on tasks that more directly benefit teachers and pupils.

Mark explained:

"RM CC4 changes the role of the IT Manager and Technician because it takes a lot of the labour-intensive tasks away. By giving them the tools they need and the reliability of managing users and workstations without any issues, CC4 frees my team to be proactive around the school."

How RM CC4 is helping our teaching and learning

CC4 also positively impacts on teaching and learning. Because it supports the latest technology, teachers can access the most up-to date classroom resources available, and both staff and students can enjoy secure access to these resources in the classroom, around the school or even at home.

Andrew Shaw, a Computing Teacher at Sydney Russell School, said: "CC4 helps us gain focus in front of the class through the blank screen function. We also love the survey function, which helps us get a quick snapshot of the student's learning and progress it as needed in the lesson."

The reliability of the network also provides peace of mind for teachers because any technical issues, such as software installation or managing user rights, can be dealt with remotely by technicians, minimizing class disruptions and maximizing teaching time.

How RM CC4 will help our multi-academy trust develop

RM Education's unique understanding of the education sector has been instrumental in helping Sydney Russell School and Partnership Learning to continually evolve as an outstanding learning establishment.

As a Premier Partner of RM, the Trust share their IT experiences with other schools throughout the borough.

Mark said:

"The services we provide at Partnership Learning include support packages to schools both within and outside our Trust. We have total confidence in providing this because we have the vast knowledgebase of RM and can call on them for third party support whenever we need."

The combination of RM's support and expertise, along with the scalability and adaptability CC4 brings, will ultimately help Sydney Russell and the wider Trust network to continue to evolve and meet the changing needs of modern education.

Jake Frost, Lead Technician at Sydney Russell School, concluded: "Any computers we build now are immediately integrated into the CC4 network. We can continually add users and PCs and ultimately grow it as big as we want - it's a future-proof solution."

RM Education would like to thank Roger, Mark and the team at Sydney Russell School and Partnership Learning for sharing their experience of CC4.


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