How can we make the most of the cloud?

A 'serverless school' is no longer an idea for the future but now something multi-academy trusts are able to benefit from to achieve scalability, reliability, value for money, user empowerment and collaboration potential. The increase in online applications from Apple, Microsoft and Google means there are no longer the same requirements for schools to have heavy-duty servers taking up valuable space.

In using the cloud, teachers and administrators can use services and applications for planning, assessment, teaching, communication, record keeping, as well as for secure financial and data management. Internet-based hosting helps to reduce costs, simplify access and improve communication and collaboration for all users.

Moving entirely to the cloud may not be something that can happen overnight, critical servers that handle access control or bandwidth intensive applications may need to remain on site in the short term. By virtualising these servers you can reduce the amount of hardware required on-site and give you the flexibility to move virtual servers into and back from the cloud as and when you need to.

What’s in it for our students?

Students can work together on projects in real-time. Embracing the cloud means students will be able to continue and reinforce their learning anytime, anywhere inside and outside of the academy. Using RM Unify to provision your online services provides users with one username and password for all online resources, making it easier to quickly access what they need, when they need it.

What’s in it for our teachers?

Teachers will be able to gain instant access to rich, interactive resources to support teaching and assessment as and when they need them. Teachers will have the ability to create an assignment at home, in a staff workroom or in their classroom and share these within seconds; whether it be a shared project between students in different academies within a trust, or communities of teachers within a trust.

What’s in it for our ICT managers?

For ICT managers, cloud-based services ease the management of applications without complex installations to perform or back up. User password management and user provisioning is simplified too as, with just one user name and password, classroom disruption created by forgotten login details is minimised. And, more generally for academy and trust managers, there can be considerable savings. Aside from reduced software maintenance server costs, less reliance on paper can help enable greater administrative efficiency and save cost.

What’s in it for school leaders?

Whilst the long term economic benefits of the cloud are clear, there can often be upfront costs to improve your infrastructure or enhance the school’s wireless provision. RM’s Network as a Service allows you to improve your ICT now without the upfront capital cost, simply pay for your ICT improvements and support in one simple annual, quarterly or monthly payment.

Our solutions are flexible and scalable to work in harmony with your ICT vision and help you with making an easy transition to the cloud at your own pace, whilst reducing the risks and impact of change for your trust.

Find out more about RM Education's network solutions.

Cloud management & personal device monitoring
Consultancy, CPD & Training
Online safety, proactive alerts, user-level filtering & training
Outsourced proactive tasks to free up your in-house team
Infrastructure & network solutions
Trust-wide data view
Cloud-based MIS
Fully outsourced ICT support
High-speed, resilient and cloud-ready connectivity
Cloud collaboration, productivity & teaching tools
1:1 devices - Chromebooks, iPads, tablets

How can we make the most of the cloud?

With more BYOD schemes being introduced and the rise of devices in every classroom it is more important than ever that you have a clear strategy for managing and monitoring devices to ensure your students stay safe online.

RM has tools which provide monitoring, collaboration functionality and controls for internet usage, enabling teachers to conduct lessons in a productive, focused and safe environment. From real-time keyboard monitoring, to application monitoring and control, and viewing student screens RM has the tools to support you.

Now that technology is being so regularly used in the classroom it can be difficult to decide what will have a positive impact on the classroom and not become a distraction. We offer a number of different options for training and support to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to make the most of your technology.

We offer educational and technical CPD covering Google, Apple and Microsoft and other technologies, helping you to make the most of your existing technologies or supporting you in choosing the best solution to integrate with your existing systems. We also offer online safety consultancy to ensure your staff, pupils, parents and governors feel more confident in today’s online environment.

Senior leaders of multi-academy trusts are responsible for the safety and well-being of their community. It is therefore essential to have systems in place which can support this, to give you the confidence that your staff and learners are safe across all of your academies

There are many tools available that can help you standardise online safety across all your academies, so you can ensure consistency in approach and produce the right reports to satisfy Ofsted.

One of the biggest barriers to using ICT is staff confidence, however the people with the most knowledge are often carrying out manual tasks to make sure everything is working, and this often takes up most of their day.

Did you know that around 60% of your ICT issues can be fixed remotely? By selecting proactive support contacts for your academies you can free up the time of your technical team and focus their efforts on supporting teaching and learning in the classroom.

Network solutions

As a Trust you want to find cost effective solutions that will mean technology just works across all of your academies. We offer impartial and independent advice, across a wide range of leading technology brands, to help you put in place the right infrastructure that can harness current and emerging trends.

As a senior leader in a multi-academy trust you need to know how your academies are performing, this can be challenging when individual academies are using disparate systems and there is no easy way to pull the data into a trust-wide central view. Producing this data in a manageable fashion can be expensive and time-consuming.

A new feature coming into RM Integris very soon is a dashboard which pulls together essential information such as attendance, behaviour and attainment for all your academies into one place. This will enable you to immediately identify areas of concern and look at opportunities for staff development. For example, where one academy has an area they are preforming well in they could support the other academies in the trust.

The management information system (MIS) is the backbone of your academies, providing you with all the vital information about your staff and students. However, this no longer needs to be hosted by on-premise hardware which is expensive to manage and hard to access from multiple locations. The way we work today demands the need to access systems at anytime from anywhere. A cloud-based MIS will give you this freedom yet provide you with the confidence that all your data is safe and secure.

Consider the cost savings when you remove the need for an admin server, the warranties and the onsite maintenance. This aggregated up over the number of academies in your MAT could result in significant cost savings.

Having an ICT partner that manages all your ICT support can provide a consistent service across all your academies, ensuring they all have reliable and well managed ICT to support their teaching and learning needs today and in the future. Support services such as RM Flex provide you with a mix of onsite engineer time, remote fixes, and proactive checks making sure any issues are fixed quickly and efficiently. Not only this, it has been proven that by outsourcing your support you can save at least 15% on your ongoing ICT costs.

One key benefit for an academy joining a MAT is to be able to collaborate and learn from others, this can be made easier if they have the same access to technology. A robust broadband connection is essential in enabling this. Not only will your teachers need to use the latest innovations in teaching and learning but they will also need to communicate easily and share best practice across the MAT

RM Education understand how the internet is used in the educational environment and will be able to advise you on the best solution, now and for the future, and because you’re in a group of schools we can provide better value for money through aggregated contracts and economies of scale.

One of the benefits of being part of a MAT is the opportunity to share resources between academies. Cloud collaboration enables you to easily share trust-wide policies and procedures, encourage teaching staff to work on shared lesson plans or contribute to group forums and facilitate shared working groups across the Trust with your students.

RM Unify is an online portal that makes it easy for your academies to work collaboratively regardless of geography.

The initiative whereby each pupil gets a device for themselves can often lead to better collaboration and interaction between pupils as each pupil has access to whatever they need at the time they need it. 1:1 devices opens up classrooms to greater flexibility and collaboration which is often not possible when students are sharing computers.

We have extensive experience of designing and validating ICT equipment for use in education. We have tested and selected a range of products for use in schools. These products have been checked by RM and we offer a range of training and consultancy to support the successful implementation of them in your school.

To discuss how we can help turn your vision into reality call us free on 0808 172 9527 or email

View our case studies

Westerings Primary Academy is a small Primary Academy in Essex which invested in Google Apps for Education, refreshing their old devices at no cost and removing their servers; saving them time and money and improving collaboration and learning experiences in a serverless environment. Watch some of the changes that the school has seen in teaching, learning and efficiency since they made the move to the cloud.

We have been working with a range of multi-academy trusts across the UK to support them in overcoming their individual challenges and issues. Find out about the work we have been doing by reading some of our case studies below.

Case study
UNITY Trust Collaborative of Schools

UNITY Trust Collaborative of Schools were looking for a solution that would encourage greater collaboration between their schools and give teachers and pupils access to their online resources simply and easily.

Read more

Case study

Westerings Primary Academy

This small Primary Academy in Essex invested in Google Apps for Education. Read how this saved them time and money and improved collaboration and learning experiences..


What trusts are asking...

Here are some of the questions trusts are asking us, select any that relate to your requirements to see  an overview of how we can help you address them.

How can we make the most of the cloud?
How easily can I access the data I need to help my trust raise standards?
What more can we do to help our academies collaborate effectively?
How can I ensure my academies receive consistent, cost effective services?
How can I ensure my trust grows sustainably?
How can we use our scale to achieve value for money?

How can I ensure my academies are protected online?

How can I unlock funds from ICT to support teaching and learning?
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