According to Paul Stimpson, Assistant Head Teacher and ICT Coordinator, the school's old network infrastructure was not sufficiently reliable to support a modern school. Teachers could not rely on the infrastructure to support their desire to use technology to enhance lessons for pupils. Despite knowing how to bring enriched learning to classrooms, teachers were reluctant to exploit the potential of online resources. The need to have a contingency plan in case of IT failure meant that teachers avoided embracing those opportunities.
The school had 75 devices for pupil use, but they would not log in or connect to the internet reliably, meaning they were seldom used.
The less-than-ideal network situation impacted the school in other ways. The only room large enough to accommodate the whole school did not have internet access, limiting what could be done by visitors talking to all the pupils or in whole-school assemblies. There was no connection in outdoor areas which restricted outdoor learning opportunities and holding whole-school or community events.
The CtC scheme offered the chance to completely upgrade. The school received several emails from the DfE about the scheme but was unsure whether it was eligible. During a service review meeting, the school's RM account manager explained the scheme in more detail. Paul then understood the opportunity to apply for funding and make the much-needed improvements.
Paul conducted a site survey to work out what the school needed. While doing so, he kept in mind that merely because connected devices weren't used in a particular location at that time, building in the capacity to do so in the future would probably pay dividends.
The school’s RM account manager reviewed the survey with Paul and created a proposal with three possible solutions based on new Aruba access points, switches and the Aruba Central network management, monitoring and security software. The school submitted its chosen option to the DfE, which approved the application.