School IT Blog

9 things your school IT provider should be doing for you and one thing to do if they are not – Part 1

Fri 16 October, 2020

Many schools across the UK now rely on outsourced IT services and providers to some extent. If your school is one of those, it is likely this year has tested your relationship with your service provider to the max. In this unprecedented year schools have had to adapt like never before. Embracing technology and learning how to provide effective education remotely with limited planning, preparation, or training. Under these circumstances, your reliance on your IT provider to support your school has likely never more evident.

So how did they do? Did your IT provider step up to the plate and give you all the support you needed? Or were you left feeling neglected and abandoned to figure it out alone?

In this blog we consider of the key support mechanisms we believe school IT providers should be offering and what to do if your IT provider is coming up short.

1. ON-SITE ENGINEERS AND TECHNICIAN VISITS

We believe when it comes to supporting school IT providers need to be able to offer both an in-person and remote support network. Having fully trained and DBS checked technicians who can complete comprehensive site visits offers you peace of mind and hands on support. But it also enables us to better understand the specific needs and limitations facing your school, so that we offer better support to you when dealing with remote issues.

Does your IT provider give you onsite support? If not, why not?

2. ONE-TO-ONE DESKTOP SUPPORT

Not every IT issue requires an on-site visit. Your IT provider should be able to resolve most IT issues remotely. They should be easy to contact and give you direct support from a real human, not just a list of FAQs or a chat bot of endless fixes that may or may not help.

Which is why we provide a dedicated helpdesk service where clients can raise a query and be served personally by one of our fully trained support staff. Saving your value time and giving you the best possible support. This service has been used extensively by our clients during COVID as we supported them through the transition to remote teaching and back again.

3. REGULAR CHECK AND MONITORING: WE CALL IT THE DAWN PATROL

If your IT provider is only helping you when you have an issue, then they are doing you a huge disservice. You are unlikely to be aware of any IT issue before it is a big problem. And when it gets to that point it will likely cause disruption to planned education and will require more complex and lengthy support because it was not caught early enough.

By ensuring regular checks are perform remotely on your IT systems, IT providers can often rectify potential issues before you are even aware of them. Hence, we perform a full remote check of your system every single morning - we call it the Dawn Patrol. We fix the most common issues before you even start your day. And last thing at night we can switch off dormant computers to save on your electricity bill.

4. SAFETY NET: EMERGENCY SERVER RESPONSE

These days servers rarely crash, but if they do the results can be disastrous. Which is why any IT provider worth their salt should have a backup plan. An emergency protocol to deal with the situation should the worst happen. Data backup can be done regularly and out of hours to ensure that should if anything goes wrong all your data is safe without disturbing you while you work.

IT providers should also be able to deploy a team to help you get your systems back in gear as quickly as possible. Our safety net ensures an exceptionally fast response with remote support and engineers to protect your systems. In addition, our cloud backup service protects your critical school data with offsite backups.

5. PROJECTORS, WHITEBOARDS, AUDIO VISUAL EQUIPMENT

Technology is now a cornerstone of many lessons, but we all know it is notorious for going wrong at just the worst moment. Disrupting class time and ultimately meaning many teachers do not use the technology to its full potential out of fear of it breaking and ruining the lesson.

But if your IT provider is on the ball, they should be able to reduce the impact of these disruptions to almost nothing. Regular maintenance can prevent those little frustrating bugs and prolong the life of key electronic equipment in the classroom. We also provide smartboard technical support and an emergency on-site engineer response for projector and interactive whiteboard (IWB) faults.

Check out this recent feedback about one of our on-site engineers:

“Matt had the entire job completed before the kids arrived in class this morning! He arrived early and manage to complete the replacement efficiently and in such a short time, this meant that by the time the children arrived in class it was all set to go!

The class teacher and I would really like to pass on our thanks again to Matt for an excellent job, and mention to him in particular that we have a happy bunch of children in a class this morning now able to use the whiteboard again.”

Nina Martins

Farley Hill Primary School

Now I know we promised you nine things, but this is just part one of this blog. So, stay tuned for the next instalment where we look at even more support things your IT provider should be giving you, including how they can help improve your OFSTED rating.