Appleton Academy

Virtue migrates Appleton Academy to vanilla windows platform

Appleton Academy is located in Wyke, Bradford, West Yorkshire. With over 1240 students from the age of 3 to 19, Appleton Academy is Bradford’s first ‘all through’ school. The Academy opened in November 2012 after an extensive design and build phase, which led to the creation of a new £22m building to replace the two predecessor schools.

The migration process

Appleton Academy identified that their ICT department lacked the embedded processes, procedures and good practice which they would like it to have, furthermore they required good routines be developed with the technicians, who have lacked leadership and good example in the past. The Academy wished to appoint an ICT Partner to work with them for 12 months initially, with an option to review and extend for a further 12 months.

Following a successful tendering process, Virtue recruited and provided an on-site ICT Manager to develop the existing team into a standalone department, with the ability to support all installed systems and the capability to develop in line with new and emerging technologies to stay ahead of the curve.

Appleton Academy felt that Virtue not only shared their values about the importance of ICT to underpin modern educational techniques, but would also be best placed to shape their internal structures to form an excellent foundation for the educational vision.

The key issue faced by Appleton Academy was getting ICT fit for purpose and then building on that. Virtue worked with the Senior Leadership Team on a plan to deliver a reliable system, giving staff confidence that ICT would work first time, every time.

Migrating from an RM environment to a vanilla solution, Virtue deployed a VMware environment, re-purposing existing hardware and installing new equipment as appropriate. Multiple point and overly complicated systems such as RM Tutor 5, NetSupport and Securus were consolidated and replaced with the Impero Education Pro network, desktop and classroom management solution. Virtue then migrated the on premise Exchange server to Office 365 and re-imaged several hundred client devices.

In addition to this, as the Academy’s ICT Partner, Virtue provide second-line support to the ICT team, where they have issues they cannot solve Virtue provide specific expertise to support them in resolving issues related to network problems; server problems; software issues; hardware concerns; and catastrophic failures.

The outcome

As an organisation, Virtue are responsive, forward thinking and have a proven track record of providing ICT support in a variety of educational organisations. Virtue Technologies have put ICT at the forefront of Appleton Academy; to provide an inclusive, responsive support service to their users whilst offering innovative solutions to emerging ICT issues.

Virtue's Sales Manager Philip McNair and Operation's Manager Will Stead, along with Appleton's New ICT Manager Chris Tidswell, met with the schools Senior Team for a regular review. The feedback from Appleton Academy’s Jacqueline Waters and Phil Povey was extremely positive.

Phil Povey said, “You should be extremely pleased with the way this has gone". Virtue's Operations Manager Will Stead said "attending customer reviews where the discussion is so positive makes me proud to be part of the Virtue team. This achievement is down to each and everyone of you, your skills and your hard work".

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