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Case Study: Pewsey Vale School

Pewsey Vale School is an 11 – 16 secondary school based in a village in Wiltshire. The school has around 400 students and has over 230 student accessible computers; these are located in four centralised computer rooms and a learning resource centre. Computers are also located in most classrooms.

Pewsey Vale School has amongst the highest ‘student to modern computer’ ratio in the country. All of their computer rooms offer a computer to student ratio of 1:1 and a ratio of 1.7:1 across the entire school. Pewsey Vale is still expanding its computer system by placing additional computers in most class rooms and by an ongoing programme to install electronic white boards in the remaining class rooms.

The computer network uses the latest version of Microsoft Office with many subject specific applications. Each student has a personal email address and Internet access. The school runs a strict network usage monitoring policy including e-mail, Internet and printer usage. The same system also runs the Schools Information Management System (SIMS), used by all members of staff. It substantially reduces the time and effort involved in overall administration, report writing, statistic reporting, register keeping and general management. The day to day running of the whole network is undertaken by a single IT Manager due to the centralised system management and approach taken.

The secret to the schools amazing ‘student to computer’ ratio and the speed at which new applications and upgrades are added, is due to the Thin Client technology used within the school. The school is also, justifiably, proud of the ‘uptime’ and availability of their system as their systems have achieved “always up” status with the staff and students.

Oakford Technology has installed a Thin Client system, with wireless access where required, based on Microsoft Windows Terminal Server and Citrix Presentation Server. This has allowed the school to invest in additional clients (terminals) and software rather than spending money on continually replacing and upgrading PCs.

The Thin Client system has enabled the school to effectively roll out the latest Microsoft software, service packs and system enhancements from a central point from which they can be efficiently managed and supported remotely. This has resulted in each and every student and member of staff having access to an effective multi processor server with 4GB of RAM which gives them fantastic performance – all this at a fraction of the cost of a traditional system.

Thin Client systems are widely used by educational and business users to centralise, and reduce, the overall management, hardware, and support costs.

Oakford Technology is proud of the fact that it has worked closely with the school for over ten years developing the IT strategy, implementing the strategy and offering full support.

Oakford support Pewsey Vale School with a remote and on-site maintenance contract which covers hardware, software and system upgrades / changes.

Our experience at Pewsey Vale School has enabled us to fully understand the needs of educational institutions, their challenges and their resource funding. All of our work at Pewsey Vale School has taken place at a time convenient to the school so avoiding computer downtime for staff and students.

Please contact Oakford Technology for a free appraisal of your educational IT needs and a demonstration of appropriate systems.