What to look for in an IT provider for your school?

Every organisation needs to keep up to date with technology to remain fully-functioning and work as efficiently as possible, and schools are no exception to this rule. Not only is the content that children are being taught being constantly assessed, but also the way they learn is reviewed on a regular basis too.

Basic expectations for parents and students

Children nowadays are growing up around a huge amount of technology, from phones, to computers, video games and tablets – all of which they can learn to use at home. At school, it’s important to embrace this use of technology to incorporate it into learning. There might be some things that are not necessary, but both parents and students alike will have some basic expectations about the levels of technology available for learning. This is likely to be fully-functioning computers accessible by students to complete work, as well as strong internet connections and working speeds, so it’s vital to find an IT provider than can meet these requirements by sourcing and supplying hardware, and maintaining your network infrastructure to ensure optimum performance.

Bespoke network setup for security

Your IT provider should also take into account the specific security and child protection requirements that are unique to the school environment. IT providers should look to roll out a setup that restricts pupil access to specific files, as well as restricting access to different folders and levels of data depending on the staff member. Each user should have their own login and tailored setup to enable them to access the resources and files needed, without access to secure information or inappropriate web content. This is imperative for child protection as well as data security, which can have severe legal implications if not adhered to. Your IT provider should have detailed knowledge and be able to advise you about this, as well as potentially offering staff training around security.

An innovative approach

To offer the best all-round education to their pupils, and remain competitive as a popular choice compared to other local schools, schools must continue to look at how they can use technology innovatively to aid learning. Along with a range of creative resources, children can learn quickly in a way that is relevant and fun, using the technology that is in place, whether this is simple desktops, interactive whiteboards or tablets. Your IT provider therefore needs to have an understanding of your creative requirements as well as practical ones, to help you get the best out of your school’s IT and create a setup that caters for interactive learning.

Practical solutions and ongoing support

Your IT provider should demonstrate an interest in making your network the best it can be, for example taking into account the details like allowing staff to edit shared folders, and students being unable to delete important files or programmes – all of which make day-to-day use easier and reduce issues. They should offer a Service Level Agreement, whether this is on a monthly basis or just as required, so you are clear about what is covered within maintenance costs and how quickly issues can be resolved. This is also true for any projects, such as new classrooms requiring a new setup, or a complete network overhaul.

Get in touch with help4IT today on 0207 653 9780 to arrange a network audit and see how we could use our expertise to ensure that your school IT is up-to-date, secure and supported.