Safety Bay Senior High School is a public co-educational high school with approx. 1100 students. They use a mix of iPads, iMacs, desktops and laptops and their full-time, on-site IT technician is a Solutions IT engineer. In the past, the school had hired their own technicians to manage the day to day running of the school’s ICT, and where needed had ad-hoc support from Solutions IT for escalation purposes.
With growing school numbers and the advancement of technology, the school was challenged with recruitment when in 2014 their technician moved on. “We needed someone who understood how a large Department school worked, had vast IT experience, someone who was an effective communicator and could also help lead change within the school. It was not an easy find.” says Clint Wiltshire, Deputy Principal
“We have always had a great working relationship with Solutions IT so we were open to explore new concepts with them. The idea that we could have one of their staff fulltime in our school, with support of the entire company behind them was very appealing. We knew the company had the experience we needed, so there wasn’t a risk in trialling the idea and we haven’t looked back since.”
In the five years that the school has used this support offering, they have had 3 long-term engineers work inside their school, “during this period, based on the school’s needs, the engineers have always been a perfect fit, no exceptions. We are particularly impressed with Brennan who currently looks after our network. He understands our environment and has a vision which is supported by the wider company. It’s so beneficial that Brennan is able to strategise on our IT direction with his peers and management. This has positively impacted on our student outcomes” Clint explains. The school reports that the use of technology and infrastructure improvements have led to a more stable network, “this impacts on our ability to track attendance better and deliver engaging classrooms activities with a technology focus. Regular attendance of students has seen upward trend of 9.6% over last 3 years”.
The introduction of a ‘Helpdesk’ ticketing system has seen a quick turnaround time in providing support to staff using technology, within 48 hours, “this helps us identify patterns, trends and issues that informs our planning, directly impacting on learning in the classroom”
2018 saw two more Computer Labs built, providing 53 more desktops available to students. Catering further for increasing learning needs in accessing online VET courses, STEM Club and mandated introduction of Digital Technology classes in Year 7 & 8. All easily supported and managed.
The support has also seen the successful rollout of ‘Transition to NAPLAN Online Trial’ in 2018, with limited disruptions in connectivity, no reports of hardware issues and promoting confidence that when conducting NAPLAN in 2019, review, updates and reconfiguration of our network will enable 440 students to complete successfully
Clint recognises that Implementing the right technology to enable collaboration and engage students is key, “Our students not only develop their critical thinking skills but progress a range of other skills that embrace the changing world, all enabled by this support”.
“Prior to this support offering, integration of innovative ICT programs was much more challenging and inconsistencies with the stability of our network, was a real barrier to staff accessing training or shifting pedagogical practice. What sets Solutions IT aside from other companies is their understanding on how IT can enhance the education sector and ultimately, the real impact that has on student outcomes”.
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