ESSA Academ will start the school year with a new state-of-the-art communications system from Avaya and will introduce video conferencing technology for staff and students. In the process the school expects to improve the collaborative working between staff, students and parents which underpins the school’s learning ethos, and reduce communications costs.
The Avaya Flare Communicator for iPad application will be installed onto staff and student devices giving easy ‘swipe-of-the-finger’ access to their essential communications tools. For pupils, this will give them direct access to learning within the walls of the academy, and also via learning institutions all over the world.
Working with Avaya Silver Partner and SME expert Pennine Telecom, ESSA Academy will also deploy Avaya Aura Midsize Enterprise 6.1, Avaya One-X Communicator software clients for MacBooks, and One-X Mobile SIP iOS licenses to deliver voice over wifi to Apple mobile devices. As a result, the school will have no need for costly cabling or mobile phone contracts and will completely eliminate the need for desk phones within the institution.
Every staff member will have their own extension number and will be contactable via the soft phone on their iPad or iPod, which is now standard issue for all Academy staff. Calls can be made or answered via the school’s wifi network or even routed via their home broadband using the same school number.
As well as encouraging staff to communicate across department and directly with parents for very little cost, giving staff a dedicated number on a mobile device will also remove the need for staff to have their own rooms, giving the academy greater flexibility over both use of space and communications.
ESSA Academy is a new breed of secondary school which first opened its doors in 2009. It is jointly sponsored by Cohens Chemist and Bolton Council and its purpose is to create a 21st century learning environment which will prepare students for a successful adult and working life in a constantly changing world. Formerly Hayward School, the academy’s technology lead approach to learning has seen GCSE pass rates soar with 100 percent of students achieving at least five A*-C GCSE passes – as compared to just 26 percent of students in 2006.
“The revenue savings we’ve made from deploying Avaya technology is a justification for the project in its own right. However, it’s the “softer” benefits that I am most excited about. We’re revolutionising the way pupils are educated – fostering productive conversations between staff and parents and creating a genuinely collaborative approach to learning. In our mission to promote a collaborative learning environment, I really believe we’ve been able to harness the best of modern technology and all the cost and time saving benefits it can deliver.” commented Abdul Chohan, Director, ESSA Academy.
“Our experience of working with other education providers meant that we understood the impact ESSA wanted to achieve both on its pupils and its bottom line. We were able to deliver a solution that genuinely improves the learning environment for students and frees up resource for the academy sponsors to invest into its 21st century learning philosophy” Geoff King, Sales Director, Pennine Telecom added.