Moulton School and Science College
Moulton School and Science College in Northamptonshire serves Moulton and surrounding villages in the north of the county.
With over 1,300 pupils aged between 11 and 18, as well as around 160 staff, it has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent years, greatly expanding its capabilities and intake.
After gaining academy status, the school was able to secure funding to undergo a rapid expansion, which saw the construction of new offices and classroom buildings that allowed it to support a greater number of students and staff.
In order to support this significant growth, strong communications systems are essential in ensuring that a large number of new users can keep in touch. And to achieve this, the school turned to BTT to overhaul its ageing phone systems and provide it with the latest technology it needs to support a proactive, high achieving learning environment.
Phil Halford, Network Manager said, “We had a phone system that was about 13 years old. It just wasn’t adequate for today’s business needs.”
Problems included failing hardware and the fact that the original manufacturer no longer made parts for it, so repairs and maintenance were tricky. With so many new users to connect, the existing system was not able to grow to meet the needs of extra personnel.
Under the old analogue system, Mr Halford stated it had a maximum capacity of eight external lines at any one time.
BTT was able to solve their issues with the provision of a modern Mitel IP phone system that was not only able to meet their needs at the time but has the capability to expand as the school grows, in order to ensure the academy’s communications needs can always be met.
Moulton School initially signed up for around 70 handsets, but it has already exceeded this as demand has grown and it has become apparent how easy it is to add users and devices.
Importance of Control
As well as the improved scalability, another key factor in the decision to switch to a new phone system was the high level of control the school could gain over their communications with BTT’s solution.
Mr Halford stated: “We like a lot of control ourselves. The last one didn’t allow that, it was very locked down, we had to get a company in to look after it.”
However, with the new system, the technical team at Moulton School are able to manage all their day-to-day operations themselves.
The centralised system means that when changes are required, they can be made from the IT department and phones throughout the school will automatically update, without the team having to go around to every device individually to apply the changes.
As well as this centralised control, the new IP solution offers a range of features and functionality that the school was not able to access before.
For instance, one element particularly praised by Mr Halford is the reporting tools. This enables staff to instantly gain an insight into their communications usage and highlight any problem areas, something Mr Halford described as “brilliant.”
He highlighted one recent case, where a department was getting too many calls from parents that should have been routed via the school’s main reception.
Because of the quality reporting tools available as part of BTT’s system, Mr Halford explained: “I was able to build a case for management to [show that] we shouldn’t be dealing with all these calls, so let’s employ someone else, so that’s what we’re going to.”
Low Cost, High-Level Support
Mr Halford explained that several factors had attracted him to BTT’s solutions, but he was particularly impressed with the way we could offer an exceptionally high level of service, while still maintaining a very competitive price.
This high level of support has continued throughout BTT’s relationship with Moulton School, with Mr Halford praising the “down to earth” communications with our experienced personnel.
This had led the school to look at adding another BTT IP line, as well as investigating options for future expansion.
“When we were going out quoting for this system, we had three people involved and BTT blew everyone else out of the water. They came in with a very, very good price, which was great for us.
They weren’t very strict about ‘we’ll install it and off we go, that’ll be it’. The engineers installed it over the holidays for us, then the engineer was in the first day the school was open as well, just to iron out any problems.”
Phil Halford, Network Manager at Moulton School
Delivering Huge Savings
Moulton School has also seen huge savings in its call costs as a result of switching to BTT phone lines.
Mr Halford explained that prior to updating their systems, Moulton School could expect to see annual call costs of between £12,000 and £15,000. But since signing up to BTT’s solution, this has been slashed in half to between £6,000 and £8,000 – and this is before the operational values added by BTT are considered.