Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School, located in Lancashire, prides itself on a broad and balanced curriculum based on the school’s philosophy and aims, while still recognising national guidelines. In 2014, the school focused on the development of an e-safety policy, which has since been implemented. With e-safety identified as a core requirement, the need for reliable e-safety software to monitor its range of desktop and laptop devices became increasingly apparent.
Previously, the school had e-safe education software in place to fulfil its e-safety requirements, alongside Ranger for remote control. E-safe education proved difficult to use and generated a huge amount of false positives; the time-consuming nature of this activity took up a lot of the technician’s time to monitor the results on a daily basis. Ranger’s outdated functionality also failed to deliver the remote control requirements demanded by the school, and when the current ICT Network Manager joined in 2013, it became clear that there was a huge range of systems and the need for a consolidated solution would serve to streamline efficiency.
The school’s ICT Network Manager had used Impero Education Pro in a previous role at another school. Impressed by the broad functionality of the software, he decided to introduce the solution to Bacup & Rawtenstall Grammar School. Impero Education Pro would consolidate several disparate solutions into one consolidated product, helping to simplify and streamline network management, while improving efficiency and enabling the IT team to maximise existing resources. Speedy and reliable remote control functionality would allow technical issues to be resolved quickly, and a comprehensive suite of classroom management and e-safety tools would keep students safe and focused in the digital learning environment.
The software was installed on Bacup & Rawtenstall School’s network with ease and the IT team encountered no issues during the implementation. Impero’s technical support team were on hand to help throughout the process and have since been described by the school’s ICT Network Manager as “brilliant, proactive and really helpful” when responding to technical support enquiries.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, the school has realised a variety of benefits including:
reduces risk – keyword detection abuse libraries help to identify misuse or potential risk so that the appropriate actions and support can be provided. Real-time monitoring, a live thumbnail view of all student screens and violation alerts help teaching staff to recognise risk and protect students.
improves behaviour – monitoring, violation alerts and a suite of classroom control tools enable teaching staff to minimise distraction and focus learning.
saves money – power management has recently been implemented to reduce energy bills, using scheduled power on/off and hibernate to ensure machines are not left running in the evenings, during the weekend or when not in use.
saves time – a consolidated suite of network and classroom management features, plus comprehensive e-safety functionality, helps IT and teaching staff to save time through remote control, monitoring and classroom control tools.
Q&A with Ben Whitaker, ICT Network Manager
how does the software fit into the school’s e-safety policy?
Impero Education Pro really is the cornerstone of our e-safety policy and is usually the first step in identifying violations or potential risk. Since joining the school in 2013, I’ve worked closely with other staff members to aid the development of a solid e-safety policy, which we now have in place and working well. The software helps us to identify, record and report incidents so that the relevant staff members are alerted and the school can provide the appropriate support or response. Education Pro’s e-safety functionality generates less false positives than e-safe education software, so the technician who was responsible for monitoring the previous solution now has time to focus on other tasks – and we don’t have to increase headcount.
why did you choose Impero Education Pro over other products?
It brings everything we need together in one place. From a technical perspective, we use the software to monitor the utilisation of PCs to check that existing resources are being used well or to establish whether we need to bring in more provisions. Deploying software is a breeze, which is far more efficient and allows the team to concentrate on other tasks. In terms of remote control, we can solve 95% of issues without even leaving our desk, which speeds up the turnaround time massively. USB tracking was a huge surprise; students aren’t allowed to use USBs, however staff are, and this occasionally resulted in viruses being exposed to the school network. We can now keep track of which user owns which USB to ensure we keep our network secure. Teachers find the software really simple to navigate and love all of the classroom management functionality, such as real-time monitoring, file sharing, broadcasting screens and being able to lock systems down for controlled assessments.
what are the next steps?
I’ve recently had a conversation with Impero’s e-safety expert and, after relaying this conversation to our pastoral leader, we’re looking to officially implement the Confide system across the school. This will allow our students to let us know when they have any concerns and will work to identify any risks that we’re not already aware of.
how would you sum up Impero?
Awesome! It allows me to do more with less.