S&B Automotive Academy, located in Bristol, is a leading provider of automotive courses in the UK. Students in the motor trade, authorised by IMI, attend the academy to learn the academic aspects of the course, where they undertake independent online learning and sit a series of tests. To help monitor their performance, S&B Automotive Academy needed a solution to manage its PCs.
Before Impero Education Pro, S&B Automotive Academy had basic firewalls in place to block particular websites. Updated manually, the IT Manager would add web links to the white and black lists. However, in the time that these were added or removed, often more sites to block and allow would arise, making it a timely process. S&B Automotive Academy needed a simpler solution for student safety, which would also help to monitor student performance.
After speaking to some close colleagues, the IT Manager at S&B Automotive Academy soon discovered Impero Education Pro. Following some research on the Impero website for due diligence purposes, S&B Automotive Academy went straight in and purchased Impero Education Pro.
Up and running in an hour, Impero Education Pro was installed into a classroom before complete roll-out to look further into the features. The installation team were described as “phenomenal”, and alongside this, the guide provided was straightforward and no extra training was necessary. The IT Manager commented on the user-friendly and simple console: “It couldn’t be easier! If you want to create a group, you simply “right click” and click “add group”. I don’t know how you could make it easier.”
Since installing Impero Education Pro, S&B Automotive Academy has realised a number of core benefits:
Provides remote control access: With remote control functionality the IT team can access an account, check an email and lock it back down again afterwards.
Supports Ofsted compliance: Following a recent visit for Ofsted, the inspector looked at the system S&B Automotive Academy were using for online safety and was impressed stating “academy managers have established effective systems to monitor and log any inappropriate use of the internet“. With keyword detection and live thumbnail monitoring functionality, S&B Automotive Academy meets the criteria.
Saves time: Since Impero Education Pro focuses on monitoring rather than blocking, the IT Technician no longer needs to update the white/black lists which were almost always out of date. Students were previously able to bypass the filters using a server proxy and this is no longer a problem.
Q&A with Don Witcombe, IT Manager
How does Impero Education Pro help streamline IT processes?
Where to begin! It offers so much – the fact I don’t have to watch everything, because it’s so automated means I don’t have to run around as much. We don’t have to set up other solutions; we rely totally on Impero Education Pro. Previously we’d use Teamviewer for monitoring, but it was much more intrusive and you could see it in the background. Impero Education Pro is so streamlined it feels like part of the operating system. It’s embedded so well that you don’t even realise it’s running. It’s much easier for the teachers to monitor those students at the back of the class, making sure they’re on task. The remote control features are awesome and helps us to save lots of time. If someone has a problem, I can take control of their machine and it’s much easier than Teamviewer, I just love it! These features also allow us to close down any machines left on by a teacher or student after hours.
How does Impero Education Pro help you safeguard your students?
Before Impero Education Pro we were not able to monitor specific websites or words/phrases. For each computer room, with 14 computers in each, we can create a group where any captures are sent directly to the lecturer in that room, the designated safeguarding lead and myself. With auto-updated keywords and different degrees of risk, the most appropriate member of staff is allocated the capture. For self-harm and eating disorder captures, these are followed up with more of a nurturing role. However, captures in relation to weapons and violence or counter-radicalisation are escalated to different people in the Academy automatically without any interference from us in IT. This keyword detection enable us to open up the internet and monitor what our students are accessing, which is much better than locking it all down.
The live thumbnail views help teachers monitor students who are working and identify those who aren’t. Impero Education Pro captures a log of everything a student has accessed on a computer, including screenshot and video captures, which can be used as evidence. Before Impero Education Pro, a student could reset their computer and that would be that, we wouldn’t know what they’d been accessing.
How would you describe our support team?
They’re phenomenal! You ring up and the team tell you to do this and that. If it’s something a bit more complex, they’ll take control and remote in our own side and have the issue sorted in no time.
How would you summarise Impero Education Pro?
Pretty much automated perfection.