In 2011 Tolworth Girls’ School & Sixth Form became a state funded academy. Awarded a status of ‘Good’ by Ofsted, Tolworth strives itself on providing a secure and nurturing learning environment. With 630 PCs, 20 laptops and a comprehensive e-safety policy, Tolworth required a reliable educational software solution to monitor the online safety of the students.
Prior to Education Pro, Tolworth utilised both a classroom management tool and a separate online safety tool. Both pieces of software presented similar issues where the updates were failing, leaving Tolworth with out-of-date software. These update failures influenced the school’s Director of Resources to look for an alternative solution for each product.
In January 2015, Tolworth began to compare a range of diverse products on the market. At the Bett Show, an education exhibition, the Director of Resources was introduced to Impero for the first time. He had a demonstration of the product and discovered that the consolidated nature of Education Pro could replace both the classroom management and separate online safety tool in one purchase. Following the demonstration, the Director of Resources investigated Education Pro further and sought the views of a local school already using the software. The school was full of praise and following this positive feedback, a trial was initiated. The trial gave the opportunity for the Director of Resources to show Education Pro to other members of staff where the SSW recognised a need for Education Pro.
Due to the Director of Resources being profoundly deaf, the Impero Support Team provided the Director of Resources with a comprehensive self-installation document to implement Education Pro himself. Despite this method of implementation being less common, the Director of Resources found the process very straight forward and the support team were available by email if any issues occurred.
Since implementing Impero Education Pro, Tolworth Girls’ School & Sixth Form has realised a variety of benefits, including:
improved student behaviour – live thumbnails view and real-time monitoring allows teaching and IT staff to monitor student activity and take action when individuals stray off task.
safeguarding students – keyword detection, real-time monitoring and the activity log enables the school to monitor what students are doing online, allowing Tolworth to operate a managed, rather than locked-down, approach to safeguarding as outlined by Ofsted.
saving time – by automatically powering on and off all or selected PCs as part of the school’s daily PC management, the IT team saves masses of time.
Q&A with Andy Hetherington, Director of Resources
how has Education Pro made your job easier?
Education Pro has helped with general PC management at Tolworth. Being able to power on and shut down all PCs at the click of a button takes a matter of seconds, allowing me to move onto more tasking IT management tasks. Alternatively, I can use the scheduling function to choose a time for all PCs to be powered on, so they are up and running before the class starts. Education Pro also lets me view staff alerts to easily identify if any students or staff are experiencing any IT issues, and from there I can remote into their machine and fix the problem without leaving my office.
how has Education Pro helped control students?
Since implementing Education Pro student awareness of e-safety at Tolworth has significantly improved. When Education Pro was first installed onto the school network, the word got around quickly that we could now monitor what students were doing in real time. With the use of live thumbnails teachers can easily identify which individuals were straying off task and get them back on track as necessary. Teachers can also control student attention by having the ability to lock all the PC screens at once and discuss a particular topic when required.
how has Education Pro helped you safeguard students?
Since I am responsible for online safety at the school. I needed an easier way to ensure that all students were behaving appropriately online. With the use of the log viewer, I can view captures for individual students and escalate any concerns or worries I have about a particular student, so that the appropriate action can be taken. The included keyword libraries help to detect vulnerable or at-risk students at Tolworth, and we have enhanced this further by adding our own localised keywords that we identified as a concern at our school.
how would you sum up Impero?
Good product for safeguarding.