Collingwood College is an Academy comprehensive school in Camberley, Surrey, specialising in Technology and Applied Learning. The school is attended by more than 1,900 students, aged 11-19 including a Sixth Form of well over 300, who are looked after by some 270 teaching and support staff.
The school governing body has an imaginative approach to resource management and a progressive attitude towards its position in the local community. It has been particularly innovative with respect to looking at services it can provide to feeder schools in the area. One such service is IT support which is provided in partnership with The MCSA Group.
With schools and colleges under great pressure to manage costs efficiently, the governing body at Collingwood recognised the opportunity to spread the cost of IT infrastructure support, using a third party, across a number of establishments, in a way that would work for both the third party provider and the customers sharing the service.
Acting as the host contractor, Collingwood College has effectively championed the The MCSA Group IT support service across their feeder school community. The support is provided on a day rate basis with a sliding scale of costs depending on the number of days and length of engagement.
Highly qualified and CRB checked The MCSA Group engineers attend the feeder schools on set days for set hours and pick up any issues that the school has with their IT infrastructure or perform software installations, desktop/laptop builds etc. as required. The schools use a log book to list the work that needs to be attended to and the The MCSA Group engineer works from that list unless anything is specifically prioritised by the school or Collingwood.
“The agreement we have in place with The MCSA Group means that our feeder schools can benefit from a high quality and extremely efficient level of IT support service that would be inaccessible to them, were they acting alone”, commented Kathryn Currier, IT Helpdesk Manager. “Just as important as the cost, is the peace of mind that the schools can enjoy, knowing that any issues will be fixed and there is no loss of cover due to sickness or absence”.
The MCSA Group currently has an arrangement in place with two feeder schools and Collingwood is actively promoting the service across their entire community to expand the provision.
A key feature of the service is that each school is assigned an engineer that visits on a weekly basis, replicating the Collingwood model. As Kathryn Currier notes: “‘We have sold our service based on the personal touch that we can provide by sending the same engineer each week. This allows the already busy staff to build a relationship with the engineer which leads to quicker resolutions and a continuity of approach to their issues”.