Case Study: Ladybarn Primary School

Easing the Administration Burden from the Cloud with Google Applications

Easing the Administration Burden from the Cloud – Google Applications

Communication within schools has never been so important. Through the previous secondary school Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, the last government compelled every school in the country to sign up to a learning platform. The argument over what constitutes a learning platform is still raging although Becta did help out by defining ten commercial providers that schools could procure from. In reality, these platforms were not designed for the primary sector and were very much based around course structures and the secondary sector. Whilst these were not wholly fit for purpose from a primary perspective, certain management and communication functions were useful. Google had seen the education potential for its Google Applications (Apps) for some time and true to form, offered these to the education community for free.

Computeam has been no stranger over the years to the headaches teachers have faced in accessing reliable and easy to use email along with sharing or collaborating on documents and information. The memory stick, once the preferred solution is pretty much barred across most schools having been the source of most virus outbreaks in recent years. Difficulties and restrictions using local authority provided email solutions has left many teachers relying on personal email addresses. This often meant that emails sent through assumed official channels were missed and email communication within schools has been generally difficult. This, at a time when email communication is the accepted norm. Schools have also relied heavily on internal paper communication (week beginning sheets!) or pupils moving between classroom in pairs sending messages or passing paper notes. Calendars have been a major task, often requiring countless drafts to set prior to publication.

Google apps directly address all of these problems. Google provides email using the very familiar GMAIL interface (many teachers will be very familiar with this already) with huge 25GB mailboxes (no need to delete anything). This in turn is integrated with a superb shared calendar system, a full online office suite compatible with Microsoft Office as well as website and video management tools. Google apps also includes an internal instant messenger that teachers can use to communicate around school if required. With full smartphone integration, access from anywhere in the world with a browser (no suggestion that holiday working is mandatory!), Google apps has every feature required to provide a full management and communication tool.

All of these are centred around your email address (or any alternative of choice). Computeam is a Google partner and we are experienced at setting up and hosting school domains based on Google Apps. There is no annual licence fee for users, only an annual hosting and support charge. Everything is cloud based so there is no need for more boxes to be purchased and hosted in school.

Ladybarn Primary School in Manchester has recently benefitted from a full school wide deployment of Google Apps.

"One of the biggest problems we faced as a school was accessing work documents and emails outside of school. Teachers were not able to schedule time to work together and our existing email provider was proving unreliable. Looking for a reliable cost effective solution Computeam recommended Google Apps. Once we had seen the how easy the system was to use and the variety of applications Google had to offer we had no hesitation in moving to Google Apps.

Now teachers are able to share documents and work outside of the school environment if necessary. The school has been able to manage our time more effectively via the calendaring system and the IM service means that it is very easy to contact teachers within the school without having to disrupt teaching."

At Computeam we believe that technology should always be carefully matched to a school's key objectives. We won't sell a gadget or system that a school doesn't need. Instead we try to understand what our clients want to achieve before recommending the right solution for them.

If you require further information on how Computeam can improve ICT within your school please call 0845 052 1066 or email

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