“We are educationalists, not network managers,” says Katrina Brockbank, Strategic Lead of Tor View Teaching School Hub. And that’s why they have put their trust in IT specialist Holker IT.
Katrina, formerly the business manager of the special school in Rossendale, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, said: “Our school has grown considerably, and the network and IT is something we just kept adding to like a game of Buckaroo.
“We have 160 staff in school and as we grow, we keep adding buildings and portacabins and expecting things to work. IT is such an integral part of delivering education and we were in a situation where it was struggling to fulfil our needs.”
“We were looking to recruit an in-house Network Manager, who we could put in front of parents and our staff. Holker looked at the applications with us, providing us with the critical perspective and IT knowledge that we did not possess. It’s been a really valuable aspect of the service.”
Holker’s engineer is with the school two days a week with regular meetings.
She explained: “Schools need an IT engineer whose skillset is up-to-date. I feel that Holker are here to benefit and support us. They are specialists in all the areas that we need them to be specialists in.
“We don’t understand cyber security. We are educationalists, not network managers and IT people.
“Holker IT is so proactive. They are able to explain tech to a non-technical person and as well as the day-to-day challenges of a school, Holker have also helped us create a 3-5 year vision for the school’s IT provision and a rolling schedule of budgeted work.”
Holker has also helped the school to migrate to a new broadband provider, suggested upgrade solutions for their conferencing facilities to ensure it can support more users and functions and have plans to move to a cloud-based solution rather than a physical server.
Katrina added: “My experience with Holker has been really good. The communication is excellent, and they keep us updated regularly.
“We feel confident that if we have a problem, Holker have the skills to fix it – and they are very prompt. If we need something we can ask the engineer or the helpdesk.”
Katrina said the expertise of the Holker team has already proven its worth.
She explained: “If our network is down, we can’t order lunches, or access SIMS. But Holker understand the pressures and demands of a school.
“One morning the Wi-Fi wasn’t working on a day our engineer wasn’t on site. Within half an hour, we had an engineer on site to get us back up and running. Holker spend time diagnosing any problems and talk us through the issues, offering solutions that suit our needs.
“With lots of users, it’s important our network is sustainable, and everything works. I would absolutely recommend Holker without hesitation.”