Severn Vale School is an eight form entry, 11-16 academy located in Quedgeley, Gloucester, with 235 students joining the school each year. The school has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, seeing continued improvements in student outcomes (66% achieving 5 GCSE passes including English and Maths – 2014). The school became an academy in 2011.
Underpinning the school’s curriculum activity is a Citrix Xen desktop environment delivering a virtual desktop where all required applications can be accessed from a central server. To help manage its infrastructure, the school had used Impero for network and desktop management, whilst enforcing its e-safety and safeguarding policies with the use of Securus. However, after encountering poor support on the network/desktop support side along with updates that broke functionality, it wanted to find a credible replacement for Impero.
Recommended to the school by IT supplier, Strive, they reviewed NetSupport DNA’s suite and identified it included all of the core features required (including Inventory, Software Licensing, Power Management, Software Distribution, Application and Internet Metering, and Alerting). The school was also surprised to see that it featured endpoint security, SNMP device management and support for multi-site management – as well as a far more extensive classroom management solution that includes a number of unique assessment and learning features built to meet Ofsted best practice.
Critically, the Safeguarding module in NetSupport DNA included all of the core functionality the school relied on as well as providing an additional word cloud view to identify real-time trending topics amongst students, filtering by applications and more.
The final decision was taken after trialling NetSupport DNA, when the price to purchase came in lower than the renewal cost of their existing solutions.
IT supplier Strive said: “We knew NetSupport DNA was the right fit for Severn Vale. In recent months, we have seen schools moving to NetSupport DNA due to it having the broadest set of features alongside a very competitive price point. In recent years, we have seen other solutions struggle technically and the quality of their solutions diminish, whereas NetSupport DNA seems to just keep going from strength to strength. NetSupport DNA is unique in terms of its multi-site support – but also works flawlessly on both traditional (fat client) and virtualized (thin client) desktops, meaning it can be used in any school setting.”
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