The Federation of Orchard and Southwold Primary Schools in Hackney, has chosen asset accounting and tracking software from RAM to improve reporting accuracy and adhere to regulatory requirements.
The schools, which are more than 100 years old, have a combined total of 900 students and a variety of different static and mobile assets including interactive whiteboards, cameras, laptops and tablets.
In September 2013, the two schools, which previously collaborated under an informal partnership, federated with the objective of continuing to provide educational excellence, consistently good teaching and high quality learning opportunities. The federation is overseen by a single Governing Body. As part of the move, the schools are able to benefit from the sharing of costs and resources, yet are also required to retain individual budgets and keep clear audit trails under the Schools Financial Value Standards (SFVS).
For this reason, the schools no longer have a dedicated IT suite with computers and IT equipment in one place. Instead, IT is integrated into everyday learning and is high on the schools’ curriculum resulting in the equipment being constantly in use and constantly moving. Due to the complex and highly mobile environment and increased reporting requirements, the schools business manager, Giuseppa Colella-Mare decided to replace the existing system of spreadsheet-based asset management with an automated system that could better monitor the assets and their locations.
“We own a variety of IT equipment, most of which is mobile and moves from classroom to classroom with pupils or teachers. This was beginning to highlight problems for us when it came to managing these assets and keeping an up to date record for the auditors,” says Colella-Mare. “We needed something that was able to help us track the assets no matter where on the premises they were. This is what initially led us to RAM after reading a very positive report about its products online.”
The RAM solution went live in March 2014, and will allow the IT Manager to perform monthly audits across all sites, ensuring that the asset system is kept up to date at all times.
Colella-Mare continues, “IT is increasingly important in today’s educational curriculum; it’s becoming an integral part of modern learning. As such, it was important that our own systems supported the innovative use of IT within everyday lessons. RAM is offering me a solution that supports the federation’s overall objective of high quality learning, high quality reporting and cost control, and I am looking forward to enjoying the benefits of the new system.”
Colella-Mare concludes, “I am really looking forward to implementing the system as the service we have received from RAM has been great so far. They are very pro-active and have really bought into our objectives. They are proving to be a real IT partner for us.”