Based in central Birmingham King Edward VI Handsworth School for Girls is an 11-18 selective girls’ school, forming part of the King Edward Foundation. A Performing Arts and Science specialist college it gained High Performing School Status in 2010. There are 901 pupils and 90 members of staff, including 75 teaching staff. The school’s previous telephone system was an old analogue system, which was proving costly when it came to moves or changes to the system. The school recently expanded its science block and needed additional telephone extensions, which was not possible on the existing system. The decision was taken to replace the telephone system with an IP-based solution which could utilise the data cabling infrastructure already in place.
MPS was awarded the contract to provide the new system and installed an IP-based Panasonic NCP1000 telephone system with an advanced KXTVM messaging solution, in turn delivering voicemail to email for staff and teachers. Panasonic Communication Assistant software has delivered Computer Telephony Integration including on-screen dialling, presence and a secure web chat function. MPS also installed an Audio Information Board, which enables parents to call into the school and find out key information such as adverse weather warnings and school trip information.
The old BT system was located in a part of the school that was nowhere near the communications room. The new system and voicemail were installed neatly into the comms room taking up only a small space (6u of rack space) and fits well into the school’s IT infrastructure. The installation took place out of school hours at half term. Asked about the installation, King Edward VI School’s ICT and System Network Manager Craig Wilson said, “The installation was no hassle and the switchover was seamless. The MPS engineers came in, installed the system and it worked. Part of the school is a listed building and the MPS installation is very neat. The MPS team configured the system and handsets and went on to provide comprehensive administrator training.”
King Edward VI School now has a flexible IP based communication solution which is easy to administer and offers increased functionality. The advanced voicemail solution means that messages can now be delivered electronically to teaching staff at the touch of a button, using the voice mail record a call function.
Talking about the support provided by MPS Craig said, “MPS are always quick to respond with quotes, training requests and to resolve any issues. Quotes come back the same day, training has been excellent and they keep me updated on any outstanding issues. Our support contract is very good value as are the products and services MPS provides”
Partnering with MPS
Commenting on the overall experience of partnering with MPS for the school’s communication Craig said, “I’ve been very pleased with the service from MPS. I had little experience of managing a telephone system and they have been very patient and made things easy for me.” Craig concluded with, “MPS provides a personal service with big company capability. I would be happy to recommend them to other schools.”