Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Creating an enriched, secure learning school experience

November 29, 2018

It just needs the right technology – and the right vendor

Common problems, unique needs

Budget cuts, Ofsted inspections, catering for large numbers of pupils with disparate needs and abilities … Serving every pupil’s interests while supporting teachers in their work, complying with statutory guidance and maintaining regular communication with families, is a continual juggling act for any school.

And because no school is the same in terms of student intake, size, campus, location, etc, there is no magic formula for addressing these issues. But as schools like the Royal Alexandra and Albert School (RAAS) are demonstrating, the right technology can derive significant academic benefits for pupils, support staff in their work, and improve day-to-day efficiency.

One of only 36 state-maintained boarding schools in England and Wales, RAAS is co-educational, has many international students, and its intake ranges from year three to sixth form. Committed to providing the best learning experiences, keeping students safe and optimising communication channels for students, staff and families, RAAS’s vision was to create a modern, technically advanced learning and teaching environment.

Off with the old, on with the new

These ambitions necessitated a complete overhaul of the school’s ageing, disparate technology estate. They also required the expertise of a vendor that would design and implement a solution that successfully realised the school’s aims.

The school chose our partner, Cisilion, which like us, understands the education sector and the uniqueness of every school. In a phased implementation, the Cisilion team designed and installed an end-to-end solution, using our technology. This included a LAN refit, Unified Communications deployment and Wi-Fi across all boarding areas.


Fast deployment, minimal disruption

The result has been a stable, secure infrastructure that supports staff in their day-to-day work and enables more effective information sharing and communication between colleagues. RAAS has also achieved its ambition to provide an innovative, exciting learning environment that securely enhances studies. For example, students can use their own devices to access their files and important work instantly; invaluable if they are getting ready for an exam or need access urgently to information to help them with homework.

And the wireless network that makes all this possible is also helping students keep in touch with their families and keeps them safe through secure internet access and physical on-campus location tracking.

The new infrastructure makes possible new levels of functionality, with next steps including the installation of video booths so that boarders can maintain regular ‘face to face’ contact with their families.

A bright future

As I said at the start, there is no magic formula to addressing the continual challenges faced by our hard-pressed schools. However, with the right technology – installed by a vendor like Cisilion that knows the sector and can deliver on time – schools like RAAS are able to create more stimulating and supportive learning and teaching working locations.

As for Cisco, we’re proud that our technology makes innovative projects like this one possible, and that they can be achieved at a realistic price for schools, academies, FE colleges and universities.

For further information, read the Royal Alexandra and Albert School / Cisilion case study.

To learn about our education solutions, visit our webpage, where you can find out how to access our finance options for schools.

Or, simply contact the Cisco education team.


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