Background

Located on the outskirts of Liverpool, Deyes High School and College@Deyes Sixth Form Centre is part of a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) and a school that prides itself on the outstanding quality of teaching that’s provided to each and every student.

 

As the highest achieving school in the area, they hold values that prepare and guide pupils long after leaving the school gates.

The core values they hold such as respecting every member of the school and being fair and honest with each other are adopted early by both staff and pupils. The success of encompassing this attitude is reflected within their Ofsted rating.

 

Rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and ‘Outstanding’ for online safeguarding, inspectors have highlighted how teaching staff are passionate about ensuring that all students are performing to their optimum potential, and how through the rich experience offered throughout Sixth Form, an increasing proportion of students are progressing to study at top universities after studying at Deyes High School.

 

Situation

As a school that prides itself on providing the best learning environment for pupils, having the right technology in place to ensure this is maintained, is key.

Having reflected on the current technology offering around the campus and wanting students to maintain their outstanding accomplishments, Deyes High School and College@Deyes saw a need to refresh the IT hardware that was in place. But with a tight budget, replacing the current estate with brand new devices would prove difficult.

 

Commenting on the situation the school were in, Mark Hoban, Network Manager for Deyes High School and Sixth Form College explains: “We had gotten to a stage where we hadn’t invested in new tech for our ICT suite for sometime. Given that we pride ourselves on providing the best learning environment for our students, that fact that we’d not replaced our tech in so long was something that needed to change. Taking this into consideration, it became clear that we needed a complete refresh of our IT hardware provision across the school. It was desperately needed!

 

“As a standard procurement method, we tend to purchase brand new hardware. But unfortunately, this time round, our budgets had been slashed which meant the funds that we had previously just weren’t available to us anymore. The fact of the matter though was that we needed to replace the outdated tech and fast. It wasn’t conducive to our learning environments and we needed something in place that was a bit more current and wouldn’t be too much of a drain on our budget.”

 

With an IT suite that needed an urgent replacement and the added issue of having a limited amount of funds, the school needed a solution that would allow them to refresh their existing hardware estate on a budget. Having looked into options, Mark found that the best route to go down would be refurbished devices and from there the school set out to find a solutions provider that could help them achieve just that.

Solution

Having made the decision to invest in refurbished technology, Deyes High School and Sixth Form College contacted a number of potential suppliers and requested evaluation units to trial to ensure this was the right path for the school to be going down. Speaking about the process, Mark comments: “The main reason we chose to go with refurbished products was purely down to cost more than anything. After making the decision to update our IT estate with reconditioned devices, a supplier contacted us and bought 20 machines in for us to sample.

 

“At the time we were trialling these devices, Stone also got in touch to inform us about some offers they had on their Stone Approved range of refurbished hardware, and advised us that they were also providing the very same machines we had as evaluation units. Not one to be biased we continued to evaluate a number of machines from different suppliers before putting a proposal out.”

 

Mark continues: “After receiving multiple bids and having evaluated all units thoroughly, we opted to award Stone as our supplier of choice for our refurbished tech project.

“We’ve been working with Stone for over 10 years and throughout this partnership, we’ve purchased countless amounts of Stone hardware – including desktops and notebooks, and have never really encountered an issue. We also wanted a trusted partner to carry out the project with and naturally, Stone was the right option to go with.”

 

Speaking about this further, Mark comments: “From the offset, we needed IT equipment that was versatile enough to meet all staff and student requirements, that would be used not only for general office use, but for students to use for a range of tasks at varying levels of intensities too. And as such, the quality of the hardware was an important factor to consider.

 

“As an education provider that prides itself on offering the best facilities, we’d never shied away from investing in brand new hardware and therefore wanted to match this quality to maintain the consistency of equipping students with excellent safeguarding practices and preparing them for future employment. But, as I previously mentioned, continued budget cuts meant regularly purchasing brand new equipment had become an increasingly impossible task.”

 

With this in mind, Stone took on board everything that the school wanted and understood and recognised the requirements set by them. As part of the overall IT refresh they were able to assist Deyes High School and Sixth Form College with their much-needed IT upgrade project and have so far supplied over 180 refurbished Dell 790 desktops for the school’s ICT suite.

 

From choosing to invest in refurbished hardware, the school have only witnessed great results. Commenting on this, Mark explains: “I think there’s often a misconception about ‘refurb’ that scares people. I find the main concerns that often arise are whether refurbished machines will perform poorly or lack the reliability compared to that of a new desktop – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. To be honest, and having evaluated this kit, I can truly say that refurbished hardware lives up to our every expectation.”

 

“The performance and quality of the components of the products are great and we haven’t encountered any issues with the refurbished machines. We required desktops that were flexible in performance as they weren’t just going to be used for day to day tasks within the offices or for admin purposes such as student database processing. They were also going to be used by pupils across the school within lessons. From Year 7’s completing basic word processing and presentation slides right up to Year 10’s and 11’s using them for slightly more intensive tasks, such as video editing through Adobe Dreamweaver.

 

“There’s the assumption that the choice to opt for refurbished hardware is a risky thing to do, but I can honestly say that choosing to go with refurb was definitely the best decision for us. As a school, we’ve accomplished what we set out to achieve. We’ve managed to refresh our estate whilst staying within budget. They may not be straight out of the box new, but looking at them you wouldn’t know that! And the excellent performance of the machines means we can still offer the best IT facilities for our school, we’ve just not had to break the bank to get there!”

The decision to opt for refurbished devices, and partner with Stone, was the best decision that we made. Everyone likes brand new devices, we can’t deny it, but when budget cuts hit you left, right and centre – you just have to look into every available option. Stone were there to help guide us on the right solution and the continued support is second to none. The quality of the devices have been superb and has allowed us and our students to continue to achieve our goals in an efficient learning environment.”

“We’ve been working with Stone for quite a while now and over the past ten years if there’s ever been an issue with the machines, all we have to do is get in touch with our Account Manager, Dom, who works hard to ensure these problems are resolved straight away.

“A lot of other suppliers don’t want to deal with any of the complications that arise once an investment has been made, however this just isn’t the case when working with Stone, we definitely made the right choice and look forward to the continued relationship for years to come.

— Mark Hoban, Network Manager, Deyes High School and Sixth Form College