Stone Group - Providing digital transformation solutions to organisations across the UK.


As part of the Hummersknott Academy Trust, both Skerne Park and Hummersknott Academy pride themselves on their commitment to providing outstanding and inclusive learning for all students.

They believe in developing every aspect of the people within their communities so that they can live successful and fulfilled lives.

As part of this ethic, both academies adopt values formed by the Trust, including academic excellence and outstanding provision. This ensures that every student achieves the best they can through exemplary teaching and learning and a curriculum that meets all students individual and developmental needs.


The managed service solution that Stone have introduced across the two estates now provides the academies with a remote and proactive monitoring system that:

  • Remotely checks the heath and status of the network on a continuous basis
  • Detects any problems, issues or errors on the system – be it back-ups, disk space, printers or servers responsiveness etc. – before they arise
  • Identifies areas for improvement
  • Works to resolves potential problems there and then

This ensures that the system works to its full potential, operates with optimal availability and is maintained to a high standard – giving Colin and his team full visibility of how the network is running. This reduces the risk of downtime and disruption in lessons whilst delivering real value to staff and students alike.

Speaking about his experience so far, Colin explains, “This year will be the second year rollout of the managed service provision from Stone and it’s working really well. The fact that it covers both academies is fantastic.

“We have a number of virtual servers across both Skerne Park and Hummersknott Academy but have only had the monitoring software installed on key servers as it would be complete overkill! Additional servers are added as and when we need them. We get regular communication that lets us know the health and status of the network and that’s exactly what we were after. The whole thing just does exactly what it says on the tin – so to speak!

“I’m sure there’s more to it that we’ve not yet explored, but for now it does what we need it to and that’s all that matters. Obviously as time goes on and needs change, we’ll look into other areas of Stone’s managed service offering and see where else they can add benefit.”

Stone have also provided both academies with a number of refurbished PCs and monitors from the Encore range. Colin comments, “Over the past year or so, we’ve brought approximately 30 refurbished machines and monitors from Encore from Stone for student use. We’ve kitted out both academies with refurbished devices and it’s something we’ll continue to do. I didn’t want to buy brand new PCs for students as I didn’t want to have to face having to replace or repair them when students inevitably damaged them! Investing in refurbished devices therefore seemed like the most sensible option.

“As an aside to this, our continual budget constraints also meant that we should probably look for an alternative option to buying brand new equipment and the Encore service from Stone just fit the bill perfectly for that. We now have some really good student devices across the estates that have cost a fraction of the price of investing in new hardware and it all still does exactly what the students need them for. Allowing them to continue to develop their learning skills in an environment that’s fit for purpose.”

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