Concero aces huge transition at Tipton Academy

At The Ace Academy

By Melissa Heise

Taking your school’s ICT in-house can seem like a daunting prospect.

Wednesday, June 19 2019

But when your school is locked into an inefficient Building Schools for the Future (BSF) managed service, it can seem like an unachievable goal. This was the unenviable position that ACE Academy, Tipton, found itself in.

Taking your school’s ICT in-house can seem like a daunting prospect and when your school is locked into an inefficient managed service, it can seem like an unachievable goal. This was the unenviable position that ACE Academy, Tipton, found itself in.

When its existing provider told the secondary school and sixth form that it would be impossible to extricate itself from the managed service, senior leaders turned to colleagues in the Education Central MAT for help. They suggested the school contact Concero for help.

Impartial advice when you need it most

‘ACE Academy was tied in to old infrastructure and an expensive managed service that offered no flexibility,’ explains Bradley Clegg, Concero Director of Business Development and Marketing. ‘Coping with the inefficiencies of this system was adding to staff workload so the school wanted to exit its current contract and look for a more sustainable and cost-effective ICT solution. The situation was a complex one and the school was being told that there was no alternative.’

When Bradley accompanied senior leaders from the school to meetings with its existing ICT services provider and representatives, it became clear that the school had more options than it was being led to believe.

‘We needed someone we could trust to tell us whether it was possible to take our ICT system in-house,’ explains the school’s Business Manager, Melissa Heise. ‘Concero worked in partnership with us to help us understand our options.’

Achieving the seemingly unachievable

Drawing on its extensive experience of change management projects in schools, Concero built a bespoke ICT system that the school could manage itself in just over two weeks. ‘Work to build the system and migrate the school’s data was timed to coincide with the Christmas school holiday, so it was business as usual when the staff and students returned at the start of the new term,’ Bradley recalls.

Building the new core ICT system for the school was just one part of the story. Throughout the project Concero managed communication between 20 other ICT providers to ensure that the new system worked seamlessly with the existing software and technology that staff and students rely on.

‘We took on the task of rebuilding Ace Academy’s ICT system from scratch in just a matter of weeks, working with a range of different suppliers over the Christmas period,’ notes Concero’s Andy Cunningham, Programme & Compliance Manager. ‘It was an ambitious project but we knew that it was possible, even in the tight timeframe.’

Building an ongoing relationship

What started out as a problem for the school has had a positive outcome. ‘Concero proved to be serious about its work and we knew from the start that we would actually enjoy working on this project with them. They are an open and friendly team,’ adds Ace Academy’s Melissa Heise.

Concero delivered a cost-effective, responsive system that would give the school full control of its ICT and which can be scaled to meet the needs of ACE Academy in the future. At the same time, Concero’s technicians upgraded the school’s operating system to Windows 10 and reconfigured staff emails to run on Office 365, giving the school all the benefits of additional Windows security features and the flexibility offered by cloud-based applications.

But there was another twist in the tale. At the last moment, the technicians that the school had lined up to manage its ICT, including the new system, backed out.

The school once again turned to Concero, which now provides ongoing support for the Academy through its ‘Fully Managed’ ICT support package. This service provides an on-site, outsourced ICT department staffed by Concero’s team of dedicated technicians, who keep the school’s ICT secure, efficient and compliant so its staff can focus on delivering outstanding teaching and learning.

Concero is proud to support the schools it works with every step of the way in developing the right ICT solutions for their needs. Get in touch today on 0333 111 0004 or by visiting to find out how the Concero team could help your school achieve its technology goals.

Our Infrasructure Support service can help build on what you already have

Infrastructure is the crucial back bone of your school, without a good solid, manageable infrastructure it can lead to problems. We work with you and your existing hardware to maximise its potential. Our technical expertise allows us to tune and improve what you have, we don't believe in just replacing services unless it is actually needed. Our main goal with this service is to save you money and help you meet the DFE and Ofsted requirements for infrastructure. We want to see every school with Concero Broadband, this allows you to get the best possible speeds that prepare you for cloud services. It also allows free changes which allows us to shape the service as you require.

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