Education Roundup: Schools get IT makeovers


b]Ware Deacon School goes wireless

Motorola has deployed 802.11g Wi-Fi hardware across Ware Deacon High School in Cheshire, replacing the institution's slow and out-of-date mixture of equipment.

Teachers wanted to access the school's network across the entire site, but found that they were hindered in doing so with the school's fixed computer suites, the limited number of wheeled mobile access points and an unreliable wireless system.

The school has now implemented a fully-managed, secure wireless network allowing pupils and teachers to access their information safely without having to book a computer room or mobile access point.

"Our aim was to embed technology into the curriculum so that it was completely reliable, stable and invisible. By covering the entire campus with Wi-Fi, pupils and teachers could log on whenever and wherever they wanted," said Pamela Wright, headteacher at Wade Deacon.

The school has benefited from a 90 per cent reduction in technicians' time spent with laptops, a reliable connection to the wireless systems and increased pupil productivity.

Shool cuts server power use

Withernsea High School in Hull has enlisted the help of Insight UK and Interface Solutions to help cut its energy consumption

The school has installed a IBM's eServer BladeCenter H Chassis with six blades in place of conventional servers.

At the same time, the school is running VMware virtualisation software on four of the blades, hosting 20 virtual servers.

"The implementation is based around commercially available, industry-leading, tried and tested products, which makes implementations quick, simple to operate and simple to manage. The benefits of the implementation for the school and the environment are clear," said Rob Tomlin, sales director at Interface.

The Hull-based school has also consolidated its two server rooms into one, eliminated 24 of its 27 Dell servers and reduced overall server room power consumption by 65-70 per cent.

IT skills of teachers to be assessed

Teachers will now be examined on their ICT skills, as well as their literacy and numeracy ability.

Technology skills will be a key requirement and part of the professional formation process for conferral of licensed practitioner status by the Institute for Learning (IfL), it has been announced.

The initiative will be launched in September by the IfL with support of partners Standards Verification UK (SVUK), the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and Lifelong Learning (LLUK).

A process for evidencing personal skills in IT will be implemented at a later date not yet specified. However, this will not prevent teachers from achieving professional standing with IfL at this time.