Duffryn High SchoolPosted by
Duffryn High School is a dynamic school, located within three buildings on a seventy acre site. The school faced the twin challenges of continual expansion and the drive to keep abreast of new developments.
Duffryn High School is a mixed comprehensive serving south west Newport and the surrounding area. The school includes a sixth form, which continues to grow in numbers.
Duffryn High School is a thriving community school with approximately 1,200 students between the ages of 11- 18. The school has 70 teachers and 66 support staff . Duffryn High has a very caring ethos; recent initiatives include a healthy eating scheme and membership of the international ‘eco-schools’ scheme which focuses on raising global environmental awareness. Duffryn High School encourages close co-operation between staff, students and parents.
Duffryn is a dynamic school, located within three buildings on a seventy acre site. Eighteen months ago, the school was facing the twin challenges of continual expansion and the drive to keep abreast of new developments and initiatives within the education environment.
In the light of these challenges, one area of concern for the school was its ability to provide the right level of communication and service for both parents and staff. The existing telephone system was labour intensive in terms of answering increasing levels of internal and external calls; in addition, the growth of the school together with the introduction of new educational initiatives often required the re-location of teaching staff and pupils into different areas of the school site. It was clear that the school needed a more flexible, feature rich communications system.
Samantha Roberts, Duffryn School’s Office Manager explained, “In accordance with our audit regulations, we asked three companies to submit proposals. After some evaluation, the school favoured a solution from TTG, based on the Avaya IP Office system”. “We did a lot of initial research” said Sam “And in addition, the school’s Vice Chairman of Governors who heads up a charity organisation, invited us to speak with his Network Manager, who was familiar with a number of telecommunications systems including the Avaya IP Office system and who gave us an objective overview of what each of the three proposals could offer us”.
Mark Thorne, Duffryn Strategic Manager of ICT, continued, “Our reception was being overloaded with calls from parents, the education authority and other organisations within our local community and we wanted to resolve this problem and at the same time, provide a better level of service”. The installation was successfully carried out by TTG during the February half term. Sam recalls, “We returned from holiday to be faced with a new telephone system, new telephones and a totally new way of working. However, the trainer was ready at 08:30 to take us through the system so that we were quickly up to speed. This was typical of the support we received throughout the project.”
Since the installation of the Avaya IP Office system, the school has the facility to route incoming calls to the various departments by asking callers to select the appropriate option. “I don’t think there have been any negative comments since we have been using this system” commented Sam, “So in terms of our customers, there is improved satisfaction.”
Duffryn High School consists of three buildings; the main building contains the majority of the administrative processes for the school and is where the Avaya IP Office system is situated. Mark points out that “As part of the Avaya IP system install, the school has VoIP which has enabled digital phones to be utilised throughout the administrative area.” An attractive feature of the Avaya IP Office system is Phone Manager Pro which allows staff to take total control of their phone calls from their PC. Sam is enthusiastic about the benefits of Phone Manager Pro, “I’ve got a log of the last 100 calls that have come in on my line and gone out of my line; a record of messages;
“We returned from holiday to be faced with a new telephone system, new telephones and a totally new way of working. However,
the trainer was ready at 08:30 to take us through the system so that we were quickly up to speed. This was typical of the support we received throughout the project.”
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“I’ve got a speed dial option and then I’ve got a voice mail box. So I just click on the voicemail box and listen to voicemail.”
“At the top of my screen,” continued Sam, “I’ve got icons that help me to transfer a call, answer a call, ring back, place a call on hold – and you can set up your own directory. Phone Manager also links into your Microsoft Outlook inbox, so I know the name of the caller – which can be very handy if you are busy”. Mark concluded, “The installation of the Avaya IP Office system means that we have a slightly different way of working but I think it has given the parents and students a much better impression of the school. It has also provided teachers and admin staff a modern, feature-rich communications system.”
- Improved customer service: Incoming callers no longer get switched to random telephones if the switchboard is busy, instead they can direct the call themselves and if necessary, leave a voicemail.
- Reduced man hours: There is a general feeling in the school, especially amongst the reception staff that the system, as well as providing a better standard of service, is doing so with a much reduced level of receptionist intervention.
- Greater flexibility: The system already provides the school with the flexibility to accommodate growth and interdepartmental re- organisations, with minimum fuss and in an economic manner. The system also allows for rapid lock down of telephones, to prevent unauthorised use.
- Scaleability: The investment in the Avaya IP Office is protected in that should the rate at which the school is expanding eventually require further accommodation to be built, then the system can be scaled to meet the new requirement.