Jason Shields – Senior ICT Technician
Tell us about St Bernard’s Catholic High School…
St. Bernard’s Catholic High School is situated on the outskirts of Barrow in Furness in Cumbria in the shadow of Furness Abbey; a local beacon of history, religion and culture.
We are a school firmly rooted in our community which stretches beyond our walls to our primary schools and parishes with whom we work closely so as to fulfil our mission for Catholic education in the Furness area. Although we are a Catholic School, we welcome applications from parents of pupils of all backgrounds who wish to experience the commitment we have to provide outstanding education and care for each young person entrusted to us.
At St Bernard’s Catholic High School, we currently use NetSupport School, NetSupport DNA, NetSupport Notify and NetSupport ServiceDesk.
What are some of the IT challenges you face?
We wanted to improve our security, asset management, central management and deployment.
How have NetSupport’s solutions helped at your school?
We use NetSupport ServiceDesk to manage all support requests within the school. This allows staff to easily create support requests and to keep a track of their progress. The separate sections for incidents, problems and change requests allows us to further organise jobs as required.
We use NetSupport Notify to communicate important information around the school. We are spread across four physically separate buildings and Notify allows us great flexibility in this regard. We can target all students, all staff, individual buildings by name, and any or all of these. It’s a great product.
NetSupport DNA helps us with asset management, safeguarding, and gives us general information about PCs and users themselves; software licence management and compliance; and very useful safeguarding tools including a flexible system of alerting – via keyword, category and suchlike. The safeguarding features in particular are extremely useful in helping us to keep our young people safe and happy.
NetSupport School is primarily used as a classroom management tool by the teaching staff, although technical staff also use it regularly. It is used for remote support and fault diagnoses/solution as well as to perform other administrative tasks on a number of PCs at once. If I want to copy/install files on 30+ machines at once, I use NetSupport School – it is so very useful!
How has NetSupport DNA helped with supporting your safeguarding efforts?
It alerts us on keyword searches, suspect websites visited and suchlike. I have been able to provide an ‘early warning’ on a number of pupils and flagged them up to our safeguarding team, rather than them struggling on and things coming to light much later than they otherwise would. The flexible options for alert via keyword or phrase are especially useful in this regard.
Where and how have NetSupport’s solutions added value to your school?
They have helped us to save money, increase our productivity and save time. They’re also flexible and easy to use.
What is it like working with NetSupport?
The support is excellent: quick, thorough and usually effective! I have nothing but good things to say about NetSupport as a company, but especially the technical support staff!
How do your NetSupport solutions compare to previous solutions the organisation has used?
Before NetSupport Notify, we used to use the built-in Windows net send command! Massive improvement here!
We didn’t have any classroom management before NetSupport School so, as you can imagine, things are much improved now.
Previously, asset management was done via an access database and manual checks – and safeguarding was limited to checking internet history manually by hand! This was very time-consuming and, thankfully, NetSupport DNA now frees us up to do other tasks.
Support requests used to be written on a form and put in my pigeonhole – as well as the relevant information being recorded in an MS Access database. Staff didn’t like filling the forms out and I didn’t like manually entering all the data into Access! NetSupport ServiceDesk is a really handy piece of software.
What are your final thoughts on the software?
NetSupport software has undoubtedly made my job a thousand times easier – from centralised asset management through to remote support, safeguarding and job logging. Teaching staff love the features that NetSupport School provides, as well as the ServiceDesk ease of use and the simplicity of Notify. The school is more efficient and has greater information at our fingertips, thanks to you guys!