About Chiltern Way Academy Trust
Chiltern Way is an award winning special educational needs Academy Trust in Buckinghamshire and Berkshire for boys and girls, aged 4 to 19, with autistic spectrum condition (ASC) and social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.
The Trust delivers high-quality education, care and therapies across 4 separate sites for the huge range of needs that exist across the behaviour spectrum.
The staff team is strong and exceptionally committed, bringing with them a wide range of relevant skills and experience to help provide students with the knowledge, resilience and skills they need to become happy, productive and successful members of society.
When Graham Silversides joined the Trust as IT manager, he inherited an IT infrastructure that combined a number of disparate legacy systems and mobile contracts that needed reviewing.
Frustrations with the existing infrastructure included a lack of autonomy. Leased lines were provided by the Local Authority, and Chiltern Way had no control over even the most basic functionality. For example, when teaching staff requested access to certain websites, these requests would need to be authorised by the Local Authority. There was also no control over the firewall and security into the Trust.
Budget in this sector is critical and pricing must be competitive, with service coming a close second. With multiple services that overlap coming into the Trust, it was recognised that it would be hugely beneficial to have one key provider of those services so that issues can be quickly resolved, with a single point of contact to do so.
Graham put together a competitive tender and engaged with Charterhouse after being impressed with our vast experience in this sector, as well as the solution being the most competitive in both cost and functionality.
• Management and support of the mobile estate
• WAN – MPLS network across 4 sites
• Centrally Hosted high availability pair of Palo Alto firewalls sat on centralised Internet breakout
Autonomy – having full visibility and control of the IT infrastructure across the estate, including the vital aspect of security.
Empowerment – the support and guidance of Charterhouse means that the Trust can be trained to take control if there are any knowledge gaps.
Service Excellence – rapid response times to faults has seen a genuine reduction in any down time.
Professional approach – Chiltern Way is benefitting from the experience, skills and expertise of a professional organisation.
Flexibility – the Trust enjoys the ultimate flexibility in how they implement any changes. If the Trust has the existing capability they can manage and update themselves. If not, they can request to be guided by the Charterhouse team on how to conduct the change, or if the Trust is too busy or it is beyond their team’s capability, Charterhouse can implement it.
Looking to the future – as the Trust’s IT strategy evolves, embracing new technologies such as Microsoft Teams, Charterhouse is now recognised as a technology partner that’s big enough to deliver expert advice but small enough to truly care about the relationship.
“Chiltern Way Academy Trust is at the leading edge of introducing new technologies for students to experience and be exposed to. This is a huge responsibility, so working with someone we trust to support us is key. Charterhouse hit the ground running, providing consistent first class service that is firmly cementing a long lasting relationship for the future.”