Since March schools have faced a constant stream of challenges brought about by Covid-19. As you read this we will have entered a second national lockdown, the coming months will no doubt bring further challenges that you will need to deal with to keep staff and pupils safe.
We have seen the impact the pandemic has had on how schools communicate over the past seven months, through our Telecom Planning Audits and Phone System Procurement Projects we have helped numerous schools to overcome some of these challenges.
The most common problems facing schools are as follows:
- Communicating with Parents
The reduction in face to face meetings has led to an increase of inbound and outbound phone calls with parents and suppliers. In addition to this, many schools are using their phones for parent evening consultations.
This increase in call traffic has had a major impact as most schools don’t have enough phone lines to accommodate the additional calls, especially on parent evenings.
Modern phone systems using new phone line technology can easily cope with this increase in demand. Depending on your telecoms supplier it is possible to increase the number of lines for a short period of time to cater for the increase in demand for parent evenings, once the event has finished you can revert back to your original number of lines, thus saving you money.
- Social Distancing in School
We have seen a large increase in the number of schools installing handsets into classrooms over the last seven months, which has a number of benefits:
- It helps reduce the movement and mixing of staff in the school.
- It is easier to locate and speak to members of staff.
- If the correct handsets are installed, they can also be used for lockdown purposes, as a paging call can be made to all handsets simultaneously advising staff of the situation.
- Working from Home
Schools must continue operating and educating children in the event of bubbles collapsing, staff self-isolating and school closures, all of which are likely to result in key staff needing to work from home.
Modern phone systems can enable staff to communicate with their colleagues and parents from home, just as they would if they were in school. Software can be downloaded onto mobile phones, tablets, PC’s or laptops. The phone software can be allocated with extension numbers, enabling internal and external calls to be made to and from the devices. Not only does this improve work efficiency, but staff morale will get a boost too – those working from home, no longer need to feel quite so isolated.
How we can help
With the BT Network Switch Off coming in 2025 and the pressures placed on schools from Covid-19, it is vital that you get the right advice and make the right decisions. As independent telecoms advisors to over 700 schools, 200+ of which are LASBM members, we are the perfect partner to advise you on the best course of action for your school.
Please contact us by phone or email for advice.
Tel. 01937 420052