Carmel College IT
partnership delivers top results for students
TOP performing local school, Carmel
College, Merseyside, has gone from strength to strength over the years, gaining
a national reputation for quality.
Gaining 'outstanding in all aspects of its provision' in its latest Ofsted
inspection, Carmel clearly knows what is required to provide a 1st class
education to its 1,800 students.
Opened in 1987, it has a history of high
performance and accolades, including being 1 of the 1st 4 6th Form
Colleges in the country to be awarded Beacon status in 1999; an award that
recognises outstanding teaching, learning and management.
In 2004 it was also
named as 1 of the best colleges in the country.
In recent years Carmel has invested over ?23m in transforming its campus into:-
"a truly inspiring place of learning providing technology rich facilities for
generations to come."
Part of this investment included assessing the condition of the School's desktop
systems, which found that a small proportion of these had reached the end of
their lifespan. There was also a requirement for additional capacity some areas.
Chris Stankus, Software Development Manager at Carmel, said:- "As with
many other institutions, there are unavoidable financial pressures in place, so
finding a cost effective, but fit for purpose solution was of paramount
importance to us.
We discussed many scenarios that would allow us to achieve both the replacement
and the expansion we wanted with the least possible capital outlay, which led us
to the conclusion that refurbished machines may be a viable option.
There were some initial concerns about using refurbished equipment, as opposed
to buying new, as our whole system uses DELL and HP, and we needed to make sure
any additions would be in line with this.
However, after speaking to some colleagues in other Colleges who had gone down
the refurbished route successfully, we decided to give it a go.
It was those other colleagues who recommended Hardware Associates to Carmel, and
once Chris got in touch with them, he was impressed with the company's
commitment to helping them find the right solution for the College; including
providing an extended warranty on all machines. Because reliability and
availability are of vital importance to us, we also requested an extended
warranty on top of the usual year, which Hardware Associates were more than
happy to provide."
Chris was also pleasantly surprised to find out just how much of a saving could
be made using top quality refurbished machines; over ?6000 on the initial
replacement and expansion project. And of course the machines have proven
themselves; helping to provide a positive, frustration free experience for
Chris concluded:- "The IT systems that we use at Carmel are integral to
the learning experience for our students, using the best possible and most up to
date software on a good hardware platform. Some schools might be put off buying
refurbished equipment; feeling that they always need to buy new. For us
however, using refurbished machines has directly contributed to our goal of
achieving academic excellence."