Communication within schools and colleges is becoming an increasingly important topic. Never before has there been such focus on accessibility, timely communication, responsiveness and the ability to message or page large groups.
What is more, schools and colleges are also having to seriously consider school safety and how they can communicate emergency messages to key services and large groups of people in multiple locations, be that classrooms, schools buildings or campuses.
It is now recognised that there are many areas of communication that needs to be considered if a solution is to completely meet the ever-growing list of requirements.
It is our view that in the education sector, telephone systems need to be more than just that - they need to act as a Communications Platform. They should be able to offer full and seamless access between the School, its students, their parents, the School's service suppliers and the emergency services, should they be needed. The system must provide one-to-one and at the same time one-to-many communication options.
As a platform, the system should also have the ability to integrate Lock Down and Lock Out solutions as well as Evacuation and Reverse Evacuation communications. It should have the ability to act as a Broadcast Platform, or to make up to date information available to parents should events require this.
But, in order to deliver ubiquitous and seamless communications across all teaching and none teaching areas at a school site or college campus, we must first of all review one of the great taboo subjects in the UK Education sector: handsets in classrooms.
It has almost become a tradition that schools and colleges do not put phones in classrooms and teaching areas. When this is questioned, two main reasons are provided. For many a telephone handset in a classroom is seen as an unnecessary cost and also as a potential disruption.
However, views are changing. As education becomes increasingly dependent upon IT and digital resource, Schools are increasingly waking up to the benefits of enabling classrooms and learning spaces to communicate quickly and efficiently with the school’s support teams. Long gone are the days of sending a lone trusted pupil out of the classroom in search of IT support.
“Previously, teachers found it hard to request IT support in a lesson. With a phone in every classroom any issues that directly affect teaching can be given an immediate response. This improves the classroom experience for teachers and pupils and helps to avoid wasted lessons.”
James Leeson – Loughborough Schools Foundation.
What is more, schools are increasingly recognising the benefits of telephony as a helpful tool for classroom support. Lone teachers can easily summon help should an urgent incident occur by placing a call to reception, the Head Teacher, the IT Department, Estates, even the School Nurse.
It is important for callers to be able to talk to the right person the first time they call. However, that is not always possible.
To overcome this we provide systems that enable the caller to leave a voice message that can then be converted into a sound file (.wav) and delivered attached to an email in a designed email inbox. This means the message can be dealt with more easily and stored for future reference, improving parent and teacher interaction.
All of our systems have the ability to ‘turn on’ call recording mid call. This feature is becoming increasingly important for schools and college staff as incidence of threatening and abusive calls has increased. These calls can then be stored and replayed as required, enabling these incidents to be dealt with, with the details of the call content to hand.
Many schools are now using their telephone system to manage absence reporting, especially at peak times, enabling the administration teams to deal with parents, pupils and offer support face to face.
Our school systems can be programmed to redirect important calls when the schools is closed, be that for rest the of the day, weekends and even during school holidays.
Keeping in touch with parents has never been easier. Systems from Evoke Telecom can be programmed to provide parents with access to recorded messages for important updates. Be it a closure due to extreme weather, a school trip coach caught up in traffic or a more serious emergency, parents can be kept up to date should they phone in for more information.
With a wealth of experience and expertise in the education Sector, Evoke Telecom are able to offer telephone systems and solutions that can also help your school or College to work smarter, more efficiently, to be more environmentally friendly and to save money.
To support this, we offer a wide range of telephony options from two of the best known global brands in Avaya and Ericsson-LG. Options include a system on your premises, Cloud Hosted telephony, or a solution that can be deployed to an onsite server, or the school's own VMWare or Hyper V virtualised environments.
What is more, with the increasing emergence of Trusts we also offer solutions that can deliver a single shared service across or between campuses.
Most of our solutions offer open APIs, which means we can integrate other solutions into your system, making it a more rounded strategic Communications Platform. This might include tannoys and loud speakers, locks on doors and gates, video telephones and intercoms. It is even possible to add Digital Radios into some systems for important ‘All Staff’ emergency messaging.
The possibilities are almost endless.
If you would like to know more or meet with one of our specialists to explore how Evoke Telecom might be able to help with affordable Superfast Internet Access Services at your School or College, then please do drop our team a line at [email protected] or give us a call on 01509 278278 and ask to talk to one of our Schools Sales Specialists.
Alternatively, take a look at what schools and colleges up and down the UK have to say about their experience of working with the team at Evoke Telecom.