Despite the challenges of lockdown, Susan Denham, Executive Head Teacher at Holywell Church of England School in Devon and a Schools Broadband Customer, has been a positive driving force in the implementation of a new FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connection working in conjunction with Schools Broadband, BT Openreach and the local council. A development that will inevitably bring huge benefits to staff and students working both in school and remotely.
Until now, Holywell School had to make do with an FTTC connection that was unable to meet the schools demands when it came to speed and reliability. With the new FTTP connection, Holywell can access significantly faster, more reliable speeds, making for a much greater, seamless online learning experience for its pupils and a much easier stress-free teaching experience for staff.
Susan was instrumental in driving the project forward. Susan Comments: “I was feeling extremely frustrated that as a school we were unable to access connectivity that would allow our students the quality learning experience they deserve and my staff the technology they require to effectively communicate to students both remotely but also when presenting in the classroom. Regardless of location, a reliable connection is vital, especially in lockdown when we want to give children the best chance to still learn, whilst at home. It was time to bring the school into the 21st century.”
“There wasn’t a Fibre cable installed to the school which prevented us from moving to FTTP, so I contacted the Chair of the Local Parish Council, who then sent a request to our Local MP highlighting the issue. Our MP liaised with BT Openreach and I’m pleased to say that within three days the project to install the Fibre connection was underway with a BT Openreach Engineer onsite.”
“Schools Broadband was instrumental in helping to set up our new connection. Once the fibre cable had been put in place, they quickly set up the FTTP connection via the cable. Rob Merryfield at Schools Broadband totally understood the importance of what we were trying to achieve and what it meant to our staff and students. His support has been invaluable. The whole project has been a real positive for our school despite lockdown and the challenges it has brought. The children and staff have taken a keen interest in watching the cable being taken from pole to pole, observing a telegraph pole being put in and watching fibre being spliced. It’s been an education for us all!”
Susan believes that fast, reliable broadband for schools isn’t just important during lockdown but also going forward, as part of her overall aim to bridge the Digital Divide and give students an equal chance to learn.
“I believe that as we move out of lockdown, the ability to provide all students access to a quality, online learning experience, regardless of their background, is imperative. For our school, knowing that we will have a foolproof connection will help us with both blended and remote learning for years to come.”