The school

Founded in 1849, Hurstpierpoint College (HPPC) is a thriving, co-educational day and boarding school for pupils aged 4 to 18, sitting within a stunning 140-acre campus in West Sussex.

Since 2005 the number of pupils has grown from 667 to 1189. The school promotes academic excellence whilst pupils learn a sense of duty, an awareness of right and wrong and respect for others. Today, this leading independent school is naturally at the forefront of educational advancements and reforms, able to adapt and respond to changes within the education system and driving forward innovation within the sector. This flexibility is a luxury that allows Hurst to create student-focused curriculums to suit the needs of all learners.

 The decision to choose a managed service

Historically Hurst has been at the forefront of embracing technology, trail blazing the introduction of iPads as part of its aims to embrace and promote a high-level strategic vision for ICT. Hurst was one of the first schools nationally to provide these high specification mobile devices, and these have now become intrinsic tools to develop skills and facilitate and enhance the flexible learning experience for senior pupils at HPPC. As a consequence of the continued integration of technology into the learning experience and adoption of innovative teaching techniques, issues arose around the future management and support of technology in the school and how best to strategically align it with its future aims.

In short, neither the school IT infrastructure nor the in-house IT support team and the apparent shortages of skills precipitated a fundamental re-examination of Hurst’s IT provisioning.

Why choose Class Technology Solutions (CTS)?

Possessing a long pedigree of working with the Independent sector, CTS was ideally placed to become the IT managed service partner to Hurst, with a demonstrable track record of managing I.T. services in a diverse range of pre-prep, prep and secondary schools. Class Technology could bring to Hurst a deep understanding of technology usage in education, a high level of expertise and experience in providing transparent managed services and the bonus of being able to leverage benefits from its key relationships with major technology partners such as Microsoft and Google. After a detailed process of appraisal and evaluation, Hurst became convinced in 2015 that Class Technology Solutions provided the most advantageous model of support, that struck the right balance of achieving costs savings through increased efficiencies that met the School’s budgetary requirements.

The immediate challenge-CTS in action

After a seamless transition, the first objective for the new dynamic and proactive on-site CTS support team was to resolve the cumulative pressures of technology usage, an underperforming network infrastructure and to provide a strategic plan to chart wholesale improvements to improve teaching and learning at Hurst.

A key initial requirement concerned providing campus-wide documentation re-mapping the School’s IT infrastructure. This has enabled a number of critical projects to be completed over the last few years including:

  • A Substantial Upgrade to the school’s network infrastructure – including the installation of new fibre optic cables, a new side-wide wireless network, web filtering, firewalls and the segregation of various parts of the network to improve performance and reliability.
  • Making the entire system highly available to ensure stability in the event of outages of one or another node.
  • The redesign of the entire school active directory and security policies to ensure a secure environment for both Staff and Students
  • Preparing the network for a rollout of BYOD and personal devices
  • Implementation of a new CCTV system for campus wide security
  • Deployment of multiple batches of over 200 Mac Book Airs for use by students and staff and then the implementation of 190 Microsoft Surface Pro devices for students

Embracing the Cloud with CTS

The school have made a significant investment in their cloud provision. Utilising CTS’s Cloud Product, they have made use of Microsoft 365  to provide multiple sites and multiple document libraries to move their documents to the Microsoft Cloud. This is now used by all staff and students across the entire group. All Hurst Students and Staff have access to unlimited personal cloud storage, along with 50gb of Mailbox data, with the ability to download 5 copies of office from home. By using the Microsoft Cloud, and Class Technology’s accompanying services, the chance of data loss is minimised, if not fully eliminated, as Hurst’s data is saved up within the Microsoft Cloud, which has had a positive impact on delivering learning outcomes. The return on investment that the cloud provisioning has yielded has also proved popular with both staff, students and parents and its potential is promoted and showcased at the frequent ‘open days’.

The future

Hurst’s vision for future technology development is understandably ambitious. The CTS and Hurst Partnership continues to flourish, building upon strong, solid and trusted foundations, an exemplary managed IT service underpinned by an impeccably reliable and high performing infrastructure and network.