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Derby IT company helps modernise one of city’s oldest schools

Derby IT company helps modernise one of city’s oldest schools

The headteacher of one of the oldest schools in Derby has thanked staff at a city IT firm for helping to modernise its systems by improving its Wi-fi, installing state-of-the-art security systems and CCTV.

Royal School for the Deaf Derby was founded by Dr William Roe in 1893 and gained its royal status in 1897 as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Based in Ashbourne Road, the school is almost 130 years old and has a rich and proud history.

But Helen Shepherd, who will leave the school this summer after a 35-year career in teaching, was aware of the need to embrace modern technology and has paid tribute to L.E.A.D. IT Services for going ‘above and beyond’ their duties.

She said:

“We began working with L.E.A.D. IT Services around eight years ago and they have been a breath of fresh air.

“Previously, we had very little IT and one of the main jobs that L.E.A.D. have been involved with is ensuring that everyone here at Royal School for the Deaf Derby has access to IT. It was a big project and they worked closely with the school and its governors to plan this over a five-year period to make sure that it was affordable, too.

“L.E.A.D. have vastly improved our wi-fi, installed state-of-the-art security systems including a door access system, which has facial recognition and a screen with a direct link to our reception. On approaching the school, visitors call reception via the bell button and a member of staff will appear on the screen; they can then communicate with the caller using British Sign Language, if that is how they communicate.

“We also ‘buy’ the support of a L.E.A.D. IT Services technician. Our technicians are Tom and Ray and they are absolutely wonderful! They go above and beyond and nothing is too much trouble; they help when we want to live-stream events – this was so valuable during covid – and they’re also very much involved in school life.

“We’ve had them playing games with the pupils, supporting staff…they really care and that means a lot.”

L.E.A.D. IT Services, which is based in Victoria Street, Derby specialise in working with schools and multi-academy trusts. They’ve recently started working with Burton-based Reach2 and Embark Federation, who oversee 12 schools across Derbyshire.

Director Lee Jepson said:

“Our team have lots of experience in working with educational establishments and we have worked alongside various multi-academy trusts to help make their IT solutions work for them.

“The coronavirus pandemic changed how we all work and made us aware of just how important IT is in schools – and how it can help make life so much easier! There is a range of different technologies that can support IT curriculum in schools such as classroom management systems, GDPR-compliant visitor systems, interactive whiteboards, tablets and laptops that are specifically designed for schools.

“We thoroughly enjoy working with the Royal School for the Deaf and it’s good to know that we have made a difference to one of the city’s oldest schools.”

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