William Morris Sixth Form

William Morris Sixth Form, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, was established in 1994 as the country’s first school for 16-19 year olds and it has quickly established itself as an important provider of post-16 education in West London and beyond.

The challenge

During the recent Building for Schools for the Future Programme (BSF) Ian Barnwell, Director of Learning Technology at William Morris Sixth Form was part of the Local Authority Bid Evaluation Team. Whilst the programme was still live, a great deal of time had to be spent attending meetings around the borough.

“Over a period of five weeks I was rarely in the office and needed a remote desktop solution that would allow me to not just answer emails, but to keep an eye on the systems so the day-to-day running of the school was not effected in anyway.”
Being in so many different locations, meant that it was not easy to get access to a network.
Some meeting rooms had network connectivity, but it was not really possible to get set up in each place due to access security, time pressures and network points.
3G was considered, but due to previous poor experience, and the data capacity needed to run a full windows system and deliver an effective remote desktop solution, it was not a viable option.

The solution

Having previously run a virtualised desktop system, Ian wanted to test drive a similar solution that offered the real world speed and capacity required for both staff and pupils accessing information from home and on the move.

Utilising a secure wireless 4G USB dongle, plugged into a laptop and connecting to UK Broadband’s wireless base station already in place in Hammersmith and Fulham, Ian was able to set up wireless remote access to his desktop.
Using his laptop to connect to the Internet quickly whilst out of office wherever he was within the borough meant he could keep working throughout a very challenging schedule of meetings.

The benefits

“Throughout my involvement in the Building Schools for the Future work stream I was able to continue working as if I was still in the office using UK Broadband’s 4G service,” says Ian Barnwell. “I was running full blown windows over the Internet – cloud computing – and it worked just like being on the LAN. 4G is an excellent solution to the ever growing needs of remote/mobile workers.”
With ever increasing pressure being put on local authorities to reduce costs, 4G offers the potential to save money and improve productivity through flexible access, as well as offering the additional benefit and freedom of fast wireless access for the whole community.
This solution can deliver seamless, secure and reliable connectivity from your home, through your journey and into your school or workplace. For learners and staff alike, it removes the need for infrastructure at individual establishments, instead allowing users to access the resources they need wherever they go.

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