Telephone systems for schools

Girl in front of school

Choosing the right phone system for your school enhances your pupils’ learning experience while lowering your costs and benefiting the environment.

How can a school benefit?

A smart phone system supports the day-to-day running of your school, delivering benefits through:

  • Connecting teachers, students, parents and administrators.
  • Supporting the use of technology in the classroom to enhance the learning experience.
  • Expanding distance and extra-curricular learning opportunities.
  • Enhancing the safety of your school.

Good communications are at the heart of a successful school and your school telephone system should support and enhance every aspect of school life.  NT Voice and Data’s team have a proven track record of creating innovative solutions that are customised to your school’s day-to-day running.

Did you know that most schools overspend on their communications costs by an average of 43%? Speak to our friendly team of experts and find out how you can reduce your costs, improve call handling and your staff and pupils the best learning technologies available. Call us on 01623 687750 or email sales@nottel.co.uk.

Find out more:

NT’s phone system solutions for schools deliver benefits across the board to teachers, staff, pupils and parents – both through improved communication and a reduction in costs.

Connecting teachers, students, parents and administrators

The management of proactive communications supports a safe learning environment and ensures smooth running of school facilities.

Staying in touch

Parents, pupils and teachers can be notified of events, teacher training days, health concerns, open evening, or transport issues, to take some examples.  A good school telephone system helps keep everyone notified, and this can be achieved through landlines, wireless phones, land mobile radios, IP phones, SMS text, email, speakers, PA systems, signage or other customised channels to meet a school’s exact needs, ensuring the right people get the right information at the right time.

Smart call handing and routing

Effectively connecting teachers, students, parents and admin means efficiencies are achieved, enabling schools to keep costs down while providing better quality service.  Smart technology routes incoming calls automatically to the right individual or department, reducing waiting times and increasing calls resolved first time.  Callers can be offered 24/7 intelligent routing options for multimedia contacts including voice, IM, web chat, SMS, e-mail, voicemail, fax, scanned docs and social media.

Special needs support

Pupils, parents, teachers and other staff members with special needs are supported through accessible communications functionality that addresses the needs of those who are blind/visually impaired, deaf/hard of hearing.  Providing this support encourages inclusion across your school through equal access to communications. Ask NT how our phone systems for schools can help meet the individual needs of your school in supporting special needs learners and other types of users.

Supporting the use of technology in the classroom to enhance the learning experience

Use of a wide range of digital tools enhances reading comprehension and vocabulary development”

- CISCO: ‘How Interactivity and Rich Media Change Teaching and Learning’
2011

There is substantial research to support that media rich lessons:

  • Stimulate discussions
  • Increase student motivation
  • Helps teachers to be more effective
  • Are preferred by students
  • Directly increase student achievement

Media rich lessons keep students’ interest and help them grasp difficult concepts.  Through video and multimedia content, tools, and streaming capabilities, students are successfully engaged in new forms of learning.

Lessons enhanced through the use of voice, data and video to connect pupils to the rest of the World, provide access to resources, information and experiences like never before. Avaya’s IP Office supports the use of technology in the classroom, allowing measurable changes and improvements in teacher practices, student engagement, achievement, and research skills.

Expanding distance and extra-curricular learning opportunities

Through smart functionality, smart phone systems support online and distance learning, increasing the availability of courses, fostering greater collaborative learning and creating new revenue opportunities for your institution.

There are a wide range of solutions available which are highly customisable to meet a school’s exact requirements.  For example, AvayaLive Engage offers an engaging learning environment for students.  It is used to provide a platform for teachers to conduct ‘virtual’ classrooms and for students to collaborate virtually, without the need for study spaces or classrooms.

AvayaLive-Engage-classroom1

Above: AvayaLive Engage classroom – audio and videoconferencing, customisable and easy to use presentation and graphics “containers,” document sharing and white boarding capabilities. Participants can join from any PC or Mac located anywhere they can get an Internet connection.

Avaya’s Video-enabled Learning Solution provides a cost effective high performance solution for providers, integrating seamlessly high definition video learning with your schools unified communications system, enabling an exceptional academic experience alongside smart administrative functionality.  This solution is significantly lower in cost and has lower bandwidth requirements than other competing solutions.

Speak to NT about you currently run your distance learning, or about the ideas you have for taking distance learning forward at your institution.

Enhancing the safety of your school

Concerned parentThe safety of both staff and pupils is a primary concern at any school.  Avaya's IP Office not only helps staff, parents and pupils stay in touch to communicate their whereabouts, but also provides smart features that allow staff or pupils to get help should they need it.  For example, you can customise phones with an ‘emergency’ key; on pressing this, the call will ring at any number of locations on the school property which could include reception, the admin office, security hut or anyone listed in the emergency call group.

NT supplies smart phone system solutions to schools in the Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and East Midlands area, as well as providing solutions to learning institutions nationwide.   Ask NT’s friendly team how to reduce your costs, improve call handling and your staff and pupils the best learning technologies available. Call us on 01623 687750 or email sales@nottel.co.uk.

Switching to a new phone system for your school may seem like a big investment, but with Avaya’s smart IP Office system you can make significant cost savings that over time, set off your initial outlay in part or in full.

Reduce running costs

The IP Office allows schools to make massive savings on energy – as one of Avaya’s ‘greenest’ products, it uses typically 45% less energy and produces 45% less CO2, meaning that electricity costs to run the IP Office are generally 45% cheaper.  Not only do you save money but the IP Office helps you achieve your school’s sustainability targets.

Schools that use conferencing will also be impressed by IP Office’s two built-in 64-party conference bridges which completely eliminate the need for outside services.  For users making a handful of calls each day, a return on investment is possible in a matter of months.  For schools with more than one site, calls between sites are free too, further reducing running costs.

Improve efficiencies:

By improving efficiency, you save time, reducing the need for extra support staff whilst still delivering a better service to students, staff and parents.  Examples of how your system can help your school operate more efficiently are:

  • Offering a self-service point: allowing parents, students and members of the local community to contact you 24/7 to retrieve information about homework, the school calendar, events, grades, extracurricular activities and sports.  Reduces the number of admin staff needed to handle these enquiries.
  • Simplifying how incoming calls are handled: so that parents, students and other callers are automatically routed to the correct department.  Saves time and reduces the number of admin staff needed.
  • Allowing your system to be managed from one location: using the simple Windows-based interface – regardless of how many buildings or sites you have.  Saves time and travel costs.
  • Providing easy ‘plug in and power on’ administration: saving time and money when staff relocate, join or leave.
  • Allowing shared resources: such as messaging, receptionists, the office directory and much more.  Saves time and reduces the number of admin staff needed.
  • Allowing staff to work from home: but have access to the system’s full functionality, even when the school is closed.  Adds to the value of staff who can work for example even when the weather prevents travel.

Reduce call costs

Avaya IP Office supports SIP trunks which allow calls to voice and fax to take place over virtual lines through the Internet, making huge cost savings achievable.  The IP Office expands the feature set beyond the SIP standard, offering a wealth of IP Office features also on SIP endpoints delivering a feature rich system that a pure-SIP server based on the SIP standard alone cannot deliver.

“Independent tests have confirmed that Avaya products consume 36% less energy, provide 40% lower total cost of ownership and support 233% greater traffic capacity”.

- Miercom Report: Plug and Play Switches, August 2011, Report 110829

Reduce your initial outlay

If your school is on a really tight budget, NT can often find ways to help you make your money go further. For example, in some cases it is possible to use existing equipment with the IP Office to save on costs up front.

Partner with local schools

By partnering with other local schools you can make even greater cost savings. Not only will you increase your buying power, allowing you to achieve a better deal for both acquisition and maintenance of your system, but you can also consider sharing resources – for example, all calls could be handled by a reception team at a single location, reducing the need for extra admin staff.

NT serves schools in the Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and East Midlands area, as well as providing solutions to educational establishments nationwide. Get in touch today and let NT’s expert team advise you on the right solution to meet your sustainability targets at the same time as providing your school with unparalleled communications features.  Call us on 01623 687750 or email sales@nottel.co.uk.

Sustainable schools raise standards and enhance young peoples' well-being, through the promotion of promote healthy school environments and lifestyles.

The Government* recommends that schools make sustainable procurement choices as a first choice option.  Sustainable procurement in practice is aboutgetting the best price for the right product that has high standards of environmental, social and ethical performance.  All procurement decisions should be made having consideration of initial cost, quality, durability, running costs, management and disposal.

Initial cost:

Avaya's IP Office phone system represents exceptional value for money and the cost of acquisition is almost always off-set in part or full by the cost savings achieved, depending on your circumstances and typical usage. NT's team can help you identify where the telephone system will lower your costs, and look for cost-efficient ways to take advantage of IP Office's functionality while keeping your initial investment to a minimum.  For example, if your school is already linking multiple sites by high-speed data circuits, IP Office's VoIP capabilities make it possible to route voice calls over the existing infrastructure, reducing your initial outlay.

Quality and durability:

Sustainability in schoolsNT recommend Avaya's IP Office for ultimate reliability. The IP Office is a solid-state phone system – and because solid state devices have no moving parts, they are less likely to break down than devices that have mobile mechanisms.

IP Office telephone systems can also have full redundancy by allowing multiple copies to be run at various locations, meaning that schools with multiple sites can offer back up to each other.  The handsets from your site can re-authenticate to an alternate switch at another site location in the unlikely event that the system at your site should fail, and vice versa with you providing back up for their system. Add SIP trunks, and you can have the dial tone fail over as well.

If your school only has one site, this is still achievable through multiple copies, or consider partnering with another local school to share the benefits and reduce costs.

Running costs:

VOIP telephone systems like the IP Office is the greenest option a school can choose: typically, it will use 45% less energy and produce 45% less CO2.

The average total energy bill for a school in the UK is £27,000 each year, although secondary schools can have bills of over £80,000. Electricity costs to run the IP Office are generally 45% cheaper, allowing schools to make a significant cost saving on running their phone system.

Management:

You can manage your system from a single location even if you have multiple buildings or sites.  You can also share receptionists across multiple locations, saving costs.  Even if your school does not currently have more than one site, by partnering with other local schools to you reduce system management costs and can share resources, meaning that all schools can realistically reduce the number of support and administration staff they need.

As part of its sustainability recommendations, the Government* advises that you should collaborate with other local schools to increase your purchasing power.  Not only do you benefit from reductions in running costs, but for such arrangements, we can tailor an exceptional deal enabling groups of schools to reduce their initial outlay and achieve significant cost savings on their ongoing maintenance agreements.

NT supplies smart communications solutions to schools in the Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and East Midlands area, as well as providing solutions to educational establishments nationwide. Get in touch today and let NT's expert team advise you on the right solution to meet your sustainability targets at the same time as providing your school with unparalleled communications features.  Call us on 01623 687750 or email sales@nottel.co.uk.

Case study: West Bridgford Academy

Find out how NT helped the West Bridgford Academy deliver a better standard of service with a much reduced level of receptionist intervention. Click here to view the case study.