About the School
Hugh Christie Technology College (HCTC), based in Tonbridge, Kent is a mixed ability school for children between the ages of 11 and 19. The college, which has been working with Capita Managed IT Solutions (Capita) since 2008, is a specialist technology college which recognises and promotes the importance of technology to the future of children. HCTC is part of the Tonbridge Federation. This is a partnership between Hugh Christie, Long Mead Primary School, other public sector bodies, local business and voluntary organisations.
MY-SCHOOL is an online learning portal developed by Capita, which allows students and teachers to access school's on-line systems and applications 24 x 7 from any device which can access the internet. MY-SCHOOL is a cloud based application offering predictable, on demand pay per user licensing costs which schools can deploy without further investment in IT infrastructure. Applications and files are hosted in a secure datacentre outside of the school. MY-SCHOOL integrates with Microsoft 365, online access to Microsoft Office Applications including Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and SkyDrive for online storage.
HCTC have been working towards anytime anywhere access to learning resources and key applications, and saw MY-SCHOOL as an opportunity to accelerate achieving this objective. HCTC also saw the potential to improve efficiencies by hosting key systems in the cloud, reducing costs of procuring and supporting school based hardware and reducing operating costs including power. The college has also reduced licensing costs by adopting Microsoft 365, an important consideration in times of financial constraints.
The move to MY-SCHOOL allowed HCTC to future proof their ICT provision by moving to an established platform which allowed students to work on any device with a web browser.
Having access to the timetable in MY-SCHOOL through integration with SIMS has reduced the need to print timetable information and the costs associated with this. The provision of single sign on to email, online applications and Fronter, the Virtual Learning Environment used across the school has reduced time and costs associated with remembering and resetting passwords
The college has seen a significant shift in working practices for both students and teachers. 6th form students have been able to bring their own devices to school and created 1:1 access to technology removing the dependence on access to school based machines. Less powerful and less expensive devices are required which assists in budgeting and also have longer battery lives so are using less power. This move will substantially reduce the costs of technology refresh over coming years. Staff are also benefiting through improved access to resources outside the college.
Moving to MY-SCHOOL was a simple process. Email accounts were migrated effectively and there was minimal need for training. Students are able to link personal email accounts to MY-SCHOOL and are encouraged to use the portal as the place to access all of their key applications.
Hugh Christie plans to adopt MY-SCHOOL in their federated primary school and will be using MY-SCHOOL to set and complete homework electronically as well as introduce an on-line rewards system to continue to encourage adoption. The college plans to continue their adoption of cloud based services and sees MY-SCHOOL as the first step in moving away from local storage to cloud based storage.
“Finally we have something which will help us realise our objective to move away from locally stored device dependent software driven ICT to open access online. This improves access to key applications at home through removing the need to buy Office licenses. All of our students regardless of background and financial circumstances can have access to the same levels of technology at home.”
Jon Barker, Executive Principal, Hugh Christie Technology College