The Project

The Lion Academy Trust is a multi-academy trust comprising 10 academies throughout the UK. Founded originally in Waltham Forest, the Trust now operates academies in London, Essex, and Wellingborough. With over 4,800 pupils and 700 staff, the trust has grown through working with schools in need of a structural solution to address legacy underperformance. Key focus areas for the Trust include infrastructure, the built environment, and the operation of key services to support teaching and learning.

Challenges

Schools in need of support have often neglected their core infrastructures, from network cabling through to facilities management. The Trust needed to ensure they were able to successfully deliver the technologies that are key drivers for the Trust’s school improvement model, such as Google Chrome devices, cloud-based management systems and finance and asset management platforms.

Schools taken on by the Trust often require investment to transform existing systems and infrastructure components which have suffered from historic underinvestment and mismanagement. Examples of this include domestic grade WiFi systems, inadequate structured cabling, and poorly designed networks.

The Trust required consistent high-capacity coverage in all teaching areas, across all sites, with the flexibility to operate equally effectively in outdoor or group spaces. The Trust also required seamless connectivity, always providing the same end-user experience, along with the need to be able to access content and services across all areas.

Lion Academy 2

Our Solution:

The Trust wanted a ‘cloud’ based solution to fall in line with their IT Strategy which prioritised cloud-based services at the core. The Simpli-Fi solution is based on the more intelligent and leveraged Ruckus features such as AI, Beamflex, ChannelFly, SmartCast and airtime decongestion. Hosting all the sites on a centrally managed platform, provided further benefits in operational efficiency, along with cost savings for on-site infrastructure and maintenance.

The Trust now deploys a cloud-based Ruckus network with seamless integration across all sites, hosted and supported by Simpli-Fi with over 200 ‘AC’ Ruckus Zoneflex access points. This delivers a fast, reliable, and secure network for the Academy at all sites.

Highly resilient and accessible networks are a core component of the overall operational model we deploy in all our schools. By taking a commercially astute and risk-assessed approach to selecting the best solutions to support our pedagogical model, The Lion Academy Trust has built a vendor ecosystem of trusted providers who operate to meet the exacting operational demands of all our schools. Simpli-Fi has made the process of installing, monitoring, troubleshooting, and updating this core infrastructure straightforward and affordable. The combination of knowledge, helpful staff, and a keen focus on our needs as their customer is greatly welcomed. Given the priority we place on high availability connectivity, the Simpli-Fi service and team continue to provide critical support for our academies

Christopher Stark

Commercial Director at Lion Academy Trust

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