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We delivered and installed ICT solutions for temporary classrooms in an office block, including broadband, internal and external CCTV, the door entry system, telephony, printing, the hall’s audio-visual solution and cashless catering. We augmented the solutions for increased pupil numbers in  the temporary accommodation and finally delivered and installed active ICT solutions for the new-build school in September 2021.

Logo of prospered learning trust featuring a colorful tree with multicolored leaves and the organization's name in bold beside it.
Logo of chs south featuring stylized pink text alongside a graphic of a pink and gray abstract flower on the right.

The Client

Prospere Learning Trust

Main Project Components

ICT decant to a modified office building as temporary classroom accommodation

The Project

Chorlton High School South
550 Mauldeth Road West, Chorlton Manchester, M21 7AA
1,500 pupils (at capacity); 11 to 18 years

Project Type

ICT decant

The Contract

April 2018 to 2023 (5-year contract)

ICT project value: £698k

The Nexus Team

Ian Bishop
Matt Walters
Dean Stanley
Sandeep Panesar

Project overview: Decant the school to temporary accommodation in an office block

This was a Capital Build project to create a new High School for 1,500 pupils, which opened in temporary accommodation in September 2018 with 130 year 7 pupils.

The project had 3 phases.

Phase 1

Delivery and installation of ICT solutions for temporary accommodation, including: broadband; complete internal and external CCTV; door entry system; telephony; printing; hall audio-visual solution and cashless catering.

Phase 2

Support and adapt solutions for increased numbers in temporary accommodation.

Phase 3

Delivery and installation of Active ICT solutions for new-build school occupation in September 2021.

Zero snag delivery despite the challenges of the building

Delivering to programme

Engaged in April 2018, we understood the programme restrictions around reconfiguring the old office block to accommodate 130, Year 7 pupils. We were advised that July and August were allocated for ICT installation, in time for a September opening. However, the refurbishment works over-ran, reducing our installation period by 2 weeks.

Working with the builder, HJ Smith, we revised our deployment schedule, to work smartly as part of an integrated team, and installed the ICT, by following on as HJ Smith left each room. We introduced additional resources to ensure we maintained programme for the September opening; adapting our programme to deploy our team to the neighbouring Trust school, where we accepted device delivery and carried out the imaging process, off-site, to ensure we met the deadline.

Effectively managing the budget

Our Contract Manager and Technical Architect developed the ICT solution, with the supporting Cost Model, as part of our tender submission. Where required, our Contract Manager presented any requested variations to the Headteacher and Trust Head of ICT for consideration and approval, before progressing. For example, the school requested Acer technology was swapped out for Dell. Working closely with our established network of manufacturers and software suppliers, our Procurement Team was able to secure the Dell equipment without increasing the overall cost, ensuring we were able to remain within the budget envelope.

Stakeholder engagement

Our Contract Manager led ICT Design Workshops with the Trust and School to understand their requirements in the context of the Trust solution, ensuring a seamless integration with the Trust’s network, to enable teachers to smoothly transition from an existing Trust school to the new Chorlton High School South. We worked collaboratively with the Trust’s Head of ICT, Ian Jones, to implement the initial solution and meet the specification, later designing and adding to this for the additional accommodation, as new year groups were introduced.

Consistent ICT experience

Our CM led the Implementation Team to ensure existing Trust teachers would experience ‘ICT familiarity’ when they moved to the new school in September. The team created a unified image, with replicas of their existing file structure. Gaining approval from Ian Jones, this was rolled out across all devices, which ensured the staff’s seamless transition to the new school, allowing them to focus on teaching and learning.

Fit-for-purpose ICT solutions

The temporary accommodation was a converted office block, which presented challenges for use as a school. We worked with the Headteacher, David Prophet, and Ian Jones to develop bespoke ICT solutions that met the teachers’ needs, within the scope of the Trust’s network. The classrooms were long and narrow, so they presented challenges to whole-class teaching. As requested, we had positioned two teaching screens on the long wall, to ensure visibility to all students. Following teacher feedback which mentioned glare from the windows due to the inappropriate blinds and classroom orientation, at the end of the first year we reconfigured the classroom layouts, positioning one of the screens onto the shorter wall, which overcame the issues.

Overcoming challenges

In the second year of operation, challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic, David Prophet wanted to improve the circulation around the hall. The original audio-visual solution needed to be flexible to allow for the multi-functional use of the space, so large screens were mounted on stands. Considering alternative options, we agreed to relocate the screens onto the walls, to create more circulation space and enable the required social distancing.

“I was delighted to have our ICT solution up and running ready for our year sevens’ first day at CHS-South in September 2018. Colin and the team worked in close partnership with me and our Trust ICT team, keeping me fully informed throughout the deployment into our temporary building conversion. I look forward to working with the team in the long term, as we plan our move to our new permanent building in 2020-2021.”

David ProphetHeadteacher, Chorlton High School South