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Posted 21.06.21

Brighton Academies Trust – Case Study

The University of Brighton Academies Trust consists of 15 Sussex-based infant primary and secondary academies. With 7,700 pupils collectively, maintaining a strong Mobile Device Management (MDM) strategy is imperative to supporting and managing users and tech. 

Sync had the opportunity to speak with ICT Operations Manager, Glenn Oakman, and Remote technician, Alex Godis, both have been part of the trust since 2012. We explored the reasons behind their iPad deployment, and what has gone into the Trust-wide implementation of integrating a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system into their technology ecosystem.

Development

iPad has had a transformative impact on education since it’s launch in 2010 and continues to be the device of choice for many UK-schools looking to adopt a mobile device to drive engagement and enhance outcomes.

Whilst Brighton Academies Trust have seen rapid growth in the use of iPad across it’s academies, the catch up funding, which has been made available over the last 12-months,has enabled schools to grow their investments even further; meaning a lot of the schools are now at, or working towards 1:1 in the classroom (one iPad per student). 

Glenn explains, “This has necessitated the need to get a fully working management system for the devices across all of our sites and the Trust”

The Trust’s chosen MDM is Jamf School, which is purpose built for teachers, instructional technologists and Apple admins. The software empowers teachers, parents, and students to communicate and collaborate, both inside and outside of the classroom.

“The sheer volume of devices that were being purchased at the academies, we needed a reliable system that would allow us to just push out apps easily when requested and Jamf did that”

Creating a Mobile Device Management strategy

It’s now easier than ever for schools to set up iPad and link to a centralised MDM. Modern Apple systems allow for wireless configuration of settings and restrictions according to a school’s requirements.

Brighton Academies Trust’s plan going forward, is to implement Jamf School on another 300 devices across their primary schools, and then as many other devices as possible. 

“You want to be able to manage all the devices, because they’re scattered all over so many schools used by so many different people, you’d like to keep track of them and make sure that they’ve been used the way they need to because without an MDM.

“You’re obviously signed to look for a system that can manage all of that. Apple School Manager made that so much easier to deal with and manage.”

With Apple School Manager and an MDM in place, schools are able to 

  • Create Managed Apple IDs
  • Set up iPad devices for shared use
  • Automate device enrollment
  • Strengthen a teacher’s ability to utilize Apple’s Classroom app

Alex adds “The technicians are really happy about it because the number of steps you need to go through has greatly reduced largely around the area of enrolling it and then keeping it enrolled”

Glenn explains “I think it’s sort of fairly quick process now – from switching on an iPad to it being ready to work on the school’s network”

“We have regular meetings with the principals at the sites and the ICC leads at each academy. They give us the requirements and they kind of go and find what they want to use and the apps they want to use on them. We can then just facilitate that for them, essentially, amazing results, led by the academies themselves as to the types of devices they want to get in.

Working with Sync

Sync works with institutions from across the UK to provide management solutions of all shapes and sizes, and currently manage over 51,500 Apple devices. Our team of technical experts provide ongoing support within a Trust’s Apple estate.

Our team have arranged multiple remote training sessions with the technical teams at the University of Brighton Academies Trust in order to support and maintain their deployment. 

To find out more about how Sync can work with your institution in setting up an effective MDM, get in touch today by emailing one of our Education Specialists.

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