Church of England Schools

Case Study

Church of England Schools call on Gamma telephony

Church of England (CofE) schools are a part of the fabric of the nation. The largest group of faith schools in England, they make up one in four primary schools and one in 16 secondaries. Between them England’s 4,700 CofE schools educate one million pupils every year. They routinely score highly in Ofsted inspections with 89% of primaries and 80% of secondaries being rated good or outstanding – 5% above the national average.

Both state-funded and independent, they continue be a strong choice for parents looking for an education for their children that is based mainly on Christian values and beliefs. Alongside their Christian ethos all CofE schools include the teaching of other faiths and, in an increasingly secular society, actively encourage the questioning of both belief and non-belief.

Learn about our partnership with Parish Buying

The Benefits

  • Lower costs than traditional telephony solutions
  • Availability of purchasing framework further increases savings
  • Improved reliability and flexibility
  • Trustworthy, proven supplier
  • One of the largest UK network operators
  • Competitive broadband services alongside telephony
  • Fast, friendly, knowledgeable UK-based support

Testimonial

We’ve never had a reason to report a fault to Gamma and have been very satisfied with the reliability of the service. We’ve found the call charges very competitive and this has helped stretch the budget of a small rural school

Caroline Gorner
Office Manager, Coughton C of E Primary School, Warwickshire

The Challenge

IT has never been more important to schools and it plays a key role in both back office administration and in mainstream teaching. Email, the web and cloud apps are seeing increased use making fast and reliable broadband essential. Wi-Fi networks are growing to support the rising number of devices being used in the classroom and in mobile learning. As a consequence schools are finding it necessary to update or replace their legacy connectivity with faster, higher capacity alternatives.

Yet at the same time schools’ budgets are shrinking. The independent fact checking charity FullFact reports that government funding per pupil overall has been falling since 2015 with no reform due until 2020/2021 at the earliest. Parents are helping by providing pupils with their own devices, often through school-sponsored purchasing schemes, but this does little to help with basic infrastructure provision within the schools themselves.

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The Solution

Public sector purchasing frameworks were conceived to solve precisely this problem. By putting selected vendors through a rigorous evaluation process, they offer a short list of approved suppliers who have all agreed to work within a standardised and simplified procurement process. This reduces the costs and risks faced by schools when buying the voice and data services they need in the confidence that accredited suppliers meet stringent technical
competency and business practices standards.

Such a framework exists for CofE schools – the Church of England’s Parish Buying Phone & Broadband framework. This makes it easier and less costly for schools, churches and associated organisations to access the best in voice and data communications. And one vendor accredited for the framework is Gamma – a major supplier to public sector organisations including schools, universities, hospital trusts, councils and others. Gamma already supplies CofE schools with basic telephony and is now looking to migrate more schools onto its new generation IP telephony which is vastly more flexible yet significantly less expensive than traditional alternatives.

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Testimonial

I’d recommend Gamma to other schools based on their reliability alone.

Nicki Fyfe
Finance Secretary, Holme C of E Primary School, Peterborough

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