The South Suffolk Learning Trust is a multi-academy trust composed of one primary, four secondary schools with a total of 3,700 students under its care. A collaborative organisation, the schools in the trust have a proven track record of supporting each other, sharing best practice and working towards their common goal of excellence through collaboration.
School IT budgets have been under pressure for many years now, from times of austerity where budgets stalled and even shrank as state funding was frozen. The increasing cost of software licensing further squeezes remaining capital, reducing the amount schools have available to spend on replacement hardware. ICT Direct work closely with schools across the country who have reduced funds with which to replace their ageing fleet of computers.
The trust has been an ICT Direct customer since 2017 when trust IT Manager, Ollie Blake, discovered the ICT Direct website whilst looking for an affordable hardware solution. After making enquiries over the phone, he placed an order for a single Dell Optiplex 790. In the years since, we have shipped hundreds of machines to the trust, helping to modernise their IT systems.
Ollie Blake, Trust IT Manager has this to say about our relationship:
ICT Direct are now our go to IT supplier for all our Trust schools. For PCs and laptops, annual refreshes, or ad-hoc purchases the prices are very competitive and the support that we are offered is second to none. Delivery times are always clearly communicated, and items are always securely packed and arrive in the expected state.
We have an active fleet of 1,650 desktop PCs and 675 laptops, ICT Direct have made a real difference to our schools, delivering high quality products at a sensible price point. Were we to buy brand new hardware, looking only at the very cheapest models available, we would still be able to buy 50% more machines from ICT Direct. Machines from higher-quality product-lines too!
ICT Direct also consider any special requirements we have. Our fleet of computers are Dells by and large; the ICT Direct purchasing team do their very best to source similarly branded machines on our behalf.
Considering this, and the fact that ICT Direct products perform similarly to newer models and come with levels of hardware support comparable to big brand names, ICT Direct will remain the number 1 choice for South Suffolk Learning Trust for years to come.
2021 marks the 5th year of ICT Direct’s partnership with the Trust and the continuation of a very difficult time brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. We continue to work closely with Ollie and his dedicated team. Providing essential computer hardware to support both at-home and in-school learning as we all look forward to a return to more normal times.