Download Case Study (PDF)
The Leigh Academy is one of the highest achieving state schools in England with the intent of becoming the best – a centre of excellence for education. The Academy offers three specialisms – Business and Enterprise, Sports and Technology. It has a national reputation for innovation, research and development.
Gaia Delivers on Time and on Budget
The brief to Gaia was the design, supply and installation of new equipment to enable the Academy to open on time.
Gaia was able to call on its suppliers and contractors to ensure that exact products were delivered and that work was meticulously planned in order to avoid any overruns. The focus and attention Gaia paid to the project meant that over £30k was saved from the £1.2m budget.
The overall the ICT Project was delivered on time and well within budget.
Secure Wireless Access
Gaia worked closely with the Academy to implement a wireless cloud to enable Anywhere Learning.
Wireless Access Points were distributed in key locations of the building to enable students to securely roam without interruption in and around the building and regardless of the number of simultaneous student connections to the wireless network. This discreet use of ICT has been a major contributory factor in the school’s increasing levels of attainment.
A State of the Art Building
Overcome all obstacles
The progress of the construction project dictated that parts of the old campus continued to be used for administration and teaching. It was therefore necessary to establish a link between the new Academy building and the old Campus, a few hundred metres across a busy road.
The link needed to be a reliable under all weather conditions. Also connectivity needed to run at sufficiently high speed to enable heavy data, voice and media traffic.
Using its long experience in wireless technology Gaia designed and implemented a radio link between the buildings which comfortably delivered a 1.2Gbps high quality data and voice link.
Users in the old Campus are served using the new infrastructure which is located in the new building across the road.
This radical approach to the problem was delivered in a short timescale and brought immediate benefits to all users.
Cisco Systems as a Base Infrastructure
Gaia worked closely with the Academy to design the state of the art LAN infrastructure.
As a leading Cisco Partner, Gaia helped the Academy to design and implement a Cisco based infrastructure that would protect their investments for many years to come.
The design involved two 10Gbps linked 6509 switches acting as a Core and linked up to 48 Cisco 3650 Switches with teamed up 4Gbps fibre SFP in 6 distribution zones around the Academy.
We worked with the Academy to design and implement a telephony system that is based on Cisco VoIP Call Manager and Unity.
An upgrade of the existing system that the Academy operated was undertaken, and its functionality was migrated to the new system. The migration included new lines, PBX, Voice Mail, and Handsets including wireless based ones. Cisco Unified Communications Manager provides voice, video, mobility, and presence services for up to 60,000 users. The system is a scalable, distributable, and highly available enterprise-class IP telephony call-processing system.
Largest Implementation of iMacs
The Academy had chosen to use Apple devices. Nearly 1000 iMacs have now been deployed - an average of one computer for every 1.2 students.
This all-new, all-in-one iMac packs a complete, high performance computer into a beautifully thin design incorporating 20-inch widescreen. It includes built-in wireless, the new Mac OS Leopard and the new iLife ’08. The new iMac will allow the students to do everything from sharing photos to creating movies to building websites.
To complete the picture, Gaia also helped the Academy specify the Apple MacBook as the portable device for students and teachers. Over 300 MacBooks have been deployed throughout the Academy using secure Apple trolleys.
A special education pricing deal with Apple, meant that the Academy was able to maximise their budget.