Case study interview conducted with John Mansfield - Head of Campus and Estates on the redesigning of Haringey Sixth Form LRC and implementation of the LapSafe® FLEX™ Lockers
Haringey Sixth Form College is a mixed sixth form located in the Tottenham area of the London Borough of Haringey. Established in 2007, it is located on the site of the former Tottenham campus of Middlesex University. Haringey Sixth Form College offers a range of A-levels and BTECs as programmes of study for students. John Mansfield- Head of Campus and Estates joined in 2014 and set about improving the IT facilities for students.
Was the college already using products supplied by LapSafe® when you joined the team at Haringey?
John - When I first arrived in 2014 at the college, there were LapSafe® trolleys being used across the college campus which are still going strong and working great. I have bought additional LapSafe® trolleys this year which have even been colour coded to match our college colours which we are really pleased about.
What part of the college was being updating and why?
John – A decision was made to redevelop the area around the LRC (Learning Resource Centre) which had a catering section that wasn’t being used. This area at the time had a few fixed PC’s, and we wondered whether to keep them or go all laptops. So, initially we looked at putting different types of laptop trolleys in the space, and although they are great for other areas across the college, this new space needed to be different. We chatted to those re designing the space along with LapSafe® and the idea of installing the Flex™ lockers along with the fixed PC units would be ideal and look so much better. It would also make the space more usable for students and mean we’d have a total of 90 computers either laptops or fixed PC’s available.
I attended the Bett Show 2018 in London and visited the LapSafe® stand where I saw the self-service Diplomat™ lockers. These were over our budget but we were looking for something like them that offered us both the service and security we wanted with the right look and at the right price. So, when the new FLEX™ lockers were developed by LapSafe® they contacted us and these were exactly what we were looking for.
How were you able to fund this project?
John – Additional students really, we used to be just a college here in Tottenham but because of the new principal, Russ Lawrance, his team and the new student areas, the college has become the college of choice rather than just a college. Our value added is that we are number one across this area, and we are now the college that people choose to come to. This is because we are now hitting the number of students, we need by running the right courses. This means we have additional funding for those extra students which meant we could start developing this area and the project. The excellent teaching in this college stands alone so then students start to look at what facilities are available to them at the college so we try to keep the college and the IT moving forward and not staying stagnant.
How was the process from order to delivery?
John - All went fine, I processed the order through Capita who are our chosen IT provider and it was really straight forward. The price was really quite acceptable for what we needed. There was a little delay in installing the lockers initially as they were not quite right when they were delivered so they needed to be altered. We had to wait a little longer but the constant communication between myself and Mike at LapSafe® was good. When it was all ready to be installed the LapSafe® team turned up and fitted them with no trouble. They looked great and being the very first FLEX™ lockers to be installed by LapSafe®, following the launch there were bound to be a few teething troubles, but the units are there now and look great.
The idea with the Innovation Centre started in the early part of last year and was completed in the summer, we added our own bits and pieces and it has worked really well. We had the FLEX™ units put in on a Friday, they charged the devices over the weekend and the students started using them on the Monday morning. We haven’t needed to contact LapSafe® support at all as they are working really well.
It is all about the student experience and what helps them through their day here at college, and they can work in the Innovation Centre until 6pm if they need to have access to IT. As the lockers have worked so well, we are now considering putting them into classrooms, so we will have a look if we could use these at the back of the classroom for the teachers to distribute as well as using ClassBuddy™ and Mentor™ trolleys in other classrooms.
How do students borrow a laptop from the FLEX™ Units?
John - All the laptops are asset tagged with a number, and we have our staff working in the Innovation Centre. A student will come in and ask for a laptop, we take their ID card and then a staff member assigns them a laptop to use. When they have finished using it everything goes back in the locker all neat and tidy ready to charge for the next student to use. We use Office 365 so the laptops are cloud based as we are driving the students to use all cloud based virtual learning environments. It works really well they sit in the booths or at the tables and just work, so the whole of the room is really a calm place to be.
There were two types of lock available with the FLEX™ lockers and we decided to go for the keyless CodeLock KitLock KL1000. This type of lock offers us the option to use it in a private or public mode giving us the option to allow the students to use 10 of the FLEX™ lockers we have installed to plug their own smartphone to charge and lock it. In fact, one of the main things I love about the FLEX™ locker unit is that it has two USB ports along with the plug socket inside all the lockers so the student can charge their phone in any of the lockers if need be.
Would you recommend FLEX™ to other colleges?
John - Definitely, they look very smart and really fit in to the surroundings, the staff and students love the look of them. They can be colour co-ordinated and are very secure. Because we have a member of staff to allocate the laptops, we can tell how many are out. We would definitely use them again they are the best and most cost-effective solution we found.