A challenge for many schools is that there are limited budgets and therefore there is a need to be intelligent when purchasing telecoms solutions.
We often see schools continuing to rely on outdated and ineffective phone systems as they feel they can’t afford to invest in a more effective and modern solution.
However, it is often that older systems cost significantly more to maintain than more agile technology, such as a VoIP telephone system.
Despite VoIP systems requiring an initial spend, this is an investment for a school. Due to the agility and flexibility offered by this type of system, it will be able to develop and adapt, supporting teachers and staff in getting more out of the investment.
Cloud-based systems are also cheaper to run and maintain, as maintenance can be conducted remotely, minimising both costs and disruption to day-to-day operations.
Multiple departments and buildings
School estates are typically broken up into different departments spread across multiple buildings. Due to this, schools require a telephone system that is stable and agile enough to be used across a large site.
Older, on-site phone systems are not ideal for use across sites with multiple buildings, as they require hardware for each location separately, which creates costs, makes maintenance trickier and also takes up valuable space across your school estate.
Unlike this, VoIP telephone systems are hosted remotely and rely on your internet connectivity rather than physical lines. This removes the challenges discussed above, saving you space, reducing costs and all whilst also helping to make maintenance smooth and simple, as it can be carried out virtually.
A VoIP system is also easily scalable, so should your school undergo expansion and/or new builds, the system can be easily expanded. You can simply add in additional handsets as and when they are needed, without the worry of having to fit new phone lines.
This modern system also provides the ability to access it from multiple devices easily, both desk handsets and staff mobile devices, making it easy for staff to be contacted no matter where they are across your school, in the classroom or on the move.
Managing large volumes of calls
Schools often rely on a small admin/reception team to support their communications and manage calls. This can create challenges in regards to capacity.
Should your school have an influx of calls, which is typical particularly at the start of the school day with parents reporting their child being absent or requesting information, this can quickly overwhelm your small team and could mean that calls are being missed.
When calls are missed or not dealt with swiftly, this can create a negative impression and be damaging for your school, particularly if it is a worried parent contacting or a prospective student.
A VoIP telephone system provides you with call logging, call queuing, call forwarding and custom messaging features which can all support your staff in managing calls effectively and ensure no calls are missed.
It is essential that schools have systems in place that protect the safety of the children they teach and being able to handle calls and data effectively is essential in achieving this.
A VoIP telephone system offers a variety of features that can support safeguarding. For example, call recording enables schools to track and access every inbound and outbound call and ensures they are protected should any issues arise regarding safeguarding.
This type of feature also enables schools to track absenteeism effectively, allowing them to identify any students they feel may need additional support.
Another feature offered is Custom Messaging, allowing schools to create a pre-recorded message that is played when an individual contacts them.
Through this message, the school can request key information regarding the details of the individual calling and the purpose of the call. This enables them to effectively screen calls and determine how they can best direct the call to the appropriate individual or department, which not only aids safeguarding, but also provides callers with a better experience.