Business Express is an online portal that covers the latest developments in the world of business and finance. From startups and entrepreneurship to mergers and acquisitions, Business Express provides reporting on the stories that matter most to business leaders and decision-makers.The website publishes news, press releases, opinion and advertorials on various financial organizations, products and services which are commissioned from various Companies, Organizations, PR agencies, Bloggers etc. These commissioned articles are commercial in nature. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. It does not reflect the views or opinion of our website and is not to be considered an endorsement or a recommendation. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third-party websites, affiliate sales networks, and to our advertising partners websites. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish advertised or sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a commercial article placement. We will not be responsible for any loss you may suffer as a result of any omission or inaccuracy on the website.
Canva Communication support call center and customer service help desk. e1592283265204 - Business Express
Communication support, call center and customer service help desk. VOIP headset on laptop computer keyboard.

Making the most of telecommunications in the education sector


simon blackwell - Business Express

Author: Simon Blackwell, CMO at TelcoSwitch 

The modern classroom is more dynamic than ever, with the influx of new technologies in the last few years leading many schools, colleges and other education institutions to reimagine their learning environments to meet the needs of the modern digital learner. 

The Department for Education defines EdTech (Education Technology) as any technology that can be used to “support teaching and the effective day-to-day management of education institutions”. This includes “hardware, such as tablets and laptop computers”, but also “digital resources, software and services”. 

Since the pandemic, EdTech has transformed from a common perk to an absolute necessity for learning institutions across the country and continues to be the case even with schools now at full attendance.

Communication is key

The pandemic not only changed the way we live but also the way we communicate. After an almost overnight switch to home-based learning in March 2020, communications technology allowed teachers to conduct classes virtually. By using digital platforms, they prepared lesson plans, conducted assessments, and communicated with parents to ensure disruption remained minimal. And while a period of time has now passed since the return to in-person learning, we continue to witness significant growth in demand for platforms that support more equitable parent-teacher communication, and better communication internally within learning institutions – specifically in multi-academy trust environments where staff are working between and sharing resources across multiple sites. In fact, recent DfE data tells us that 75% of teachers saw improvements in their ability to work across sites as a result of implementing suitable EdTech solutions.

Don't miss out on any breaking news or insightful opinions!
Subscribe to our free newsletter and stay updated on the go!


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Global Banking & Finance Review. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email.

But despite the fact most schools have solutions in place for remote working or teaching, we still see a lack of overall integration with communications. For example, a school might be using Microsoft Teams to conduct video calls either as part of SLT or Governor meetings, or when conducting parent’s evenings or pastural care, but many still use a separate telephone system for their reception switchboard. This is especially key given that BT will be switching off their Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in 2025, moving from traditional phone lines to faster, clearer Internet Protocol (IP) technologies instead. This has played a big part in the increase in demand for cloud-based telephone systems nationwide, and while this change is well-known about in the private sector, we still encounter a great many schools who don’t know about the PSTN switch-off, what it means for them, and what they should do. 2025 might still seem a way off, but waiting isn’t prudent.

What should you do?

There are some simple but important steps you can take right now to gain an understanding of what you have in place today, and ensure your school or college is prepared for an all-IP future. First off, speak to your telephone or ICT provider and find out what type of telephone system you have (specifically, is it an IP phone system). If the answer is ‘no’, then you want to ask when your telephone system contract is due to expire. This is important because we’ve seen a lot of instances where a provider will simply auto-renew the schools telephony contract on expiry, and that might not serve you well in terms of functionality, support for the long-term, and cost. And that last point is key, because what many schools don’t realise is they can often save money by moving to an IP-based phone system, on top of all the functionality and resilience benefits.

There are many excellent ICT support services across the UK acting as dedicated outsourced IT providers for schools, and these services are vital as they enable teachers and their SLTs to get on with the important job of educating. But many of the UK’s learning institutions don’t have the necessary support in place, and the evidence is compelling, with around 22% of schools having no clear IT strategy in place. It’s concerning that such a high proportion of schools will be using outdated, unreliable, and often expensive solutions, and don’t have the necessary support in place to make a change that will serve them far better.

Building a bright future for EdTech

Despite the ever-present financial challenges within maintained schools, and the significant minority who need better ICT strategy support, we’re bullish about the opportunities that exist for schools in harnessing technology to better support teachers, pupils, and parents. And in terms of telecommunications, there are a plethora of options out there for IP-based phone systems, which enables schools to find something that fits their needs, both in terms of features and cost. The key is not becoming entangled in existing, outdated solutions that don’t meet the needs of post-pandemic teaching and serve to swell costs at a time where budgets continue to be constrained.

Recent Post: