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Media contact:

Amanda Hassall, Director
Six Degrees
amanda.hassall@sixdegreespr.com
+44 1628 480280/+44 7855 359889

Forward-thinking school adopts Bradford/Meru implementation

London, UK – 17 January, 2012 – Forward-thinking Beaconsfield High School in Buckinghamshire has become one of the first schools in the UK to adopt a combined Bradford Networks and Meru Networks secure wireless solution. Designed to offer Sixth Form and Year 9 and 10 pupils access to a more independent and personal learning environment, the implementation paves the way for state schools to go wireless by encouraging pupils to bring their own devices (BYOD) to school and save on increasingly scarce school IT resources.

The network, which sees Bradford’s Network Sentry NAC (Network Access Control) solution implemented across a Meru wireless network, enables pupils to register their own mobile devices and provides secure access to the school’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) via Buckinghamshire’s Grid for Learning (GFL).

Acceptable usage policies allow pupils who have registered to connect up to a maximum of three devices and to access authorised websites depending on their curriculum and status. A monthly anti-virus and OS patch check ensures all devices, including tablets, smartphones and laptops, are fully up to date. If failures are detected, Network Sentry points them to a remediation portal to resolve issues before access is allowed.

Managed and implemented by Bradford and Meru partner, EAC Network Solutions, the whole school was mapped out to ensure the Wifi network could operate at optimum levels at all times. The Maths Department was first to go wireless, maximising the use of mobile devices across the department and negating the need for a dedicated fixed IT resource, followed by the new Sixth Form College and communal areas, including the Learning Resource Centre (LRC) and Dining Room.

Recent additions to the network include Physical Education (PE), which enables PE staff to register pupils on their handheld devices while in the sports halls and outside on the field and all weather pitches, and the Learning Support Department, providing greater flexibility in the use and management of their mobile devices.
“Our aim is to create a highly collaborative and interactive environment for senior pupils to work in, while empowering them to take control of their learning using their own devices at school,” says Beaconsfield High School Head Teacher, Owain Johns.

“Education is now a competitive ‘industry’ and it’s our job to attract bright, ambitious individuals, as well as encourage them to stay on to the Sixth Form. We are constantly looking at ways to innovate and educate using the very latest technology, and the concept of pupils bringing their own devices to school to use as educational tools is simply the next step in that evolution.”

For Ray Oakley, IT Manager at Beaconsfield High School, the Bradford/Meru combination provides the best possible solution: “We needed to ensure our network security was not compromised with the addition of wireless technology, and the combination of Bradford and Meru ensures that unknown devices, both wired and wireless, cannot gain access to our network.”

“Bradford is the network security specialist and Meru the Wifi specialist – one could not happen without the other. EAC has also made the whole process trouble-free and kept the door open for us to expand the network and open it up to more users and more devices in the future.”

Ends

Notes for editors:

Meru and Bradford kit being used by Beaconsfield High School: Bradford Networks S-1400 Campus Manager, Meru MC3000 Wireless Controller, Meru AP320i Access Points.

About Beaconsfield High School

Beaconsfield High School is a highly successful, happy and exciting girls’ selective school. The School has a distinctive character, which springs from its talented student body, demanding academic programme and its respect for the individual, all of which contribute to an ethos of choice, opportunity, variety and openness.

The School has excellent facilities, including several new buildings, and offers a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities. BHS seeks to offer its students imaginative and inspirational teaching to help them achieve the very best academic results of which they are capable. This is within a broadly based educational experience and a well-structured system of supportive and individualised pastoral care. The School’s most recent inspection report, from May 2007, describes BHS as, “an outstanding school where students have keen appetites for learning, flourish and make excellent progress. Their high standards and achievements are a credit to the staff, governors and, not least, to the students themselves who work hard and make best use of the superb academic and pastoral support they receive.”

About EAC Network Solutions

EAC Network Solutions provides consultancy, design, project management and installation services for all types of schools information technology systems.

The company was founded by two established industry experts to provide a comprehensive, information technology solution provider, with the right skills and attitude to the delivery of the highest quality of solutions and support services.
With EAC expert advice and continuing support, their customers are able to maximise the return on their IT investment and ensure they stay abreast of the possibilities of new and emerging technologies.

Their links with the leading names in IT and telecommunications means we can provide you with hardware, software and services at the best price. At the same time, EAC is proud to be fully independent, able to offer you a solution tailored to your needs based on years of industry experience in providing business solutions.
EAC project managers specialise in providing end-to-end business solutions including hardware and software installations.

About Bradford Networks

Bradford Networks offers the best solution to enable secure network access for corporate issued and personal mobile devices. The company's flexible Network Sentry platform is the first network security offering that can automatically identify and profile all devices and all users on a network, providing complete visibility and control. Unlike vendor-specific network security products, Network Sentry provides a view across all brands of equipment and devices so nothing falls through the cracks. Hundreds of customers and millions of users worldwide rely on Bradford to secure their IP networks. Visit www.bradfordnetworks.com for more information.

About Meru Networks

Founded in 2002, Meru Networks provides a virtualised wireless LAN solution that cost-effectively optimises the enterprise network to deliver the performance, reliability, predictability and operational simplicity of a wired network, with the advantages of mobility. Meru's solution represents an innovative approach to wireless networking that utilises virtualisation technology to create an intelligent and self-monitoring wireless network, and enables enterprises to migrate their business-critical applications from wired networks to wireless networks, and become all-wireless enterprises. Meru's solutions have been adopted in all major industry vertical markets, including Fortune 500 enterprises, healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and government. Meru is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit www.merunetworks.com.

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