Schools should avoid hanging onto an out-of-date telephone system
Posted by Daniel Fuller-Smith on 07/01 at 10:00 AM Education,
Schools should avoid hanging onto an out-of-date telephone system

Without a school telephone system, the daily management of pupils, teachers, and suppliers would be difficult. Holding onto an outdated telephone system could also be putting your school at risk of breaching Government safeguarding requirements.


A telephone system has a shelf life. When it starts reaching its end of life period, it will start to malfunction which means incurring costs for fixes. It will become increasingly hard to support as the software updates stop being developed and the hardware becomes difficult to acquire from suppliers.


With an updated telephone system, schools will be able to do so much more than making and receiving phones calls.


Upgrading your system will also futureproof your school ahead of Openreach’s upcoming ISDN switch-off, when all old copper telephone lines will be made redundant in favour of superior fibre lines.


A new telephone system can improve call capacity and handling with the following features:


  • Automated attendant to answer every call with a welcome message to direct parents, staff, suppliers, etc. to the most appropriate person, e.g. “Press one to report student absence, press two for reception,” etc.
  • Voicemail inbox for messages about student absence. These messages can be left at any time when a parent knows their child will miss school, rather than having to wait for when reception opens in the morning. Receptionists can retrieve these messages when the morning rush has ended to update registers.
  • Voicemail to email system to allow callers to leave voice messages rather than asking reception staff to take messages. These are sent as sound files to staff email inboxes for easy retrieval.
  • An out-of-hours mode enables the school to switch to different responses during weekends and holidays. Messages may give school opening times and/or term dates.


All these features relieve pressure on reception staff and mean callers should not be met by the engaged tone.


Furthermore, a modern telephone system can also help your school achieve Government safeguarding protocols with a tannoy system for pupil safeguarding. Announcements can be broadcast via every handset for immediate response.


You can integrate a telephone system with a call recording solution too to resolve disputes, recall details of conversations and to assist with staff training.


With an old telephone system, the security may not be advanced enough to protect against hackers attempting dial-through fraud. This organised crime can result in hundreds and thousands of pounds worth of calls being made to a premium number. The costs could harm an already struggling school budget and set back future projects.


Schools need to invest in their telephone systems to make the best use of staff time, be able to respond to parent calls and to react to an emergency. Find out more about the range of options available by getting in touch with me. 

Posted by
Daniel Fuller-Smith's avatar
Daniel Fuller-Smith on 07/01/2020

Daniel is our regional sales manager for the southern office based in Portchester, near Portsmouth, covering the south and south east of the UK.

Daniel has had a long relationship with the business as he managed Toshiba’s EMEA division and when Toshiba exited the comms market in 2016, Toshiba engaged with us to help continue to support their base and he joined us shortly afterwards. He has since embellished his skills and knowledge to encompass our entire telephony and data portfolio.

In his spare time, Daniel is the administrator for a County League football club, Lancing FC, and he manages the youth development side of the club too. Daniel has twice been recognised by Sussex FA in the Grassroots Volunteer of the Year category in 2013 and 2016 of the FA National Awards.

Contact: Daniel.Fuller-smith@swcomms.co.uk

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