Supporting the Further Education sector to achieve social distancing goals post-lock-down

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At IPS Ltd we have already put measures into place for the return of our staff to work in a safe environment at our London Head Office. 

All businesses, including education providers, have spent many hours planning, creating and implementing post-lockdown recovery plans. For education, the consideration is not only for staff but also for students and ensuring they all have a safe environment for their return to college.

Additional plans will also have to be in place for the effective use of canteens, libraries and how to implement exam conditions not to mention the focus of next year’s student applications, open evenings and enrolment days that will need to take place.

We at IPS Ltd are passionate about the Further Education sector and many of you will have, no doubt, met our Managing Director, Robert Powell.

“I want to write to you as a business owner, a father and a supplier for the Further Education sector.

The Coronavirus Pandemic has changed my life both in outlook and in practice. The most pivotal moment for me was around the 8th week of lockdown when one of my friends contacted me to ask how I was coping. 

I had been ill and caring for the children at the same time had been challenging. I told them that I felt better and I was looking forward to everything going back to normal. He replied; “Rob, you need to get used to it, it will never go back to normal”.

As we have all come to realise, we exist in “new” normal times and acceptance, planning and change are all required, if we wish to adapt safely.

I am immensely proud of my team at IPS Ltd who have handled this crisis with dignity and commitment and will take this opportunity to tell them so. They comprise of innovators, thinkers and doers.

At the start of the lockdown, I called a meeting with my SLT team and asked them what position they thought we were in as a company, and how we would manage in the current situation, their answers were all positive and encouraging.

For many years we have designed and developed systems directly for the FE sector. Our focus has always been to help reduce processes, in the search for efficiency and improving service delivery. As a Managing Director, I am not trying to robotise FE, just simplify it.

It just so happens that the reduction of processes that our systems provide, also achieve social distancing goals and help to minimise human contact, as much as possible.

I, like you, value the face-to-face delivery of courses and the teaching methodology that you employ, to see students succeed and often excel, even sometimes in impossible circumstances.

To complement the teaching practices that you deliver, our systems enable students to get what they need, without effort, during their journey through college.

For 10 years, we have been building such systems and now in lockdown, we have perfected all of them. You will already have systems that do some of what ours do, but it’s the bit that they don’t do that matters. We consult with over 70 Colleges in a range of locations across the UK, that we currently supply to, to gain an understanding of what they need from our software.  

We have worked heavily with contactless ID cards, which of course, removes cash handling. We have already developed self-service kiosks that use facial recognition so staff and students can reset passwords or print replacement cards. We can create and delete user accounts as an automatic process for door systemscomputer systemspayment systems and our register management system that applies live register marks against MIS systems.

All our systems help to support Safeguarding policies and procedures and minimise the workload of college staff, especially those who work in Reception, IT, Estates, Student Services, Finance and a range of other departments.

Our list of products continues to grow, and we are now focusing on further developments, including; newer messaging technologies, such as WhatsApp for colleges to communicate with students. We can already deliver many of the processes required to enrol a student online, to support face-to-face enrolment, but not replace it.

We are proud to be working in association with North Kent College and Hugh Baird College to release i-Asset, a system that will use RFID tagging to stocktake a room in less than a second, and an entire college as quick as you can walk around it.

It will manage loans of equipment, safety checks, usage statistics and so much more. Like I previously said, you may already have a system like this, but I would like you to see what ours does to highlight what yours doesn’t”.

Consider IPS Ltd with your Post-Lockdown Recovery Plans.

Each product works independently and joined together gives a robust end-to-end solution.

We install our systems onto your servers, meaning that we, as a company, don’t need to extract or retain any of your data, supporting both GDPR and Data Protection policies.

IPS Ltd.’s software integration solutions will provide you with, state-of-the-art technologies, confidence in simplifying your processes, supporting safeguarding and provide you with a wide range of reports that are suitable for Finance, Student Services, Catering and your MIS department.

“We have a large amount of IPS Ltd products, at Hugh Baird College, each one has enhanced and simplified the technology that we already had in place. 

The systems are easy to use, give a positive experience to our students and help us to implement our Safeguarding Policies”. John Billington, Head of Services, Hugh Baird College.

IPS Ltd customers do not deal with machines, they deal with people.

Our service doesn’t stop after installation, we provide you with full training, an Account Manager who will be in regular contact with you and our Support Team who will be there to resolve any issues that you may face. 

We are currently working on installing many systems for new FE customers remotely, with the help of a member of your IT team we do not have to come onto college premises, meaning that we maintain social distancing measures.

Our Prince2 certificated operations team will make sure that any project no matter how big or small is installed safely, efficiently and in no time at all.

IPS Ltd is here to support FE.