Alfriston School support a community of over 150 students, ages 11 to 19 years old. An all-girls school, Alfriston delivers education for students with moderate learning difficulties and/or speech, language and communication needs.
School business challenge
Academy Business Director Sarah Hammond joined Alfriston School in 2019. Already a firm believer in the benefits of a flexible working environment, Sarah was keen to create a culture in which the busy staff team had the ability to work away from the school setting if and when needed.
“Rather than adopt a new finance system, which was being considered prior to my joining the school, I knew we needed to change the way we operate – and this meant moving to the cloud” says Sarah. “We were also in the process of procuring a new server. When I found out about PS Cloud, it was a no brainer. So, in February 2020, we implemented PS Cloud. Within a month, schools across the country closed due to COVID-19; we were really lucky to get cloud working launched when we did.”
“PS Cloud has enabled our staff team to work from home when they need to throughout 2020. Like most schools, we remained open to children of keyworkers. The senior leadership team worked on-site on a rota basis and without PS Cloud, we wouldn’t have been able to access our financial data, pay suppliers or generate management reports to deliver on audit requirements. This has proven to be a key tool for us this year. The very nature of what we do means we needed to be able to work out of normal school hours to ensure payment runs and reporting deadlines are met.”
“All the required staff members have access to the IRIS Financials system, from anywhere. As soon as COVID-19 hit in March, our Finance Officer started working remotely on a full-time basis. There were no complications or confusion; PS Cloud enabled business as usual.”
“For many schools, adopting new software can be nerve wracking. To those I would say, our onboarding and go-live process with PS Cloud was fantastic. We arranged for the platform to be launched during the February half term, while the staff team were away. We provided the team at IRIS Education with the necessary permissions and the technicians did the rest! They kept us updated with progress, handed over the passwords when we returned and that was it – we were ready to go!”
“Since go-live, the support has also been fantastic. There’s always someone available to speak to on the phone in those moments where we need a bit of guidance; the user guides are easily accessible and very helpful.”
“I think it’s fair to say that, following COVID-19, school life will never be quite the same again. I believe it’s important for school leaders to adapt to remote working and embrace the extra flexibility it allows staff. PS Cloud has made a very difficult year that little bit easier for us. Long into the future, cloud software will support our team; I would recommend PS Cloud to any school that requires that extra level of flexibility.”