About Falcon Education Academies Trust
Falcon Education Academies Trust was established in 2019 as a 'turnaround trust' and is a Department for Education (DfE) approved sponsor Multi-Academy Trust.
Falcon works with schools for a set period of time, focusing on improvement around any challenges the school has faced. Once the trust has addressed these issues through its custom-made support, it will hand the schools over to another academy trust to continue the improvement journey.
- Gained complete visibility into newly onboarded academy sites, potential threats, and vulnerabilities.
- Visualized Lansweeper data using the PowerBI integration to share with the Trust Board, its committees, and academy councils.
- Better alignment with other departments through easily accessible visuals.
The Falcon Education Academies Trust was created initially to support schools with specific challenges in the north of England and was capped at ten schools. However, following the pandemic and early success with the schools it was supporting Falcon's remit was broadened to cover the whole country and all regional directorates.
Wayne Kilner, IT manager at Falcon, has 15 years of experience supporting the education sector in various IT-based roles. This has given him plenty of practice in the two most important tasks he has at Falcon Trust: figuring out what's going on and what needs to happen next.
Due Diligence for New Arrivals
Whenever a new school is onboarded into Falcon Trust, the first step the Trust takes is a thorough and detailed due diligence exercise. This provides each academy with a customized support plan focused on the identified priorities. A full IT estate overview and understanding greatly help with this process.
Once they have a complete analysis, including device count, system configuration, warranty information, and device patch level, the IT team can get started with everything that needs to be maintained, updated, or replaced.
"On the Lansweeper website it states "You can't protect what you don't know you have.", I totally agree and stand by that statement."
- Wayne Kilner, IT manager
That is where Lansweeper comes in. Falcon Trust first inherited a Lansweeper installation and a site that joined the Trust. In Kilner's own words, he immediately saw the product's value as soon as it was demonstrated. When looking at a decentralized network like theirs, it is easily worth the money. It allows them to track data from all their sites in one central source.
Lansweeper is the Trust's window into their sites from every angle, ranging from risk assessment to asset management to cloud information. It is a reliable source for up-to-date reports, exports, screenshots, and more. Having all information standardized in one tool saves time and keeps everyone current.
PowerBI and the Strength of Visual Data
Since Falcon works with individual schools and academies across a vast geographical area and needs to consider an exit strategy for each of them as part of the re-configuration, they prefer to keep all their sites in a silo. Each one has its own separate Lansweeper installations. Unfortunately, that made reporting on data across the whole trust challenging; that's the issue that the Lansweeper and PowerBI integration fixes by synthesizing data from several sources, all made even easier with the cloud API.
Combining Lansweeper's unrivaled depth of IT asset information with PowerBI's top-of-the-line data visualization makes it easy to gain complete insight into the many sites Falcon is managing and their entire IT estate.
Robust visual data empowers the IT team to quickly explain their needs and requests, providing an excellent executive summary to non-technical colleagues. Lansweeper is embedded into the IT team's operations, assisting with cyber security agendas, general IT housekeeping, diagnostics, and dynamic asset management. The Lansweeper data also assist the finance team in building a profile of newly acquired schools, identifying risks, and forecasting funding requirements for budgeting purposes.
What's Coming up
Considering the importance of visualization and the challenge that mapping out each new school entering the trust poses, the team is excited to see how the new Diagramming options in Lansweeper will fit into their strategy. There is no way to predict what the next school they inherit will look like, but Lansweeper will remain a vital tool in bringing it back on track and toward a more prosperous future.