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58New@BETT 2012 sponsored managementManagement Made EasierTell us a little about Felixstowe Academy.Felixstowe Academy has around 1600 students on roll ranging from 11-18 years old. We specialise in Technology and Performing Arts, but have other facilities split across two sites, which are approximately a mile apart.What are the key management issues confronting schools today?Generally the biggest problem we face is financial. We have a duty (and a want) to ensure the students are receiving the best education possible so have to make sure that we are getting best value from every penny we spend.To what degree, and in which ways, has school management changed in recent years?There is increasing pressure on schools, and particularly the teachers, on the level and number of tasks they are required to perform. If we can make even one aspect of their job easier, then some of that pressure is relieved.ICT has assumed vital importance to schools, both as a subject area and as a management issue in its own right. How is Felixstowe Academy facing the issue?Felixstowe Academy recognises the importance of ICT in its many areas and invests in resources that will help us move forward.You deployed Room Booking System as a management tool. What was it about the software, and the company, that led you to that solution?We decided on the Room Booking System not only because of its everyday ease-of-use, but also because of how easy it was to set up in the first place and then how customisable it is too.In what way does Room Booking System meet your ease-of-use requirements?The Room Booking System is one of the few ICT resources we use which we very rarely get questions about because it is so intuitive. We often get questions about other things as it is quicker to ask someone than to find out yourself, but the Room Booking System doesn't give the staff a problem in the first place.Room Booking System is a web-based solution, requiring no installation or on-going management. Were those important factors in your decision?These were very important factors. We wanted a system we felt we could tell everyone to go and use, without too much training, and then just leave it alone. The Room Booking System fulfilled those requirements perfectly.What benefits have you realised since deploying Room Booking System?There has been a lot less confusion amongst the staff as to whether rooms are available. There have been no double bookings and staff are able to check on room availability from wherever they have an Internet connection, rather than having to go and find the piece of paper in the staff room we used to use.Continuing software support is always important but perhaps even more so for schools. What has been your experience with Room Booking System?The support from the Room Booking System has been faultless. Any query we've had has been answered very quickly and concisely. They have even altered the functionality of the system when we have presented them with different requirements.With heads, teachers and support staff under ever-increasing pressure, any assistance in the day-to-day running of the school is welcome. Stuart Hawkins, IT Administrator at Felixstowe Academy in Suffolk, reveals how software from Room Booking System (stand P45) is helping with timetabling, resource management, and the general administrative burden there.