All Hallows Catholic High School, Penwortham, Lancashire

Enabling Remote Access to Business Critical Applications

The Solution deployed?
When the UK Government announced lockdown and school closures outside of key workers' children, All Hallows turned to us for help. They needed us to publish SIMS Finance as an app on the Remote Desktop Server to enable their admin staff to be able to work from home full time.

Support Desk Satisfaction Score

Overall Customer Satisfaction

In-house Project Delivery

10 Days
from Quote to Completion

Project Satisfaction Score

Years Working Together

Christleton High School exterior view from the road

About All Hallows

Based in Penwortham, Lancashire, All Hallows Catholic High School is a coeducational faith school that supports over 850 pupils. Part of the Archdiocese of Liverpool, All Hallows is passionate about supporting the learning and growth of the 11-16 year olds in their care. They want to prepare students for their future, ensuring they become compassionate, well-rounded individuals.

The Challenge

Following the outbreak of the global pandemic, COVID-19, All Hallows turned to Virtue Technologies to help them prepare for the majority of their staff to be able to work from home full time.

Virtue Account Manager, Lee Burnett, worked with Richard Adamson, the school’s ICT Network and Premises Manager to identify which programs were business critical and therefore needed to be accessible off site. They determined there were a number of software packages, like SIMS finance, that although used daily, weren’t available on the Schools remote access system.

To fully support the school through the lockdown period, the Virtue Team quickly got to work. We needed to make sure all required software was available to the appropriate staff as they worked from home.

All Hallows Sports Hall view

Implementing best-practice equipment to enable improved delivery of the teaching curriculum


"When the Government announced lockdown, I was worried we wouldn’t be able to work and teach remotely. When I spoke to our ICT Network Manager, Richard, he’d already worked with Virtue to scope out the situation and resolve any issues to ensure our IT would allow us to efficiently work from home. Having their support has really helped us take a proactive approach to our IT. We’ve benefited a lot from their knowledge and advice.” Mary Westgarth, Finance Manager, All Hallows Catholic High School.

Working with Virtue’s to find a solution

To keep our own staff and the school’s staff and students safe, we worked remotely. Our engineer, Joe, logged on to All Hallows system remotely, and configure the new installation. He accessed the server hosting the Remote Desktop Services Gateway role and configured a new Remote App. This process was quicker and easier for Joe as the program required was already installed on the Session Host server and the security policies for access were already in place.

All Hallows SIMS Remote Desktop App

Implementing best-practice equipment to enable improved delivery of the teaching curriculum

"Due to the Government lockdown and the resulting closure of schools, there was an urgent need for staff to be able to have home access, particular of packages only installed within school. Virtue Technologies quickly addressed this issue. They remotely published the required apps, giving our staff uninterrupted access from home to continue their vital work supporting our pupils through this difficult time.” Richard Adamson, ICT Network & Premises Manager, All Hallows Catholic High School.

All Hallows needed their existing applications publishing as remote applications so they could be accessed irrespective of device or location, subject to staff having the appropriate security permissions in the school. These remote apps needed to be publishing on their existing Remote Desktop Services remote access solution so that the Finance Officer, and a few other members of staff requiring the application, would now be able to access the Capita SIMS FMS software off-site.

This original request came about as a direct result of the changes to the administration staff’s working environment due to COVID-19. The remote application, now configured, enables the school staff in the finance security group to access SIMS FMS off-site so they can work from home efficiently. As we’d previously delivered the infrastructure to work remotely it was a simple process to enable additional applications to be delivered. All that was needed was a simple tweak to enable this. We were pleased to be able to offer this as part of their standard Platinum Support Package.

"All Hallows have been a customer for over 10 years and I’ve always been their Account Manager. I think being able to be a consistent single point of contact really helps our customers know how important they are to us. It’s what makes our relationships so strong and helps build trust. It’s a great feeling to know that if Richard’s got a problem, he won’t hesitate to pick up the phone to get advice and talk through solutions. And the fact that I work with a team of technical experts with a variety of skills means we can always find a solution.” Lee Burnett, Secondary Education Account Manager, Virtue Technologies.

The Benefits

  • Quick Delivery of Solutions
  • Budget maximisation, all our projects have a fixed cost price
  • Responding quickly to specific changes in the education sector
  • Translating Senior Leadership Team needs, into technical solutions
  • In-house post-sale availability of technical installation & support expertise
  • Provision of end-to-end delivery with no sub-contractors

After speaking to our IT contact at All Hallows, Richard, we were able to translate the specific need of the Senior Leadership Team to get people working from home into a technical solution.

We rapidly responded to the emergency situation and using the skills of our in-house engineers we provided the end-to-end delivery of their project through Virtue’s technical installation and support expertise. Our team were even on hand via our Support Desk if there were any follow-up queries.

And most importantly, we don’t close a project until we confirm with our customers that they’re happy with the work carried out. The work must meet all the criteria we set out to fulfil when we initially created a scope of work document with the customer.

Summarising the project, Account Manager Lee concludes“As a valued long-term customer, I was pleased we were able to respond so rapidly, in a time of need. I think that this, more than anything showcases Virtue’s unwavering values, even in times of upheaval. We always strive to do the best for our customers, and that won’t change.”

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