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Superfast Internet arrives superfast to Umberleigh

Superfast Internet comes superfast to Umberleigh

For the past few years, staff at Umberleigh Primary School have been pulling their hair out in frustration! They have been tirelessly throwing their efforts into finding out how the children of Umberleigh could access the superfast internet connectivity that children in other North Devon schools enjoy as a standard.

Not knowing where to, or who to turn to next, the CEO of TEAM Academy Trust, Ian Thomas thought that local MP, Selaine Saxby should at the very least understand the frustrations and limitations of working and learning at Umberleigh Academy.

Selaine responded immediately and was soon out at Umberleigh, talking to the staff and children. She was impressed by the lengths already attempted by Umberleigh and TEAM Academy Trust and was confident that she, alongside Openreach, could help further.

The outcome, and the speed at which this has been achieved is nothing short of outstanding!. From first meeting Selaine on the 11th June to the super fast connection going live on Monday 5th July!

Joining Umberleigh’s celebrations today (Wednesday 14th July)  was Chief Engineer at Openreach, Andy Whale. Andy and his team visited the school where the children delighted in telling him all about how they can now access not only their work and resources but are now able to talk to the children at their partner school in India.

Andy became Teacher for a short time too, giving the children a lesson in how fibre is made and offering to return to the school to offer even more learning opportunities.

Corrinne Smith is the Head at Umberleigh and said “We have been extremely privileged to receive this help from Mr Whale and his team and the children and staff are now happy to be benefiting from faster Internet speeds.  This will mean that the children can access resources and learning opportunities which have been, up to now, pretty hit and miss.  Having good access to the internet can improve the quality of education in many ways. It opens doorways to a wealth of information, knowledge and educational resources, increasing opportunities for learning, in and beyond the classroom.”

Ian Thomas, CEO of TEAM Academy Trust added “The children, staff and I have been amazed at how much support the school has received from Andy and his team in ensuring Umberleigh Academy is now able to offer high-quality fibre broadband.  We all thought that it was fantastic that he took the time out of what is a very busy schedule to visit the school and spend time with the children talking to them about his role as Chief Engineer for Openreach and how the project was developed from start to finish.  The introduction of fibre now means that the children and staff can not only collaborate with their peers across TEAM Multi-Academy trust but can also communicate with our partner schools in Mangalore India.'