MacMillan Academy

Macmillan Academy was re-designated in 2005, having been a City Technology College (CTC) since 1989. The Academy has been designated as a “Leading Edge School” and received an “Outstanding” Ofsted report for their last inspection in December 2007.

Since 1994 Macmillan Academy has had its own television service and used their studio to broadcast into every classroom via its own television network. Multimedia Manager Iain McKeown and his team have cross-curricular responsibilities and their remit is to ensure that both staff and students are well supported and have access to the effective use of media technology across the site.

The Academy’s plans were to invest in a state of the art digital television studio which would be a major upgrade to their existing studio facilities. Iain’s aim was to have media technology used by every department, improving the workflow and increasing the number of staff using the technology across the curriculum. The Academy strives to work to an industry standard and their vision was to have a totally non-linear environment with a tapeless workflow, designed to be an end to end solution, thus eradicating the need for large production resources.

Iain’s initial contact with Planet PC was for the acquisition of Planet eStream, their video streaming and archiving product, which is being used intensively at Macmillan Academy and has exceeded all his expectations. With such serious investment to be made in the planned studio upgrade, Iain knew that consultation was vital for making the right decision and was confident that he could rely on Planet PC for sound advice, asserting that “ Planet PC are one of the few companies that fully understand the needs of education” He explained that Planet were keen for The Academy to use the right products for their requirements, and even though this meant delaying the new studio, Iain thought it refreshing to feel assured that what he was getting was fit for purpose rather than for the sake of a sale. Following consultation, the contract to supply the new studio was awarded to Planet PC and installed and commissioned in July 2009.

Iain is delighted that the new TV studio at Macmillan has had an impact on all aspects of Academy life and now fulfils a wide range of tasks, from supporting teachers and students in the effective use of creative media in the curriculum and in coursework, to the production of video, print and photography. He summarised a normal day in the life of his team to illustrate the diversity of the TV studio.