Joseph Swan Academy



New telecoms solution is top class


Joseph Swan Academy (formerly Joseph Swan School) is a mixed secondary school with academy status situated in south Gateshead which educates pupils aged 11 to 18. The school is named after the English physicist, chemist, Sir Joseph Wilson Swan. As of March 2012, Joseph Swan School became Joseph Swan Academy.

Joseph Swan Academy was delighted to partner with Russell Telecom; a company with three decade’s experience of meeting the telecommunications needs of UK businesses and organisations.


Russell Telecom carried out a detailed assessment of the school’s existing systems and of their specific requirements.

Joseph Swan Academy had a 15 year old Ericsson BP250, which was proving difficult to administer. The operator could only take one call at a time and there was no operator overflow.

The school wanted to replace its outdated telecoms system with a solution that could embrace its requirement for an increased number of telephone lines for staff use.

Joseph Swan Academy also required a voice mail facility that could be accessed by all staff members, alongside auto attendant and call recording facilities. Training was also provided so that the IT team was able to manage the new system in the most effective way.


Russell Telecom completed a comprehensive evaluation of the school’s telecommunications system before it identified the NEC SV8100 telephone system as the ideal telecoms solution. The SV8100 is one of the newest digital and IP phone systems from NEC.

Russell Telecom provided the school with the SV8100 including 30 ISDN lines.

“The new telecoms system meets our specific needs. Our IT manager has said that the Web Pro solution has made his job more efficient and productive.” Heather Scott, head teacher at Joseph Swan Academy


The SV8100 is a superb hybrid communications platform from NEC.



Core features include Direct Dial (DDI), voice mail and auto attendant, 60 hands-free Digital Extensions and operator position with DSS Unit showing extension status. The system includes an integrated digital voicemail, which not only provides a night and day service and auto-attendant but also provides call recording.

The system was also supplied with UNIVERGE® SV8000 Series PC Pro/WebPro. This is an instrumental troubleshooting tool that empowers users to manage their own terminals and provides them with the functionality needed to simplify communications.

The school uses auto attendant that is configured with different options at different times (including outside of term time) for different departments. Staff members also have access to a voice mail facility.

Those members of staff who do not have a dedicated handset can still benefit from voice mail, as Russell Telecom also set up virtual extension numbers.

Virtual extension numbers ensure utmost flexibility, as they give callers the ability to leave messages in individual staff voicemail boxes. This feature enables the operator to transfer incoming calls directly to the staff’s voice mail box where a message can be left. An email is then sent to notify the individual that they have a message. The user can access the message from any extension. Each mail box can be password protected for added security.

Staff can also personalise their ‘inboxes’ with their own greeting messages.


Joseph Swan Academy is very pleased with the solution installed by Russell Telecom.

Heather Scott, Head Teacher at Joseph Swan Academy, said: “We are pleased with the new telecoms system, which is an upgrade of our old system.

“The quote from Russell Telecom was very competitive and we were happy to proceed. The company also acted within a short time frame as we wanted it installed in the school holidays to minimise potential disruption.”

Miss Scott added: “The new telecoms system meets our specific needs. Our IT manager has said that the Web Pro solution has made his job more efficient and productive.”

In addition, Russell Telecom provided training for the school’s IT team on how to make programming and administrational changes to the system, as required.