Ten years working with SalamanderSoft | Watergrove Trust

15 June, 2022

Ten years working with SalamanderSoft | Watergrove Trust

We work with Watergrove Trust to create and manage pupil and staff user accounts, synchronise their timetables in Google, and provision Google Classroom and Google Guardian.

Dave Leonard is the Strategic IT Director at Watergrove Trust – a multi academy trust based in the Northwest of England.

We work with Watergrove Trust to create and manage pupil and staff user accounts, synchronise their timetables in Google, and provision Google Classroom and Google Guardian. 

After working with Dave for over a decade (at both Watergrove Trust and Matthew Moss High School), we sat down at Bett Show 2022 to talk about Salamander’s impact on day-to-day life in a school’s IT department.  

Before using the Salamander Suite, what was your process for managing user accounts? 

Before I used Salamander, I spent a lot of time preparing user accounts – it was a significant part of my job, particularly in September every year when schools have a whole new cohort of students joining.  

IT admins have to create user accounts, sync them up, match them to a home directory, and link them to your MIS.  

Not only is this time consuming, but there were always some that fell between the cracks.  

Salamander takes care of all of that for us.  

There’s a little bit of work involved in getting it set up – but that’s because the team at Salamander want to make sure it’s right for your school. It’s all bespoke because every school works in a slightly different way.  

Their team works with you to ascertain how your school works, and then they set up the software to be exactly how you need it.  

For us, it links through our Google domain so that all our Google Classrooms are set up automatically.  

It also ensures that all of our password policies are correct and link to our user’s home drives. 

It’s the kind of thing that just runs in the background and takes away that massive headache.   

What impact has working with SalamanderSoft had on your MAT? 

The thing I’ve said for years is that it’s the best £1,000 I spend each year from my budget. Time is money, and the one thing we don’t have in education – we’re all busy, whether it’s teachers, techies or support staff. 

And that’s what investing in Salamander buys me – time. So it’s absolutely worth every penny, in my opinion.   

What’s your favourite thing about working with SalamanderSoft? 

When I first signed up, I asked them, “What’s your helpdesk number? What do I do if I need to speak to you?” 

They replied, “You don’t phone us. We all work remotely, so just get in touch by email.” 

I was a bit hesitant, if I’m honest, because I thought it sounded like a way of avoiding contact with the customer. 

But it’s absolutely not – the team’s speed, professionalism, and knowledge are second to none. It’s impressive and took away that doubt we had right from the beginning.  

And, now that’s just the way we work; we email them, and the problem gets fixed. Happy days!

Our Salamander Integration Suite automatically synchronises user accounts, groups, permissions and more from your School Management Information System, allowing teachers and students to instantly access the tools they need to teach and learn.

Talk to a member of our team today to find out how we can support your school or trust.

Jon Atkinson

Written by Jon Atkinson

Managing Director

Jon joined SalamanderSoft in November 2013 and heads the teams that build, deliver and supports the company's products and strives to ensure the highest customer satisfaction in everything that the company does. Having spent almost 15 years supporting the needs of Schools and other academic establishments, Jon brings a broad range of technical experience and passion to the role.

Outside of work, Jon volunteers with the Scout Association.

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