Education

Whitestar Solutions are specialists in the supply of data and electrical solutions to the education sector. We use our expertise to advise on the best systems for your unique environment.

Safe and reliable

We understand that safety and reliability are paramount in educational settings. We guarantee this by committing to never compromise on quality and providing the best qualified people for your project. Keep staff, students and any other visitors to your educational facility safe with the most compliant electrical installation on the market.

Benefits

Whatever the project, we promise a number of key benefits. These are designed specifically for your sector.

Here’s what you can expect from working with Whitestar Solutions.

minimal-disruption

Minimal
Disruption

We will endeavour to install your system without any downtime on your existing infrastructure, therefore ensuring minimal disruption to learning.

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Qualified
Engineers

We invest in our team of engineers to make sure they are all qualified and up to date with the latest regulations and standards.

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Complete Transparency

We operate transparently by communicating openly and with sincerity.

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Fully Compliant

We are able to provide all the electrical services to ensure you remain compliant, giving you peace of mind that there are no health and safety issues.

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Sustainable
Solutions

We provide sustainable solutions for the long-term success of your educational facility.

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Related case study

London Business School

Whitestar keeps students, staff and visitors safe at London Business School with comprehensive electrical testing, maintenance and certification.

Blog

Electrical installation services

The key types of electrical testing to ensure your installations are compliant

The key types of electrical testing to ensure your installations are compliant Compliance – not everyone’s favourite topic, but an important one, nonetheless. There’s a lot of complicated legislation, regulations and standards that your electrical system needs to adhere to, most of which you don’t need to know the ins and outs of. In this article, we break down what you need to know about electrical compliance – what it is and why it’s so important for your organisation. WHAT IS ELECTRICAL COMPLIANCE? Electrical testing and inspection compliance is the process by which a qualified engineer conducts a thorough check of your electrical systems to confirm that all installations inside a building meet legislative standards. This covers circuits, appliances and all the other good stuff. According to the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989, all electrical installations and equipment (including portable equipment), need to be maintained. It’s important that organisations ensure that both new and old electrical installations are certified as safe and compliant with BS 7671:2018. Our team at Whitestar put the utmost care into each and every system we work on, keeping the safety of our clients at the forefront of our minds at all times. Employers are required to ensure that any wiring and electrical equipment is checked regularly by a qualified commercial electrical engineer. This is best achieved through regular visual testing (to identify any obvious flaws in the system), and more detailed tests (these can be done slightly less regularly).  Electrical compliance can be complicated, so if you’re ever unsure whether you’re compliant or not, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our electrical experts who can advise further – don’t leave it to chance; failure to comply can result in hefty fines. WHAT IS EICR? An electrical installation condition report (EICR) is a type of electrical testing and inspection that closely examines a building’s electrical systems and wiring. This is done in order to ensure that everyone is safe while using the building.  Our qualified electricians carry out EICR testing in several stages: First, there is a visual assessment, where the electrician determines if there’s issues in obvious need of repair (these might be breaks, cracks or other evident signs of damage) Following this, the electrician will disconnect the electrical installations from the power supply in order to conduct ‘dead testing’ to determine which wires aren’t properly connected. They’ll also test the quality of the earthing and bonding and check failsafes to make sure that systems will disconnect within the time limit should a fault be detected Finally, your electrician will issue your EICR, which is proof of your electrical compliance Depending on the property style, you need to carry out an EICR test roughly once every 5 years in order to retain compliance.  This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your electrical installations between reports! We recommend consistent electrical checks to ensure the ongoing health of your electrical system. Small, regular checks and fixes are significantly more cost-effective than a one-off comprehensive check every five years (that will often turn up significant issues, trust us – it’s best to keep it regular!). EMERGENCY LIGHT TESTING Emergency lights are usually at the back of our minds…until there’s an emergency! Current UK law demands that all occupied buildings need to be fitted with functional escape lighting for use in case of emergency (any situation where the main power supply is cut).  When looking to test your emergency lighting, it should always be done at a suitable time of day (usually in the evenings, or when the building is empty).  A monthly test should be held to ensure that everything’s working as expected (this can be a quick on/off job to make sure your lighting still functions).  Once a year you should hold a full rated duration test. Emergency lighting should provide at least 3 hours of illumination. Any less than that and they’re not meeting legislation. This means that mains power should be disconnected for at least three hours, and emergency lighting left on to ensure that it’s functioning properly.  We find that many businesses neglect to check their emergency lighting – we get it, it’s easy to forget! If you need any advice on emergency lighting best practices, have a chat with our team here at Whitestar. We work with organisations big and small to keep their people safe in the event of an emergency. PORTABLE APPLIANCE TESTING (PAT) PAT testing is one of the most common (and important) electrical tests, and is an essential part of any organisation’s health & safety measures.  Thorough PAT testing is key when ensuring that staff aren’t harmed by any electrical equipment in the building. Portable appliance testing is the process of checking portable electrical equipment (anything from laptops and phones, to hair dryers and microwaves) to ensure that they’re safe to be used at work or home.  It’s an employer’s duty to ensure that equipment required for work poses no threat to employees. While this isn’t a legal requirement, if it’s proved that you hadn’t been maintaining your electrical equipment after an accident, you could be held liable, so PAT testing is an important insurance step. If we listed every single piece of equipment that PAT testing covered, then we’d be here all day, but in the average office environment, you might test: Laptops Desktop computers Drills Kettles Heaters Projectors Printers TVs Fridges Vending machines And much more.  A thorough PAT test will cover the plug, cable, appliance, mains sockets and other environmental surfaces (trip hazards, surface cracks, etc.)  Generally speaking, a defective item will be easily identified. Should the defect be a little more nuanced (faulty wiring, for example), then it can be harder to identify, which is why it’s important to partner with experts that you can trust. PROFESSIONAL ELECTRICAL TESTING AND INSPECTION WITH WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS The experienced electricians at Whitestar Solutions have nearly three decades of electrical experience. Our clients rely on us for a whole host of electrical services, be that bespoke testing or
video conferencing

How to adapt to video conferencing & remote working post-Covid

How to adapt to video conferencing & remote working post-Covid Having experienced a society-altering pandemic, it’s no surprise that the way that we work may well have changed forever for billions of people across the globe. Now that the pandemic seems to be easing, it’s important to consider how the workforce will continue – will the adaptations for working from home persist, will employers insist that people return to the office, or will many adopt a hybrid approach? It’s becoming increasingly clear that implementing high-quality audio-visual installations and reliable communication systems is critical for any modern business to succeed (and maintain employee satisfaction). Now that people understand that video conferencing and remote working are both viable, and often preferable, we expect to see real change, especially over the next few months/years. Depending on who you ask, you might get wildly different answers! Working from home isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure, but for many people it’s been a huge relief not having to commute every day, or having to spend time in an office. Generally, employees report: Enjoying a better work/life balance Saving money on commuting/childcare/food costs Freedom to choose where they live, they aren’t bound to a radius around work A general increase in productivity while at home, if set up correctly Improved comfort due to the personalised office space While this sounds great, employees need infrastructure in place in order to successfully work from home, that’s why it’s important to establish your people with the right equipment, allowing them to comfortably work from home or from the office, depending on what the business requires. HOW TO CREATE A HYBRID BETWEEN WORKING FROM HOME AND OFFICE WORK The answer, then, perhaps lies in a hybrid model, where employees work from home when appropriate, but find their way into the office when they want/need to. In order to create a functional hybrid model, you’ll need the infrastructure in place to facilitate easy collaboration, convenient video calling and an efficient workflow. Custom video conferencing rooms Throughout the pandemic, video conferencing became the lifeline of everyone working from home. It provided the crucial human interaction that many of us craved, and kept friends and families connected in a time where they couldn’t see one another face-to-face.  There’s no reason for video conferencing to go away. It’s cost-effective and convenient, providing an easy way to connect with people who aren’t geographically close. In order to upgrade their video conferencing, many businesses are opting to kit out virtual conference rooms, complete with projectors, cameras, microphones and much more.  In addition to this, good connectivity is paramount (we’ve all been on a call with poor internet – not fun), which means that proper data cabling is essential to ensure your connection is both stable and fast.  Providing the correct equipment It’s worth remembering that every call is a two-way street. If your employees are working from home and don’t have the required resources to join conference calls, then the whole plan quickly falls apart.  You’ll need to provide a device that’s good for video calling, usually a laptop. Many businesses still rely on 10-year-old equipment that can’t keep up. Update your laptops and you’ll see myriad benefits (more efficient working, higher quality calls, etc.) as employees no longer have to deal with slower load speeds and cumbersome interfaces. Bringing it all together Honesty and transparency go a long way to making the hybrid model work. Share calendars and get things planned in good time; be flexible with your team and fit calls in when you can. It’s important for employees to understand just how valuable it is for them to be in the office on occasion. Simple off-topic talks, impromptu lunch breaks and walks around the block work wonders for both morale and employee bonds, so striking the balance is the key. QUALITY AUDIO-VISUAL INSTALLATIONS FOR VIDEO CONFERENCING WITH WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS At Whitestar Solutions, we have a proven track record implementing mission critical remote working and video conferencing solutions. Businesses and organisations across the UK rely on our expertise to ensure that they’re ready for the new way in which employees expect to work. Proper installation and maintenance of your VoIP systems has become pivotal throughout the pandemic and beyond, with remote working looking like it’s here to stay. If you’ve got any questions, or want to know more about how we can help your business to facilitate high-quality video conferencing, get in touch with our specialists today. We’re on hand to talk through your unique situation and find a solution that suits your people. Baskerville House Baskerville House In Birmingham – Wired IT Data Networks, Wi-Fi, Telephony, Printing Devices, Digital Signage, and Audio Visual installations. Tackling Enterprise Wireless Demands with Wi-Fi & 5G Tackling Enterprise Wireless Demands with Wi-Fi & 5G Register Now for the upcoming Leviton webinar.  With the rise of IoT, bring-your-own-device policies, and data demands that go beyond gigabit speeds, CIOs and IT managers are now evaluating multiple wireless approaches as part of their enterprise networks In fact, recent studies reveal the majority of executives see both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G technologies as critical for their companies in the years to come. Follow the Leviton playbook as we tackle the topic of wireless coverage head-on. We’ll address:   Enterprise wireless outlook and trends The future of Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and beyond 5G adoption: current and emerging phases and indoor applications Infrastructure offensive strategy: cabling system design recommendations   Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Our core values and promises are what makes us stand out from the crowd. Read on to find out how Whitestar can help your business grow. How to make your infrastructure project a success Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help. Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Why customer service is key in today’s day

7 Benefits of Structured Cabling

7 Benefits of Structured Cabling We’ve all seen a desk with cables dangling haphazardly from the back, or an office with network cables that are way too long looping out from the walls (or even running across the room!). If that’s you, then it might be time to consider some of the benefits of structured cabling. In this blog post, we’ll be running through the top 7 benefits of good, structured cabling, and why our team at Whitestar Solutions are passionate about ensuring efficiency every time we implement a new data cabling system. WHAT IS STRUCTURED CABLING? Structured cabling, as the name suggests, is the act of logically arranging your cables. Good cabling keeps everything organised and running smoothly by creating patch panels and multi-port trunks that logically route each cable to where they need to be.   Your organisation’s network infrastructure works almost like its nervous system, passing messages back and forth between your team. Poorly structured cables can be a nightmare to manage, and can cost your business more than you’d expect. 1. SAVE MONEY Inefficient cabling will prove costly in the long run, for several reasons: Disorganised cabling usually means installing cables that are longer than necessary. Longer cables are, generally, more expensive. When you scale that up, the costs can pile on. Whenever you hold routine network maintenance, it’s much harder for engineers to do their job when working with untidy cabling. Well structured cables will expedite the maintenance process, saving you from hefty fees. A highly flexible, well-planned cabling system will reduce power consumption, as fewer wires are required to perform critical tasks. So, is it worth the investment? Absolutely! You don’t have to pay a premium to get your network installed correctly, so make sure you’re working with data cabling professionals who will nail your cabling and save you money. 2. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE Holding a Teams meeting where people are dropping out or the connection is slow isn’t fun at all. One of the main advantages of a structured cabling system is that you’ll see higher bandwidth than before, with more efficient usage of network cables resulting in better connections and a reduced chance of issues. As businesses become more reliant on their network infrastructure, having this reliability will become paramount. 3. SIMPLIFY YOUR SPACE A nice, organised cabling system will simplify many aspects of your day-to-day. In your average office, many devices will be interconnected. Many devices = lots of opportunities for something to go wrong. With a simplified cabling system, it’s far easier to identify any anomalies and to fix problems as soon as they arise. 4. HEALTH & SAFETY While this shouldn’t be an issue for most offices, we’ve definitely seen some health and safety nightmares in our time! Loose wires are a trip hazard, and tripping over cables can also result in expensive monitors, computers and more tumbling down from a desk. 5. IMPROVED SCALABILITY Your network should be able to grow alongside your business. A well-structured network will enable this growth by being far, far easier to adjust and expand. Any infrastructure changes will be faster to implement (or deconstruct). If you’re planning a move to a new office space, then you’ll be glad to have properly structured wires that can be moved without too much hassle. 6. LESS CHANCE OF DOWNTIME One of the main causes of network downtime? Human error. Organised cables are usually obscured behind panelling, meaning that there’s far less chance of someone accidentally tampering with critical cabling. 7. LOOKS GREAT! Last, but by no means least, good cabling looks superb! A structured cabling system will be an aesthetic improvement every time. As changes made are less likely to deteriorate, your attractive cabling will stay in place indefinitely, meaning that it always looks its best. STRUCTURED DATA CABLING SUPPORT WITH WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS At Whitestar Solutions, we work closely with our clients to ensure that we have a comprehensive understanding of your business before any work gets done. Our UK-wide engineers specialise in data cabling, and are on hand ready to design, install, certify and manage fibre optic, RF and structured cabling systems.  With years of experience under our belt, no structured cabling job is too difficult. We work with organisations ranging from schools to hospitals, so get in touch with us today to talk with one of our specialists about your unique needs. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have, or to advise you on the next steps that you need to take. Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Any business worth its sale knows the importance of providing a quality customer experience. And the best way to achieve that? Providing great customer service. Actually, not just great customer service. Exceptional customer service. Happy customers mean loyal customers. The better their experience working with a company, the more likely they are to come back. Anything less than amazing customer service and businesses risk losing customers forever. MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION It’s more than just meeting the needs and expectations of customers – businesses need to exceed them. First impressions matter. But so too do second, third, fourth and fifth impressions. In fact, every customer service interaction is key to future success (and sales). The stats prove it: according to research, 96% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor when choosing a brand. And as for those all-important sales: even just a 5% rise in customer retention can boost company revenue by 25% to 95%. Arguably, customer service matters even more in difficult times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, businesses able to give customers the care they deserved also offered them much-needed stability, convenience and value. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, GREAT CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS Of course, knowing that customer service is important is the easy part. Start implementing it into your business and you’ve got your work cut out. At Whitestar, we go out of our way to ensure

The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care

The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire hazard. As per our blog post on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), every power, data and telecommunication cable that is intended to be permanently installed in a construction works now must display a CE-marked label and have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) drawn up and made available. SHOULD YOU REWIRE YOUR LEGACY BUILDING? Legacy buildings aren’t subject to the CPR in the same way that new buildings are. If the cabling in the building isn’t posing any health and safety risk – and isn’t hampering operations in any way – it doesn’t have to be ripped out and rewired with CE-marked cabling. But that isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a complete rewire anyway. As we said, it depends. So, what does it depend on? If your building has undergone any recent damage, or there are lights and sockets that have ceased to function as normal, then these are signs that the building needs to be rewired. Damage to the casing of wires can be a serious hazard. So, if you find any exposed wires then the best thing to do is get in touch with a contractor who can assess the full extent of the issue and advise on the next steps. WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?   If you’re not sure when the last rewiring of the building took place, or the electrics are showing signs of damage, then it could be time for a complete rewiring. From a health and safety point of view, it’s your safest bet. But it’s not your only option. After all, a complete rewire doesn’t tend to come cheaply. Whitestar Solutions can carry out electrical testing and inspection which will reveal the condition of the electrics throughout the building. Deficiencies found during the inspection and testing might then be remedied such that the installation may continue to be used in safety. We offer a complete range of electrical testing and inspection services for commercial and industrial premises. We test 100% of your installation, providing a true reflection on the safety of the installation. From there, you will be provided with a number of options depending on your unique environment. For example, as a school your decision making might be different than if you are a business. But at the end of the day, you want to know that your electrical system is safe and reliable. HOW CAN YOU ENSURE SAFETY GOING FORWARD?   Whether you opt for a complete rewire of the legacy building or not, you should seriously consider implementing a robust planned preventative maintenance (PPM) programme which will ensure that safety issues are rectified before they pose a risk. We work closely with businesses across a wide range of sectors to initiate a PPM programme so that our clients have peace of mind in terms of compliance and budgets to ensure their building, their school, their hospital, their shop remains safe for staff, students, visitors and contractors alike. Get in touch with Whitestar today so that we can begin to evaluate your building project. How can our AV solutions be useful within the education sector? How can our AV solutions be useful within the education sector? A classroom is intended to be a place where pupils can be educated and can intellectually develop. Ensuring the right tools and processes are available to teachers is vital to providing a high-quality experience to students of all ages. As in all industries and sectors around the world, technology has a major impact on traditional working methods and the way organisations operate, and the field of education is no exception. Research has shown a positive and direct correlation between the provision of AV (audiovisual) features in classrooms and boosted academic achievement for students at different levels. HOW CAN AV SOLUTIONS BE USED TO IMPROVE CLASSROOMS? Smart AV solutions can be used to create an engaging and interactive setting for student learning while endowing teachers with the features they require to add depth to their lessons and enable students to achieve more academically. There are many ways that installing audio and video technology can help students and teachers at your educational institution, including: Improved behaviour during tasks and concentration Reduction of vocal fatigue of teachers Increased student participation Improvements in student behaviour Reduction in the number of distracted students THE IMPORTANCE OF AUDIO IMPROVEMENT Smart AV solutions used in classrooms vary according to the specific needs of your educational setting, but school sound systems are widely sought after and used. Classroom audio systems are intended to enrich the classroom learning environment by allowing all pupils to clearly hear the teacher during lessons, students during university lectures, audio while watching films and more. Many studies support the great importance of audio enhancement for the modern classroom, showing results such as: School skills test scores improved in reading, math and science A 34-year study found significant improvement in student achievement for a group of students in KS2 Speech comprehension scores are higher under conditions where amplification is present in primary school students VIDEO IN THE CLASSROOM At the same time, the installation of video in classrooms has been shown to significantly improve the learning strategies used by teachers, leading to a more interactive and engaging experience for students. What are the actual benefits of video cameras in the classroom for teachers? Apart from the well-known advantages of increased safety for staff and pupils, video technology in the classroom offers numerous benefits. Staff can benefit from peer to peer observation of recorded lessons for

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