West Gate School is a special education school based in the UK. The school has 150 support and academic staff and 180 students aged between 4 – 19, with a wide range of special educational needs.
As Microsoft 365 users, the school was using multiple SharePoint and Outlook calendars to manage timetables, resources, and diaries.
But without the functionality to consolidate these calendars, they found that resources were being double-booked and staff were finding it difficult to access the information required.
They needed a solution that would allow them to view all their calendars in one place, enabling more efficient resource management and giving easy access to all staff.
After initially working on creating a custom-developed solution, West Gate discovered Cloudwell’s Calendar Overlay app on the SharePoint store.
After downloading the free trial, they found the app easy to install and simple to use.
With IT Network Manager Dan Plaza as the admin, staff make entries, add events, or make bookings via their own calendars and the information is dynamically pulled into Calendar Overlay for everyone to use as a reference point.
The school has set up three distinct calendars using Calendar Overlay. A Whole School Calendar for managing trips, events, visitors and student reviews, an Admin Rooms calendar for booking room resources and a Curriculum Rooms calendar for managing school facilities.
Staff can also choose how they view Calendar Overlay, so they only see the information that is relevant to them.
More customizable look and feel than a native SharePoint calendar.
Unlike the native SharePoint calendar, where color choices are limited, West Gate has found the options to be much more varied and distinct with Calendar Overlay.
This has made it much easier for West Gate School users to distinguish between the different calendars.
All calendars in one place
Being able to consolidate and view all the school’s calendars in one place has made managing the school’s resources and facilities so much easier and less time-consuming for staff.
As the data from all the SharePoint and Outlook calendars are dynamically pulled into Calendar Overlay, staff make entries to the calendars they have access to, which are then displayed on the ‘master’ Calendar Overlay calendar on the school’s SharePoint site homepage.
Eliminates double bookings
West Gate School has found the Calendar Overlay app to be particularly useful for managing resources and eliminating double bookings.
With a pool, outdoor sports facilities, a sensory room, an indoor sports hall and even a bus for school trips, staff can check availability and book facilities more easily via the centralized calendar that is always up to date.
Quick and responsive customer service
As well as liking the product, West Gate has been impressed by the customer support it has received from the Cloudwell team.
When they discovered a unique issue relating to recurring events, they contacted Cloudwell for help.