IDIS video solution gives boost to busy secondary school, helping pupils to thrive

  • IndustryEducation
  • CustomerHillside High School, Bootle, UK
  • RegionUK
  • IDIS PartnersApex Network Solutions Limited


Busy school needs to update CCTV infrastructure - but 1930s buildings are a challenge

Hillside High School in Bootle is part of the Wade Deacon Trust, an academy trust of eight schools across the Liverpool City region committed to nurturing pupils and helping them achieve academic success.

Video surveillance is a valued resource for the senior team at Hillside High, helping them to maintain high standards of care for their 600+ pupils, encouraging positive behaviours and creating a supportive learning environment. But, with only limited coverage and functionality, the school’s old CCTV system was reaching the end of its life. A better system was now needed, and Apex Network Solutions was asked to help.


IDIS partner Apex asked to find the best upgrade option

The trust wanted to upgrade Hillside High’s ageing video system, however installation work would be made more difficult by the school’s 1930s architecture, with lack of ceiling voids for easy cable runs, long corridors, and solid construction. Director of ICT Jonathan Lowe also wanted to address concerns around poor usability, gaps in coverage, variable image quality, and rising maintenance costs.

Apex Network Solutions, which had already impressed the trust on several projects with its IT services, was invited to bid for the upgrade contract. As an IDIS partner, Apex was well placed to compete against an incumbent CCTV provider, offering a solution with the lowest cost of ownership (TCO), significantly improved performance and coverage, and easy adaptability to meet future requirements – all key advantages of an IDIS DirectIP® end-to-end solution.


IDIS end-to-end solution allows more complete site coverage with greater usability

Apex designed an end-to-end solution taking advantage of the IDIS rapid plug-and-play integration, seamless device compatibility, and full system functionality first time without installation glitches – particularly valuable benefits at older sites such as Hillside, where cabling options are limited.

It was easy to replace the existing, poorly performing cameras with simple connection of IDIS’s more powerful high-definition models, and to add new cameras in key locations to enable comprehensive coverage. The expanded system now includes 41 x 2MP IR domes, 2 x 5MP domes, 2 x 8MP domes, 10 x 5MP bullet, 4 x 2MP IR bullet, and 6 x 12MP Panomorph IR Fisheye cameras – between them ensuring HD and ultra-HD image capture, even in challenging lighting conditions, thanks to the cameras being equipped with true WDR and IR LED. The fisheye cameras provide affordable wide area coverage, effectively delivering the same visibility as three or four fixed lens models.

As a result, the school’s new system now ensures comprehensive coverage of corridors, communal areas, entrances, and school grounds, and it is easier for staff to work with thanks to the IDIS Center VMS management software. The license-free VMS’s intuitive interface makes it simple to live view, playback and retrieve recorded footage and also allows role-based access rights to be easily configured.

Results and Benefits

IDIS and Apex partnership ensures successful project completion as promised


The upgraded CCTV system delivered by Apex provides superior protection of school facilities out-of-hours, helping to prevent vandalism and anti-social behaviour. Comprehensive, reliable video recording is supporting the senior leadership team in upholding high standards day to day. Any incidents can be reviewed quickly and reliably, with early resolution preventing problems from escalating.

IDIS Smart Failover technology ensures no loss of data in the event of an NVR-camera disconnect, or network instability. SD cards in the cameras temporarily record and automatically transfer data to NVRs after recovery, ensuring a full record of events.

In the future, despite the age of the school’s buildings, the video system will be easy to expand and adapt, with additional cameras added, or camera positions changed. The system also offers the best value, with a low maintenance burden and no hidden costs such as licensing fees.

“Despite the infrastructure challenges at this site, Apex delivered a full system upgrade on time without any major disruptions or delays. Our new IDIS solution has given us reliable, comprehensive CCTV coverage, and it’s proving easy to use. It’s the ideal solution for our school.


Jonathan Lowe 
Director of ICT & Operations,
Wade Deacon Trust