Field Studies Council

Field Studies Council Case Study

ICT infrastructure review

About the organisation

The Field Studies Council (FSC) provides outstanding experiences for people to connect with the environment, learn about it and make choices that help protect it. This was the vision of FSC’s pioneers when they first met during World War Two. Over 140,000 people, from school children through to retired adults, experience the FSC each year through its network of learning locations and 17 Field Centres. These field centres include sites as varied as London’s Royal Parks, the mountains of Snowdonia and the Scottish Highlands or the coastlines of west Wales and Devon. The centres vary in size, with some having as few as 4 staff and the larger ones having up to approximately 50 staff. All of the centres are however used extensively by teachers and learners and regularly accommodate visits of up to 120-140 people at a time.

The challenge

The Field Studies Council (“the FSC”) asked Adapta to review the options for their ICT infrastructure (connectivity) upgrade project. The purpose of the review was to provide independent and impartial advice to the FSC, to ensure that the business case for investment in enhanced network connectivity and infrastructure was robust and that suitable options had been considered and were appropriate for the size and needs of the organisation. The FSC highlighted the increasing dependence of teachers and learners on having reliable access to the Internet in order to effectively use technology in their fieldwork as well as the growing importance of e-learning (e.g. in the form of visitors and tutors using sophisticated GIS technology, multimedia and interactive learning resources such as Apple TV, controlled assessments, mapping systems such as Google Earth). The FSC’s vision was to "be recognised as leading the field" and to "exceed learner expectations in the quality of service provided". Many of these technologies are dependent on there being a reliable Internet connection available to use, but the facilities that were available fell short of the FSC’s requirements and were likely to hold back the FSC’s ability to exceed learner expectations and deliver a high-quality experience of using ICT in fieldwork teaching.

Adapta support

Our approach to carrying out the review involved gathering data from both internal and external sources. We reviewed relevant background documentation about the existing network infrastructure, site locations, facilities, usage patterns and connectivity. Drawing on our knowledge and experience of good practice in the sector, we carried out research, through written surveys and follow-up phone calls, to establish how other organisations with similar requirements structured their ICT networks. We obtained input from key individuals (e.g. ICT staff, tutors, representatives of the field centres) to understand more about the current issues and the future requirements that may affect what is required of the ICT infrastructure. We also obtained relevant information from other sources to validate findings and recommendations where applicable. Our deliverable was a concise report providing a statement of the current position and a clear, recommended way forward for the FSC’s ICT infrastructure.

Field Studies Council,
Client Quote

Field Studies Council
James Drever
Head of IT

"FSC received excellent support from Adapta on this project, and the resulting proposal was strongly supported by its trustees and is now being implemented."

Share this page

What our Clients Say

Crisis, Rebecca Pritchard
Client Quote

Rebecca Pritchard
Former Director of Operations

Adapta have been honest and realistic with us throughout. They are clear where they can add value and where we can do things on our own – so it feels like a partnership...

Médecins Sans Frontières UK, James Kliffen
Client Quote

Médecins Sans Frontières UK
James Kliffen
Head of Fundraising

You have had a huge influence in our fundraising, and I would enthusiastically recommend you to other charities (and often have)...

Badger Trust, Dawn Varley
Client Quote

Badger Trust
Dawn Varley
Operations & Strategy Director

I knew I could task them with my problem, and leave them to undertake the work in a professional yet friendly way, bringing their expertise and experience to the project…

Medical Aid for Palestinians, Iain McSeveney
Client Quote

Medical Aid for Palestinians
Iain McSeveney
Finance Director

I’m very pleased with the professional way that Adapta managed the project. It was obvious that they have great experience in the charity sector and on the range of suitable software on the market…

National Children’s Bureau, Rachel Rand
Client Quote

National Children’s Bureau
Rachel Rand
Strategic Director - Finance and Corporate Services

I would not embark on any IT project without first meeting with Adapta to understand how they feel they could support me. I have found their guidance and practical support invaluable…

ClientEarth, Rosalba Leonelli
Client Quote

Rosalba Leonelli
Head of Finance

Thank you to you and your team for developing and facilitating an excellent workshop. You fully understood our needs which were evident in the workshop structure and content…


We strive to support a dynamic, impactful sector that leads through innovation and collaborative thinking. We are continually amazed by the incredible work the sector does and the support it gives to make a difference to millions of lives in the UK and across the world. View the organisations we work with here.

Badger Trust Logo
Asthma UK Logo
Battersea Logo
Centre Point Logo
Embrace The Middle East Logo
Christian Aid Logo
Stroke Association Logo
The Trussell Trust Logo

Case Studies

Our case studies provide real examples of the support and advice we give organisations, detailing the issues and challenges each faced and how, together, we were able to help them.