School ICT News Bulletin No. 245 - 13/01/2015

Published by ICT Shared Services


January eBulletin Update

Happy New Year to everyone and we hope you all had a good break over the Christmas and New Year period.

Important: Changes to filtering of Google Mail

Since 2009, the NSIX Google mail service has had the added protection of Postini for preventing unwanted email being received in users’ mailboxes.  Since then, the Postini service has been moving to become an integral part of the standard Google Apps offering, rather than being a separate service and is now at a point where it is being retired by Google themselves.  This means that email filtering will now take place directly within Google Apps.

What will change?

  • Any email identified as Spam will appear in the Spam section of your mail box.  From there, you can mark any senders as valid or leave any unwanted mail in the Spam folder, from where it will be deleted after 30 days.
  • People who currently receive the daily summaries of quarantined email will no longer receive these.
  • The e-safety monitoring accounts will also be changed, and will become integrated into Gmail for the designated individuals in each school. 
  • More advice will be available on the ICT Shared Services website about the e-safety monitoring side of Gmail.

 

What do you need to do.

  1. Please ensure all users of Gmail in your school are aware of this change.
  2. Provide us with up to date details of the designated individuals responsible for e-safety in your school so they can be set up for the e-mail monitoring. 

    You can provide this information to us by completing the form at http://goo.gl/forms/zSqs9mC8GF by Friday 23rd of January so we can work with your nominated contact to get your new e-safety monitoring solution in place.
  3. ​Until we have your school set up, any email that would normally transferred to the esafety monitoring mailbox for your school will be delivered to a central mailbox so that any potential issues can be investigated, but this will not be frequently monitored.

What is the e-safety monitoring account?

  • Any email that triggers the banned word list will get through to the recipient, but a copy will also be sent to an e-safety filltering monitoring account, this will allow you only to see your own schools email accounts.
  • This login will hold any staff or student emails related to school accounts that trigger the banned word list and any emails identified as spam.
  • It is the responsibility of the school to check and manage this account (such as deleting spam or checking emails that trigger the banned word list)

Recommendations:

This guidance has been put together by the Children's Services e - Safety group.

  • The account details for the e-safety monitoring account should be held by a senior member of staff, or staff designated with this responsibility.
  • The account needs to be checked routinely - this needs to be agreed on a school by school basis, but it is recommended good practice for it to be accessed on a minimum of a weekly basis.
  • There should be a clear reporting process in place, as part of reporting a concern, for the person checking the Filtering Account (refer to the e - safety toolkit : www.schools.norfolk.gov.uk.
  • There needs to be at least one other holder of the account details to ensure that the account can be checked if the main account holder is absent.

If you have any questions regarding this transition, please contact the ICT Shared Services Service Desk.

 

Service improvement

In the December bulletin, we said we are focusing on service improvement, quality and reviewing customer feedback from a number of sources, visits, meetings with Heads and the Services for Schools survey monkey.

ICT Protech Plus Technician service

We have been listening to a school cluster since July on different contract areas and in December visited a number of the cluster Heads individually to discuss their perception of the school technician service offered as part of the ICT Protech Plus contracts. Some of the common themes related to the role of the technician, what schools can expect from them and the escalation options for areas outside of the technician’s remit.

As a consequence we will be updating the Technicians’ service handbook and making it available via our website by the end of March 2015 as well as via SLA Online. We will let you know as soon as this is completed. The current document is now available on our website as well as located in an agreed place in your school; it defines the technician’s schedule, ad hoc work, the role of the school and other related information.

We will also clarify with schools using the service as well as our own staff the route for areas the technician is unable to cover and the options for support particularly for guidance on appropriate products to deliver your school’s vision.

Apple products and implementing full functionality within schools

We are also aware of a number of frustrations relating to using full Apple functionality in schools and accessing the network. We have been working with a city school to create a solution for the devices to access the Apple services they require in a way that is safe for the school and prevents the school’s network being compromised externally. We have worked with the school to find a solution that works for them and at the same time creates a package which we can make available for other schools. We are now finalising this model and expect to update you on this very soon.

Dropbox now available in all schools

As this has been another source of frustration we’re repeating the announcement we made in December that after consultation with the Advisory service, Dropbox is now available on all filtering castes / profiles with immediate effect.  Schools considering using Dropbox for educational purposes should ensure that its use complies with their current e-safety and acceptable usepolicies.  Guidance on e-safety is available in the E-safety toolkit and advice on the schools filtering service provided by Smoothwall is available on our website

Neoteris – remote access to school servers

We regret that a number of schools have experienced problems with getting access to this service or experienced intermittent problems. This should have been resolved before the Christmas holidays for all schools that have purchased the service.

ICT Shared Services apologises for the inconvenience and will be arranging a refund to schools this term related to the time the service was unavailable.

Communication

Your feedback has shown that we need to improve our communication with you about the services you already have available to get the most value from your contracts with us. One of these examples is the greater flexibility that Smoothwall filtering can offer you to block and unblock websites:

Options available to manage Smoothwall filtering at a school level

With the Smoothwall SWURL filtering solution in place, schools can manage their own Individual filtering block and allow lists without affecting other schools on the Norfolk Schools Broadband. This means you have greater control over the tools/websites you choose to use within your school.

Based on safeguarding advice from the LA, we need to make you aware that by agreeing to manage your own filtering policy that the responsibility of safe usage by pupils and staff will be held by the Head Teacher and Governing Body. It is imperative that you are aware that filtering decisions made when controlling the school filtering policy are your responsibility and you could be held accountable if they have failed to safeguard members of your schools' community by not taking all reasonable precautions.

Your SWURL will be implemented based on your current caste/profile as a starting point - Any additions on the SWURL will take priority over your filtering caste (with the exception of anything contained within the Global block list which is restricted due to their content being unsuitable for children i.e. adult content sites).

Please note - unblocking You Tube will only be possible for schools that are on the elearning caste. This is because of the additional measures that are required in school for safeguarding due to the lower filtering restrictions of this profile. See here for the different profiles and how to change your profile.

Option 1 - School Managed SWURL

  1. Please send the declaration in the link to ICT Shared Services signed by the headteacher and Chair of Governors.
  2. Provide details of up to 3 nominated members of staff who you wish to control your SWURL - please provide name, role and email address.
  3. Once all documentation has been received your SWURL will be activated.

 

Option 2 - ICT Shared Services manages your SWURL on your behalf

  1. Please send the attached declaration to ICT Shared Services signed by the headteacher and Chair of Governors.
  2. Requests for filtering changes can be submitted to our helpdesk via ict@norfolk.gov.uk. For child safeguarding reasons we will only accept requests that have come from the head@ email account.

 

We hope you find these items useful and intend to improve our communications to make you and your staff aware of updates, reminders of the services available within your existing contracts, support events and project developments.

 

Author: ICT Shared Services

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