SCHOOL ICT NEWS BULLETIN No 117 - 17/12/2007

Published by Children’s Services


e1 Latest

The roll out of e1 – the Management Information System to replace Gold restarted in September. 116 schools have now attended a presentation telling them about e1 and 46 of these schools have now gone live. The remainder are being scheduled in the roll out plan for the coming months. 36 Primary Schools have been migrated to e1, 2 Special Schools, 2 Pupil Referral Units and 6 High/6th Forms.

Long Stratton was the first High School to go live following the break in roll out. They have started off slowly and are now looking forward to taking on pupil registration by staff and the examination module. Thorpe St Andrew School are due to migrate just after February Half term, followed by Wayland High with Old Buckenham High and Diss High after Easter.

Invites have been issued to other High Schools on e1, to attend a presentation in January, with further presentations for other schools also being arranged. It is hoped to carry out some presentations in the West later in the project.

If you would like further information contact Carole Barwell (e1 Project Manager) or Michael Bettell (e1 Project Assistant) or visit the ICTS website.

Author: Jay Zelos

Powering core networking equipment over the christmas holidays

We would like to ask schools to refrain from turning off the power to the core networking equipment over the Christmas holidays. Core networking equipment includes routers, switches and cache servers, often in a wall or floor cabinet. These devices are monitored by ICT solutions and BT and turning off the power results in false alarms. This could result in your school incurring a charge for an engineer visit.

Author: Jay Zelos

Norfolk Schools Internet eXchange (NSIX) Upgrades

Summary

The NSIX Internet Service Provision (ISP) contract will be extended to be coterminous with the Data contract (provision of Internet connection) in March 2009.

NCC Children’s Services has been working hard to ensure that your feedback over the life of the NSIX ISP contract has played a significant part of the contract extension negotiations.

The following key areas will be developed in–line with your requirements:

  • Proxy and filtering service
  • Generic email service (head@, ictc@, office@ and Chairofgov@)
  • Website hosting service
  • Service availability

Proxy and filtering service

All primary schools will be migrated in the New Year to the same Bluecoat proxy and Internet content filtering service as that which the secondary schools have enjoyed for the past year.

What does this mean for my school?

The new service comes with the following benefits:

  • Greater capacity to meet your increased Internet usage and your expectation of fast and reliable access to Internet applications such as the Netmedia learning platform and Pearson–Phoenix e1 Management Information System (MIS);
  • Better support for multimedia Internet content such as streaming audio and video;
  • More content filtering categories to increase safety and reduce surprises;
  • Continued product support – the Symantec Web Security product is nearing its end–of–life and the migration to the Bluecoat product will guarantee service continuity;
  • Dynamic Real Time Rating (DRTR) for secondary and primary schools. DRTR assesses a web page before it is served to the end–user and denies it if it is not previously categorised by Bluecoat and / or does not contain sufficient information for it to be allocated a category.

Generic email service

We recognise that email is an essential business tool and for this reason we have sought to ensure that your requirements were foremost in seeking a suitable replacement for the RM EasyMail Plus email service. All head@, ictc@, office@ and chairofgov@ email accounts will be migrated to a Microsoft Exchange 2007 solution in the New Year. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved spam and malware protection;
  • Shareable calendar;
  • Out of office assistant;
  • Tasks;
  • 300mb storage space (a 15x increase);
  • Full functionality web access.

Individual pupil and staff RM EasyMail Plus accounts are not affected at this point.

Website hosting service

Your website is the entrance to your school. This is the primary place for you to promote your school’s ethos and achievements and keep your community informed about what is happening inside and beyond your school. Some of the benefits that your upgraded website hosting service includes are:

  • Friendly interface for website management;
  • Support for the latest web technologies;
  • Increased security;
  • Improved backup and recovery.

Service availability

It is impossible to ignore the increasing reliance that we all have upon the Internet and the opportunities that it provides in terms of teaching, learning and administration. For this reason we have placed great emphasis on the need for a highly resilient and available Internet service provision. With the exception of non–critical services such as management links, all NSIX services, including the Internet feed, will be fully resilient in the New Year!

Service disruption

To implement these changes there will be some service disruption. We are working closely with BT to ensure that interruption is kept to a minimum.

We advise you not to plan lessons or work that rely upon access to the Internet and / or NSIX services on the following dates:

  • 19th December – potential service disruption
  • 20th December 2007 – potential service disruption
  • 31st December 2007 – full service disruption
  • 2nd January 2008 – full service disruption
  • 3rd January 2008 – full service disruption
  • 5th February 2008 – full disruption to web service
  • February half–term (11th – 15th February 2008) – potential service disruption

Author: Michael Pickett

Phoenix Gold School and Pupil Census – January 2008

The new CD version of Phoenix Gold (v1.42) has been sent to all schools using Phoenix Gold. This provides the software for you to undertake the School and Pupil Census in January.

General advice on specific data areas can be found on our web site under Preparing for School and Pupil Census, whilst Guidance on how to complete the return is available on the ICT Solutions website at our School Census (Phoenix) Pages

As with previous returns it is important that you carry out a "Dry Run" to familiarise yourself with the processes, and new data items required.

Author: Glenn Carter

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