SCHOOL ICT NEWS BULLETIN No 121 - 14/03/2008

Published by Children’s Services


Gold to e1 – The Step by Step Migration Process

Norfolk schools are now migrating to e1 and a great number of emails are being sent from the Project Team out to schools to facilitate this process. It is vital that these emails are read carefully and in full as they contain important information. For those who have not yet entered this migration process here is a step by step guide.

Schools are invited to attend an e1 Presentation

An email is issued detailing the date and venue for the presentation. Schools are asked to respond by email, naming staff who will be attending. If you are unable to attend, please still respond as we will reschedule you for a future presentation. Your booking will be acknowledged.

Who should attend the presentation?

It is recommended that a member of the core admin staff as well as a member of the Senior Management Team attend the presentation. The presentation takes just over two hours. We have found that the migration needs to be driven from the top and therefore it is of great benefit if a member of the SMT attends.

Why have a presentation?

The aim of the presentation is to give an overview of the products functionality, how pupil’s information is stored and how to create reports, letters etc, so that schools can see that it is possible to tailor these items to meet their needs. Attendees need to think about how they will roll out the product within school, i.e. when will staff be involved to do registration and recording performance. It is difficult to do this without having seen the product.

How do we know when we will migrate?

At the presentation you will be provided with migration slots, which encompass data migration, training and go live dates. Schools need to confirm preferred training dates (2 days back to back), or contact the Project Team to agree an alternative date if those provided are unsuitable.

Once training dates are agreed, Schools receive an email to confirm the migration slot – which includes training dates, venue details and data file submission date. Data cleansing information is also attached; along with a school business process questionnaire. Schools need to plan their data cleansing work.

Is there a visit to my school?

You will be contacted by phone shortly after receiving the migration slot confirmation email, to arrange for a pre migration visit. At this visit, technical checks will be carried out to ensure your network and PC’s are capable of running e1. Data cleansing progress with be reviewed with view to helping overcome any issues, and the business process questionnaire will be collected.

What if my IT equipment is not capable of running e1?

Any school technical issues identified are taken forward by either ICT Solutions Contracts Team or the Service Desk. You will be contacted if there are issues, to agree the way forward to resolve them. If there is likely to be a delay it may be necessary to reschedule your migration slot (including training days).

When do I send in my data file?

You will have been given a date for submission with the migration slot confirmation email. Submission is usually 7 or 8 working days (include half terms in these days) before your training.

Who should attend the training?

There are two places available, provided free, as part of the Project. Places should be filled by core admin staff who need to use the system as part of their day to day responsibilities. In small schools there may be only one core admin person. In this case we would recommend that another person attend. This person could be the Head teacher or any other member of staff. We feel that it is important that two people are trained, so that there is someone conversant with the system in the event of the key user being absent from school. This is however at the discretion of the school.

Do I train on my own data?

Schools do not train on their own data. However on the afternoon of Day 2 of training and as part of the training, delegates are given their ‘super user’ school login and passwords and can access their own data, however the afternoon is primarily for setting up school users, job roles and access privileges.

When do I go live?

You go live on e1 on your return to school after Day 2 of training.

I still have some questions – what should I do?

If you still have questions please raise them at the presentation or email the Project Manager – Carole Barwell. Email : carole.barwell@norfolk.gov.uk

Author: Amanda Carr

Norfolk ICT Refresh Programme

Notice For Schools Committed to the Norfolk ICT Refresh Programme

You will now have received an email from ICT Solutions with your recommended figures for commitment to the programme in 08/09, this is to remind you that we require confirmation of your figures by the 28th March 08. If you have a query with regards to your figures please contact the service desk and ask to speak with your Assistant Contract Manager who will be able to help you.

You can still be part of the Norfolk ICT Refresh Programme

The Norfolk ICT Refresh Programme will be entering it’s 3rd year of the four year programme on the 1st April 08. Currently 123 schools have committed to the programme and feedback from schools that have completed their Refresh has been very positive.

If your school is not currently involved in the programme it’s not too late to take advantage of the benefits the programme has to offer. Schools that have not currently committed to the programme can still do so and would be worked into the remaining two years of the programme. If you are interested in the Norfolk ICT Refresh Programme and would like further information please contact the Service Desk on 0845 303 3003 and ask to speak to a member of the Contracts Team who will be able to talk you through what the programme could do for your school.

Author: Amanda Carr

e1 Refresher Training

e1 refresher training programme now available.

ICT Solutions Training Team are now offering e1 refresher training courses including:

  • e1 New Secretary Training
  • Creating Reports
  • Exams
  • Preparation for Annual Update
  • Performance Data Entry
  • Performance for tracking and reporting
  • Curriculum and Timetable
  • Introduction to Report Writer
  • Incident Manager
  • Staff Absence and cover

All courses are delivered using examples of operational topics offering hands on experience emulating the school environment.

e1 course information and dates are now available on www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk A–Z under ‘c’ for courses to book online.

The full ICT training programme 08/09 can also be seen on www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk and in the training brochure which will be available to schools in April 2008.

For further information regarding any training requirements please contact the training team on 0845 303 3003

Author: Amanda Carr

NSIX Issues

There have recently been some filtering and other issues on the Bluecoat proxy system used by secondary schools and many primaries. These seem to have been primarily caused by a malfunction in the master configuration on the 3rd of March. ICT Solutions are working with BT to ensure all outstanding issues are resolved as soon as possible. Due to the number of issues and their potential impact, BT are implementing all configuration changes on a single Bluecoat server that has been taken out of service. Once BT and ICT Solutions have tested and are happy with the proposed fixes we will replicate them to the live system.

Social Networking

On the 12th of March the category Social Networking was permitted for all filtering castes, websites like bebo.com and myspace.com were briefly available to schools. We reported this to BT who implemented an immediate block on the offending category. The issue was confirmed as resolved at 14:45pm the same day.

Filtering Categories

While reviewing the root cause of the "Social Networking" issue, ICT Solutions found that the category lists we possessed didn’t exactly match the lists as described by Bluecoat. BT have since supplied us with a fresh up to date category list including a number of new categories. We have reviewed this list, amended where necessary, and sent it back to BT for implementation. The new list is published on our website under "Bluecoat Filtering Castes" for you to view. This list should be considered as a work in progress at present and will be confirmed by the ICT Partnership group when they next meet.

Arts and Entertainment

Some primary schools have migrated to the Bluecoat proxy service from the Symantec Web Security filtering solution, in doing so they have reported that many arts and cultural websites are now blocked. After reviewing this situation we agree this should not be the case, and have amended on the new filtering configuration.

Certificate Validation

We are aware of a problem that causes a number of secure services to fail. The problem is a feature of the Bluecoat proxy service that instructs the system to inspect all web site certificates and deny access to those that are not supplied by known authorities like Verisign or Thwate. This feature was mistakenly turned on when some configuration work on the Bluecoat system was being undertaken. We know this problem affects Community Access and Connexions web mail. We suspect this may also be causing a problem for both Skype and Yahoo email attachments. We have instructed BT to turn this feature off.

YouTube access

Open caste schools who use YouTube have reported that the streaming videos are very slow and stuttery. BT believe that the virus scanner may be trying to scan the streams. They are currently investigating to determine exactly what the Anti-Virus is configured to scan and will discuss with ICT Solutions and adjust as appropriate.

Wikipedia

The main Wikipedia website is categorised as a "Reference" site, this is allowed on all filtering castes. Unfortunately some Wikipedia pages are not suitable for viewing. Some of these pages are in their own categories and are blocked, but many are not. Schools are encouraged to report these pages to ICT Solutions who will blacklist them. We are also working with BT to find an automated way of re-categorising the offending pages.

Author: Jay Zelos

Business Telecom

If you want to purchase a new telephone system and a company called BT contact you, they are not British Telecom, they are a company called Business Telecom. This company is not ESPO or Norfolk County Council approved, and we have been advised not to use them.

If you need advice on telephone systems, telephones and your telephone bills, please contact Leah Fletcher on 01603 475605 who will help you to find a solution to meet your requirements.

Author: Jay Zelos

Heartsease Node Move

Easter Downtime

The Heartsease Node is being moved to the professional development centre at Woodside. This will result in some Internet downtime over the Easter period for schools connected to this Node. The planned dates are 31st March to the 2nd April inclusive. There may also be a very brief outage before core hours on Tuesday the 25th of March while a UPS is moved.

Schools Affected

The schools affected are: Acle St Edmund Primary, Alpington & Bergh Apton Primary, Blofield Primary, Brooke Primary, Brundall School, Dussindale Primary, Harleston Primary, Heartsease High, Heartsease Primary, Hemblington Primary, Hillside Avenue Primary School (Thorpe), Lingwood First & Nursery, Lingwood Junior, Lionwood Infant and Nursery, Little Plumstead Primary, Loddon Infant, Loddon Junior, Manor Field Infant & Nursery, Poringland Primary, Rackheath Primary, Rockland St. Mary Primary, Salhouse Primary, Seething and Mundham Primary, Fairhaven Primary, St. Mary’s Junior, St. William’s Primary, Stalham Junior, Stoke Holy Cross Primary, Surlingham Primary, Thorpe St. Andrew School, Thurton Primary, and Trowse Primary.

Remaining Evening Work

ICT Solutions would also like to remind schools of the remaining evening of planned work that may result in Internet downtime.

  • Monday 17th Mar after 3:30pm

Author: Amanda Carr

Phoenix Gold - Notification of Exclusions to the Local Authority

As specified within MIS Sheet 17/07, with effect from 1st June 2007 you are required to notify Children Services of all exclusions as they occur within your school. Instructions for recording exclusions are available to assist you with this process can be found on our website under Phoenix Gold.

Author: Jay Zelos

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