SCHOOL ICT NEWS BULLETIN No 142 - 02/03/2009

Published by Children’s Services


Important information to ensure continual availability of Norfolk Schools Broadband Service in your school

In the last two weeks several High schools have had to be disconnected from the Norfolk Schools Broadband Service due to high threat virus infections on their Local Area Network (LAN) which had the potential to disrupt services to other Norfolk schools.

This meant that no use of Internet or email was possible for these schools for several days and this clearly caused disruption to the whole school community.

The problems were the result of inadequate management of the school network. The problems would have been avoided if antivirus / anti–spyware provision or Microsoft Windows security patching had been both installed and properly managed.

These virus infections are of a serious nature designed with the intent of stealing data for criminal activity.

In view of the seriousness of the situation, a letter is being sent to the Heads of all High schools initially to ask for information to identify how the school is managing Antivirus / antispyware provision and updating Microsoft Windows operating system security patches.

We are requesting the information to understand the extent to which schools are protected from future threats and the possible risks to Norfolk Schools Broadband Service.

We are confident that primary schools that have a bronze or silver plus contract and are using our assured managed service for Symantec and Microsoft patches are covered from these current threats. We will however be following up with those primary and special schools who have their own arrangements for security patching of their network.

If you would like advice or information on the managed security patching services Children's Services currently supply please contact ICT Solutions: – Tel 0845 3033003

Author: Lynn Parvin

ICT in Schools Conference 2009 - New Surgery Available

Last Few Remaining Spaces to Attend this Year's Free ICT in Schools Conference 2009 'The Role of ICT in Transformation: Opportunities and Challenges' 11th and 12th March 2009 At John Innes Conference Centre

The conference will be a valuable opportunity for headteachers, governors and teachers to update their understanding of the ICT 'landscape' through the keynote presentations, take part in breakout workshops, meet and discuss with suppliers, and obtain updates on ICT strategy, current developments and initiatives from Advisory and ICT solutions staff, by attending surgery appointments.

To book online or to find out more about this years conference visit http://www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk/conference2009/ or contact ICT Solutions Service Desk.

A New Surgery Is Now Available At The Conference

If you have already made your reservation to attend the conference please be aware that a further surgery has been added on Norfolk Schools Internet Exchange (NSIX) if you are interested in attending this or any of the other 7 surgeries at the conference please contact Judy Houghton on 0845 303 3003 or email judy.houghton@norfolk.gov.uk. Your allocated time will be made known to you on your arrival at the conference.

Author: Judy Houghton

VLE administration passwords

Please can we remind schools that have completed the net media administration training and changed their administration password, to notify ICT Solutions Service desk immediately to enable full support for the VLE.

Author: Rachel Hudson

School Workforce Census Statutory Return For All Schools

MI Sheet MI 105/08 notified schools of the new statutory DCSF Data Collection, the School Workforce Census.

The School Workforce Census will include information on individuals working in your school, the posts they hold, their contracts and pay, any absences from work, their qualifications and, for high schools only, the subjects and year groups they teach. It comprises different modules of data collected three times a year. As with the School Census, different modules will be collected in each return. Your school's management information (MI) system will be able to extract the relevant data items for each census.

48 Norfolk schools are currently participating in a Pilot Phase for the January and May 2009 returns. All Norfolk schools are required to undertake this return in October 2009, before undertaking a statutory return in January 2010.

Some of the data is currently held in schools and some within the local authority (LA) HR systems. This data will need to be amalgamated within your MI system in order to produce the census return. To assist with this process we will be providing you with the HR data held for your school. We shall contact you about this in more detail within the next few weeks.

In preparation for the return, with effect from 1st January 2009 all schools must record all staff absences, be it illness or work related (e.g. training, secondment, etc) in their school's MI system.

Schools that are not part of the pilot would find it beneficial to do a trial run in May 2009.

Guidance and documentation of the requirements can be found on the Norfolk Schools website. Help sheets are available for e1 and Phoenix Gold schools. Schools using other MI systems would need to contact their supplier.

Further detailed information will follow in due course; in the meantime all schools should ensure that the Personnel records in their MI systems are as up to date and comprehensive as possible.

If you require any guidance on the census please contact the SWF Census Team on the following:

  • Louise Hodgson tel: 01603 222352
  • Keith Sowter tel: 01603 228828
  • Nigel Peacock tel:01603 223913

or e-mail us at IRC Data.

If you require any assistance with the input of data to e1 or Phoenix Gold please contact the ICT Solutions Service Desk.

Author: Louise Hodgson

Services to Schools Brochure 2009/2010

The new 'Services to Schools Brochure 2009/2010' is now available:

'Services to Schools Brochure 2009/2010' (PDF 1,902 kb)

The ICT Solutions area of the brochure for contracts and additional services is also available online:

'Services to Schools Brochure 2009/2010'

All contracts from Bronze upwards include automated managed updating of anti–virus, anti–spyware and Microsoft Windows operating system security patches. This is designed to ensure that the school has maximum protection against the virus threats which may be innocently brought into school from devices used in the home or memory sticks. This service assumes the school has current versions of Symantec licences. It is not included in Bronze type bespoke packages unless specifed or small schools pack.

Author: Lynn Parvin

Computer work stations

10 computer work stations in storage, in Norwich, are available for use within a school or Norfolk County Council establishment. They are free of charge if you can collect.

They are 830 mm high x 680 mm wide x 480 mm deep

Please see photos via the following links:

Photo 1 Photo 2

If interested please contact:

Tim Wilby
Contracts Officer
Room G37, Children's Services Department
County Hall Martineau Lane
Norwich NR1 2DL
Tel: 01603-222494
Fax: 01603-222119
tim.wilby@norfolk.gov.uk

Author: Tim Wilby

ICT Solutions Training Programme 2009/2010

The 2009/2010 training brochure has been published and copies will be in the schools post on 27th February.

Course information and the course booking system is now available on www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk: select 'Training Services' from the side bar and then select 'Book a Training Course' or directly on www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk/training/booking/

The brochure introduces a range of courses to enhance the ICT skills, from the novice user to those who are administering and maintaining the schools ICT infrastructure. The courses also support the delivery of teaching and learning, ensuring school staff are confident and competent in using ICT platforms.

In addition we are offering a full range of refresher training courses in e1 including MS office and Internet skills courses to support e1 implementation in school.

Courses are delivered at Norwich PDC West Norfolk PDC and South Green Park Mattishall. Alternatively, school site training can be arranged according to requirements. Details of the venue locations and directions can be found on the following page: http://www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk/training/TrainingVenues.aspx

Author: Rachel Hudson

School Website server upgrade

If you are currently using the web space provided by Norfolk County Council then some changes are going to be made to this service during March 2009.

The upgrade includes a larger web space quota of 1.5GB for each school and more functionality via a control panel called PLESK. PLESK will enable schools to view their website statistics, be able to create multiple FTP accounts for uploading and change folder permissions, amongst many other things.

An individual email will be sent to all schools affected by this upgrade in the near future which will detail further information and any actions required.

Author: Amanda Carr

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