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IT and Data Security For Schools

Progress in IT and the Internet have revolutionised schools. Teachers use YouTube and online resources to create more engaging lessons; kids use the Internet to research and learn; All school staff use IT to collate and process the huge amounts of pupil data that underpin the institutions performance management and improvement strategies.

Protecting vulnerable kids while they make use of school IT resources isn't just about preventing access to Facebook any more. Recent DfE requirments mean that schools have highlighted the diverse sources of potential harm to kids using IT in schools. Apparently, some of the children that have recently travelled (or attempted to travel) to Syria were able to access information about Daesh through school computers.

While The Internet and even social media networks have opened up a whole new class of learning activities for kids and the opportunities are too significant to ignore, it's absolutely vital that those channels are monitored to ensure kids aren't engaged in any undesirable activities such as accessing porn, bullying, or even as the above highlights, being radicalised.

Almost every classroom now has a PC for teaching use and every school has an IT suite to allow children access to the educational benefits that IT can provide. May schools are now introducing tablets to the classroom or even allowing kids to use their own mobile devices in lesson activities. So every school now finds itself balancing the opportunity for improved teaching and learning with minimising exposure of vulnerable young people to unsuitable threats.

Schools are now also incredibly data-driven. Teachers need to be familiar with the data on every kid they teach so they can plan suitably differentiated lessons. They need to collect and analyse new data so progress can be checked. Oftentimes, given the busy life of the modern teacher, they end up perfoming a lot of the data generation and analysis tasks at home. How does the data get there? Either on a memory stick, a portable hard drive or perhaps by email. Is that data safe?

Ofsted says that unsecured personal data is an example of bad practice, particularly when that data ends up leaving the school site. So how can a school respond to all these threats and the regulatory requirements thrust upon them?

That's where IAG Technology come in...

We work closely with our partners such as ESET to ensure that the latest best practices in IT and data security are installed in the schools we work with. ESET has a particular focus on the education sector and its skills and experience allow the development of sophisticated solutions to the problems outlined above, conveniently encrypting data on portable devices, minimising malware threats from students' mobile devices and ensuring the schools we work with are regulation compliant.


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