SimpleSi (30th March 2012)
Now it's quietened down, I'll put my two penn'orth in.
@mbudzi , as others have said when you are paying for broadband for the school you are paying for than just the leased line.
That line speed has to be capable of supporting many machines connecting at a time. It is not helpful to be working with a class of 30 and have the internet on go slow.
All schools have legal safeguarding liabilities meaning that
- security (how likely is it that the network could be hacked),
- filtering (controlling the websites that pupils can access),
- logging (which websites did they access? who sent what to whom)
must all be considered as part of the Broadband package.
EMBC will give you a bundle that means that all the legal areas covered. They are not the only supplier of these bundles: RM for example provide a leased line and filtering product as do exa
You can pay for 'separates' to make up the bundles, but speaking as a Primary School technician, there is a huge amount of work involved in this and your technician is likely to be part time and working on his/her own without the time to look after it all. A bundled package is often the cheapest option at Primary level.
I do suggest that you talk to @GrumbleDook as he works for Northants CC and has contacts within EMBC that may be able to help you. He is also a knowledgable concerning the legal hoops that schools must jump through... and I trust him not to tell you to go with EMBC if it's not likely to be the right Internet provider for you.
Sorry for the hijack
So a thread I have an interest in, am a Governor of a small primary school in Glossop, Derbyshire. I am yet to see articulated a set of requirements for Primary School broadband provision
Does it need to meet a minimum SLA?
Does it need to have filtering (is this a legal requirement)
Does it need to have a minimum bandwidth level
Does it need to provide web hosting
Does it need to have links to Janet?
I think once we have set of clear functional and non-functional requirements, the selection is the easy bit....
In terms of "recommendations" there are lots, but again not really "rules". e.g. http://www.nen.gov.uk/files/SchoolsB...s-18Sept10.pdf
Only my two cents, may be completely wrong about the rules part
Cheers for that Steve
Would be interested to find out what are really 'legal' requirements and what are just reccomended. Looking at teth NEN documents, it's more like a set of reccomended specs. I guess functional requirements vary depending on the school,
You can easily distinguish what is needed with a bit of thought - i.e. of course you can get connections without any filtering but when someone accesses something they shouldn't be seeing, someone at the school is getting into *big* trouble. Therefore you can chalk filtering up as a requirement, whether it's legal or not. Most, if not all of the recommendations that have been drawn up by several groups including NEN above and BECTA will have been done so in the school's best interests and not the contents of the ISP's wallets, so it serves schools well to use them as a minimum requirement.
The DfE has recently update their advice about procurement of broadband and you can find it at Broadband - Schools ... and it is worth repeating that the present Government policy is not to provide stipulations but there is an expectation that schools will make their own judgements based on established requirements (primarily around curriculum need), effective legislation and the available technology.
In Northamptonshire the Schools Broadband Working Group has prepared a decision support document to assist schools making their decision, and it is available on various school websites. We would also recommend you discuss the requirements with your LA, Academy group or other partners as there may be requirement based on how you also take other services.
The requirements around filtering are indeed a legal requirement around the safeguarding of children. Advice around this can be found in various locations and I would strongly recommend you have a look at the resources in the eSafety forum on this site, in particular the links to SWGfL and the work they have done with the UK Safer Internet Centre. Some RBCs and companies providing filtering systems (whether as part of RBC provision or for other solutions outside of RBC connections) also provide guidance around the ethics and balance of managing filtering and enabling access to resources.
The requirements around SLAs are considered as part of Best Value / Value for Money and are part of the suitability measurement when choosing products / companies to work with. Part of this is the consideration of a managed network or a more bare bones offering.
The requirement for access to JANET is two-fold. Firstly is around the use of the NEN, including materials which have been collectively purchased or made available for schools. Having access to JANET does not explicitly give you access to these resources (including the British Pathé materials, Audio Network, and resources from other RBCs which are subsequently made available) as the NEN (or The Education Network as it will be known) is part of a collective group of RBCs and other agencies. However, being on JANET also means that you peer to other associated networks (Universities, government departments, BBC, content providers who have arranged to peer onto JANET, etc) which reduce the latency between the school and these sites.
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