We have a teacher who likes to use his personal laptop in school on the interactive whiteboard etc.
We (Head of IT & Myself) would like this to stop, as we cant be sure of the personal content on the laptop.
I am well aware if it should be in our AUP etc but iv'e just taken over this school and don't want to go poking in areas that i shouldn't yet and it is just a small primary so no BYOD or anything like that here.
Are there any government / Ofsted guidelines against the use of personal equipment in schools?
There's no Ofsted rules preventing this as far as I know.
The issues as I'd see them are:
1. Security - is this thing being plugged into your network, but is outside your control for things like AV?
2. Liability - who is responsible if some child smashes it?
3. Unsuitable material - this is an issue that isn't technology specific, it'd be like them bringing a bag in with porn in it, you can't create an IT specific rule here.
4. Electrical safety - has the power lead passed the same level of scrutiny that the equipment owned by the school has?
5. Software licensing - by them using it in a professional capacity in school, they are effectively using the device with implied permission from the school, so if they're breaking any copyright rules etc... then the school would be culpable.
Now, I don't think a 'ban' on such things would necessarily be the best course of action. I'd more be ensuring policy states that all of the above must be complied with, define the liability etc... You could segment it off on your network if that's possible, so it doesn't present a security risk there. Then, if they still want to jump through all those hoops, then they would be able to.
elsiegee40 (27th February 2013)
Do you run Server 2008R2? Just block his mac address from getting an IP
If it gets broken, it's their fault for bringing it in. [Make it policy that personal computers WILL NOT be looked at by IT.]
If it has adult material on it and a child sees it, its their fault. [OK, the school would still get told off too.]
The laptop isn't ownd by the school, so you can't really test it without their permission. But, if someone gets a shock, it's the teachers fault from bringing it in. [You'd KNOW if your laptop wasn't safe.]
Licencing is their business, not the schools.
I can't comment on security, but you could just refuse to let them connect it. No WiFi, no cable = no problem. [Infected USBs would be the same as them bringing things in from home.]
In our AUP, staff are not permitted to bring in electrical equipment unless it has been PAT tested. Personal cameras, or the use of cameras on personal devices is banned (training given to explain why) and there is plenty school photographic equipment available instead.
The two for me is the network and PAT testing.
Nothing should be plugged into the network without your say so period. There was a major virus (Sasser) released around all the schools in our area because someone brought a laptop in from home, therefore bypassing the firewalls and LEA protection. I always trot this story out if any questions the policy.
Not sure if it a legal thing or just our school however there is a policy that nothing electrical should be plugged in if it has not been PAT tested by the school. People obviously ignore this with kettles and phone chargers etc - however it gives you an angle.
Oh and if the Interactive board has software you could always try the licensing angle.
I don't think the school can be held responsible for a staff member using software on their own machine whether at school or not.
I have seen a couple of rogue laptops about but they don't plug them into the network because all they want would be the internet and they know that doesn't work due to the proxy
Our AP just mentions PAT testing and not to bring in cameras for safety reasons. But they still do
Last edited by witch; 27th February 2013 at 09:38 AM.
Thanks guys, this is the stuff im looking for. Its already been made plainly clear to them that their laptop will NOT be supported as a school computer.
I like the idea of blocking his MAC, i'll look into that.
I thought there was an initiative for public sector employees to provide their own IT equipment - it was widely reported about xmas time, although of course I cant find any details now.
I can see why network managers get jumpy over this, but if he is a professional then he wont have it full of un suitable material, or unlicensed software and your network should be set up so that it wouldn't let an unauthorised machine do any harm. I dont even see what the issue is about getting an ip address and accessing the web - again if the guy is doing anything wrong then he shouldn't be even in the school and you should have other policies or even just expectations that cover any wrong doing.
Of course, log the hell out of all the activity, just in case ;-)
Apologies for the poor typing (injured arm!)
jcollings (27th February 2013)
Chazzy: Yes the whole school is SMART interactive. The tricky chappy had bought a smart notebook license for his personal machine for home use before I joined the school, so I cant play that card.
Phil: Personally I don't have a problem with him using his personal equipment, in fact I encourage it, as I don't have to support it!
However the issue is there is a perfectly good machine in his room that has access to all curriculum software, all network shares, all the printers and has the full SMART suite on it.
He stores ALL his school + personal data on a USB HDD that I know he never backs up (and that he frequently loses), even though its made clear if he backs up to his network drive its backed up nightly off-site.
When he is not in his classroom and a supply teacher comes in expecting to be able to play a DVD within 2 minutes of walking in the room like the rest of the school can, they spend 20 minutes plugging back in VGA, Patch Lead & SMART Board USB.
I am convinced I have seen a certain file sharing program on his desktop that is lurking there.
+ the 1000 VGA leads I have replaced with broken pins because hes half heartedly shoving the VGA into the port upside down.
I welcome BYOD and using personal hardware but not when it starts affecting other teachers lessons and my time spent replacing VGA leads and emergency call outs to re plug in everything just because he hasn't.
Thats a very different matter then!
* not backing up and losing - tough, its his choice so dont even attempt to support it. If its school data - is it encrypted (legal requirement)? If not, report him - simple as!
* file sharing software - surely you can block it, block the port numbers etc. At the very least, log it and show him the log, copy to his line manager.
* damage to machines, could you add a splitter so he doesnt need to unplug ( I know, why should you... ) but log it, and confront him, again involving his line manager. Charge his department for the damage.
Basically, if the network is bolted down then it shouldnt be an issue as anything on his computer shouldnt be allowed to do anything naughty.
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