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School ICT Policies Thread, Becta Information security guidance for schools published in School Administration; Originally Posted by CyberNerd Sure, but it doesn't account for a schools freedom of choice to install any other system ...
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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    Sure, but it doesn't account for a schools freedom of choice to install any other system that may not necessarily work with what the RBC have to offer. If they insist we have an AD infrastructure, who's going to pay for the training, the upgrades etc (no BSF here for 4yrs). I've not tried to setup the school as an IDP but I suspect the answer will be that I cannot.
    The idea is that there isn't *one* system ... but a range of systems that meet the standards set out by a recognised body ... the same way that there are standards for transfere of data across a network and the internet (TCP/IP) and for setting out libraries (Dewey Decimal). Does it matter that you want to stock books from Penguin or Collins rather than from Hodder & Stoughton?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    People said they wanted clear guidance on data security for schools ... it has now been given.
    It has indeed been given, but has it been thought about?!

    The impracticalities of some the what is suggested are vast - some possibly even insurmountable. To me, it smacks of a Governmental knee-jerk reaction to the recent very public data losses rather than a carefully-considered attempt to improve data security. As sahmeepee says, this is another "BECTA says..." moment where little consideration appears to be given to how anyone actually does it. But that, sadly, isn't any of BECTA's concerns. They were asked to recommend, and they recommended. Job done. Now we have to figure out how to actually implement it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NickJones View Post
    It has indeed been given, but has it been thought about?!

    The impracticalities of some the what is suggested are vast - some possibly even insurmountable. To me, it smacks of a Governmental knee-jerk reaction to the recent very public data losses rather than a carefully-considered attempt to improve data security. As sahmeepee says, this is another "BECTA says..." moment where little consideration appears to be given to how anyone actually does it. But that, sadly, isn't any of BECTA's concerns. They were asked to recommend, and they recommended. Job done. Now we have to figure out how to actually implement it!
    Playing Devil's Advocado here ...

    People wanted to know how to setup technical support in schools ... we got FITS ... based on industry standards (ITIL) and then people wanted more ... so we got FITS OM ... then we wanted it tailored to primary ... so we got that too.

    Then we wanted some sort of standards for IT Infrastructure ... we got that ... and it had both the technical and functional documentation so we can see where it impacts and what the driving goals need to be for schools.

    We got data security guidance ... and no doubt we will get ideas about how it can be implemented in due course.

    But if noone actually follows what Becta are putting out because of the lack of vision or understanding at Leadership level then schools fall flat. Some of it is not just about the Govt educating Leadership in schools ... that is also our job and Becta want to give us the information to use.

    Yes ... there are issues with finances, expertise and end user training ... but Becta could reasonably turn round and say "but you lot are professionals ... we know you are paid peanuts but we are now giving you the stuff you need, and surely that can only help your case to show that professional support at the right level is needed in schools!"

    And discuss.

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    Is there any chance we could could also discuss the issues that are relevant to us lone techs in primary schools? I have no idea what UKAMF, RBCs, IDPs are but am interested in making sure my backup data and the data on our staff laptops are secure!

    Ps I do know what FITs is so don't feel entirely dim!

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    it smacks of a Governmental knee-jerk reaction to the recent very public data losses rather than a carefully-considered attempt to improve data security.
    It smacks of a justification for centralisation to me. Afterall, a lot of us ignore becta guidance - as GD suggested, this way they get to enforce it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrbb View Post
    Is there any chance we could could also discuss the issues that are relevant to us lone techs in primary schools? I have no idea what UKAMF, RBCs, IDPs are but am interested in making sure my backup data and the data on our staff laptops are secure!

    Ps I do know what FITs is so don't feel entirely dim!
    Ideally what we would need is some willing mug^Wvolounteer to take the 8 data protection principles and translate them into real world guidance for primary and secondary schools, including some concrete examples.

    Being honest, this is the sort of thing most schools should have anyway.

    I will share mine in about 2 weeks once Governors have finished with them, but I really would like to see what policies and paperwork others have in place for Data Protection and Freedom of Information stuff.

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    We have them in place for the admin side, but I only do curric. I'll ask the office manager for their policies etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    It smacks of a justification for centralisation to me. Afterall, a lot of us ignore becta guidance - as GD suggested, this way they get to enforce it.
    But one of the reasons that some people ignore BECTA guidance is because it isn't appropriate/suitable/realistic. A common problem with "one size fits all" solutions is that often they don't fit anyone, so having these (sometimes politically-motivated) ideas enforced is a little worrying.

    You hit it beautifully when you said "BECTA guidance." BECTA were, are and should remain an ADVISORY body giving GUIDANCE for schools to read, interpret and implement in accordance with their specific circumstances.

    Of course, if BECTA's advice were better thought out or more realistic I wouldn't be so worried about schools having it forced on them...

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    Oh no ... we are starting to talk about differentiation now ... you just know we will have a few teachers pop up to tell us how it is done.

    Seriously though ... yes, they have to cater for everyone ... that is why a certain amount of their stuff is down as frameworks ... you choose those areas that are more appropriate and achievable. Some areas, like guidance on application of points of law, are very hard for them to give advice on ... they are required to do so under instruction of the Govt of the day, but they are not a team of lawyers ... and this why things like guidance on DPA is so hard to give anyone ... this is why a number of LAs are so cagey about giving sample AUPs, DPA guidance, etc ... there is a worry that they will get blamed if it gets taken high up the legal chain.

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