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School ICT Policies Thread, Teacher Access to Server Rooms in School Administration; Hi all, We have a bit of a situation kicking off at our school. It was agreed 6 months ago ...
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    Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    Hi all,

    We have a bit of a situation kicking off at our school. It was agreed 6 months ago that a former ICT Support Room/Office would be turned into a 2nd server room as part of our disaster recovery plan. Basically the main server room is easily accessible via the roof - and I once witnessed an ASBO peering in after hours not so long ago. So server room 2 has been setup at the other side of the school - with all data replicated to the BDC as well as an NAS box and admin server etc...

    To cut a long story short I recently got an e-mail from the head of ICT (Teaching) telling me to use some work experience kids (the idiot ones who'd been sent home from placements) to clear some space in there so teachers could store coursework and files. This I have refused to do - regardless of the work experience kids - as I steadfastly refuse to share the server room with teaching staff. In my 7 years at the school I have to say, that although I respect the difficult job they do, I have not been impressed with the teachers approach to security - from doors being left unlocked to theft from classrooms. The room is likely to become a dumping ground to keep classrooms spic and span. I have got a feeling I might be over-ruled on this as I am being seen as being petty...

    Anyone have an opinion/experience of this at your site? I'm particularly looking for support I could forward to senior team as I feel my disaster recovery plan could turn into a "disaster waiting to happen plan" if shared access is forced on me.

    Cheers.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    Put everything in writing and send it to the headteacher. DPA compliance is responsibility and this cannot be assured if physical access to critical network equipment is not restricted as it currently.
    /

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    They will leave doors open and send kids in to fetch things. Very bad sharing with servers.. the bad points are obvious - cables being pulled out, pressing buttons they shouldn't, stealing data, physical damage. We don't have that problem here, so all I can advise is to write down the reasons why it won't be a good idea and what will happen if it were to go ahead.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    oh yes and I forgot to add to my previous post

    aaaarrrggGGGGGHHHHHhhhhhhhh!!!

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    You want that room with as limited access as possible on a special key or code that only you, your immediate staff, SMT and the site supervisors have.
    You need to explain how if anything is 'accidentaly' damaged or stolen because of teachers coming in and out how this is going to effect the running or indeed loss of the network. For example where is the school safe? Does everyone have access to it etc etc.
    You could also argue about dust and smaller spaces heating up quicker I suppose if your desperate as well.

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    Geoff's Avatar
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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    With my BOFH hat on, I'd expect having a large button marked 'do not press' hooked up to the halon fire suppression system would solve the problem admirably.

    Practically, DPA alone should be enough. Check your insurance too. It might evaporate under the circumstances.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    You could always use the health and safety at work act. In regards to the servers being a heat generating source and in the case of a fire anything else in that room i.e. teachers work could cause the fire to spread very rapidly.
    Also the security of data under the data security act first line of security is a locked door and as you have already experienced the teaching fraternity's ideas on this (a locked door is just another inconvenience to them so they leave it open). Our LEA has been in touch with me regarding the data protection act and it seems their is a genuine crisis as to the teachers use and access to data in what ever form. In fact so much so that they are having a document produced after liasing with the unions of all the staff members telling the schools of the implications which can be brought about by a member of staff a: leaving a room open with a computer in and logged on and b: leaving access to a computer for an intruder to gain access by whatever means. What this means is that we as Network Managers have a get out clause by making the headteachers aware in writing of the concerns of the LEA and then with his blessing put out a memo to all staff reminding them of the data protection act and that they themselves as individuals are solely responsible for their actions and that they could be legally proscecuted by the courts for failure to comply.

    sorry if this is long winded but have been going through this evolutionary experience myself.
    Good luck with your Head teacher and try and get him on your side becuase legally standing the buck finally stops with him so if you can gently remind him of his obligations to the school in a nice way he should see it your way.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    Things started to go missing from my office which had open access so all staff now have proximity cards and access to my office which has the server room leading off from it is now resricted to 2 people

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    This publication on the DPA by BECTA might help too.

    http://www.becta.org.uk/corporate/pu...20security.pdf

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    I absolutely agree with all the above. The only people that have access to my server rooms is the site manager, my technician and myself period.

    Ben

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    If all your servers are in a locked cabinet in there along with the KVM and controls then they might throw back the argument that they would have to force the cabinet door open to do any real damage...

    But then there's the health and safety issue if there is a distribution unit in there. Kids would not be allowed near one (IIRC).

    You could also add to your argument that it's their data at risk. If someone accidentally knocked a power switch and took down some of the network, CMIS data, their open files etc could be at risk.

    Also if teachers are going to dump work in there then they might block your access to the servers or make your path to them more dangerous therfore making your job harder to do.

    Plenty of possibilities really. But our server room here (we've only got the one with actual servers in) has the master key mortice lock and one of those coded yale locks with a code that is different to ones used on the other coded doors around the site.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    @bossman: IF you are allowed coudl you post that document if you get it? We are having a serious nightmare with the prospect of every teacher having a PC on their desk from next year to do registration and the problems associated with teachers leaving themselves on, kids accessing them etc. We have mentioned the whole DPA and security issue and the general feeling seems to be "we are teachers it doesn't affect us anad we are too busy". This isn't a teacher bash but we can see a serious situation happening and everyone saying "ohh why'd that happen", while we smack our heads against a wall.

    We have had at least 3 known intruder situations where staff haven't reported seeing someone until much later, or not done anything at all and yet when all this comes out the usual question go around about how coudl this happen, why isn't anything being done. 2 days later, doors are left unlocked again and everything is back to normal! There are only about 4 places I would trust to leave anything, our office, store cupboard and the server room being the main 3.

    Sorry, turning into a bit of an OT rant now but it is a personal bug bear

    Would be nice to see what is being said else where.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    I think Simon puts it best: You'll get access to my computer room right after you pry the Halon test key out of my cold, lifeless hands

    We don't allow anyone into the server room. The site manager has a key, but unless it's on fire he doesn't go in.

    If you allow unsupervised access to your server room, you have _no_ assurance that stuff hasn't been bumped / damaged / fiddled with. Quote DPA, security or get the locks changed. If SMT still insists on users in server room start looking for another job, Bad Things will happen and you don't want that staining your resume.

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    Just say that it is a paperless office... so if he is willing to scan the work in you will happy store it on your servers...

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    Re: Teacher Access to Server Rooms

    The site manager has a key, but unless it's on fire he doesn't go in.
    On fire? Is that in his job description?

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