School ICT Policies Thread, What happens when staff leave - Email in School Administration; After a bit of a chat online tonight I was tasked with coming up with dealing with one of the ...
24th May 2011, 10:25 PM #1
What happens when staff leave - Email
After a bit of a chat online tonight I was tasked with coming up with dealing with one of the many reasons why staff want to use a personal email account instead of their work one ... it makes it difficult when they leave the school to ensue they take their email with them and keep in contact with people.
I've done the following blog post to suggest a few things and have not gone into serious technical details ... mainly because different RBCs / LAs / Schools will have different setups. Better just to give what the idea is and let them deal with the technical aspect in many places.
How to be nice to staff who leave your school. | GrumbleDook Thinks
24th May 2011, 10:37 PM #2
In my place we leave the webmail side of things up for the staff member for 2 terms, and they can retrieve whatever they need, after that we pull everything off...contacts, mail etc, then delete the account. If they need anything after, they get a copy of that disk for £10 admin fee. I have been told that I am exceedingly lenient with that...
25th May 2011, 12:20 AM #3
I'm of the view that it ought to be a disciplinary offence to conduct school business via a personal account, the same way it definitely can be in reasonably organised parts of the real-world, even without added DPA considerations. Thus the trouble I have is we're being ever so nice and considerate and caring and trying to gently woo those ever-so precious staff back into the fold instead of treating them like employees who ought to act professionally - why is it always so weak in this specific sector?
That said, staff leaving is a bit like going to work for another branch of the same organisation so there is very definitely a point to be addressed here - but I'd just prefer them to stop taking the pee first as a pre-requisite to talking about what they can take with them when they leave. otherwise I suspect there is a risk of "reasons why" they use personal accounts becoming a bit of a recipe for justifying use of a personal accounts.
[Yeah I know, it's probably managlement who are the worst culprits so this is all a bit moot]
Last edited by PiqueABoo; 25th May 2011 at 12:22 AM.
25th May 2011, 01:54 AM #4
The official stance here is that if anyone found using a personal account for work purposes will be subject to an official investigation. Our email system is web based so can be accessed where ever.
If someone leaves and bother to tell us, an out of office is put on i.e. this person no longer works for us please email email@example.com and the email account and network account (2 separate systems for us now) will be closed off. We archive user data off but the individual is expected to clear this out. As for email we cannot back this up so once its gone its gone. If they were moving Trusts we mark them as a leaver on the email system and the new trust picks them up as a joiner. Any data in there will be what is left.
Half the time we never get told a user is leaving its only when we audit we find out. Bearing in mind we have some 5000 user accounts we are always finding them.
It's a good topic and I will watch this closely as something we are working on at the moment although not in education most points are valid.
25th May 2011, 08:15 AM #5
Being a smaller school of 1200ish users we usually find out who's leaving (usually by accident ) I send out a memo to staff on the lines of the following;
It has worked for us so far. If you have a laptop or other IT equipment issued toyou from the School, please return it to me at the very latest [Time & Date]. Please ensure you remove anydocuments you wish to keep as the laptop hard drive will be wiped clean and prepared for someone else to use. Ensure that you remove any work you wish to keep from your Home Directory on the network and copy any work from the Shared Areas that you wish to take with you. For security reasons your network account will be locked with effect [Time & Date] and any work left behind after that date will be deleted. If a colleague would like copies of your work, please let me know and I will transfer the relevant folders across to save you time. Access to School Email will be available until [Time & Date], however I can arrange for all of your mail to be forwarded to your new email address or to another individual. Please let me know as soon as you decide. After [Date] your SchoolEmail account will be closed.
25th May 2011, 08:23 AM #6
School email addresses should not be used for personal emails, and personal email addresses should not be used for school emails.
As with any organisation, work completed whilst employed for a school belongs to that school. That includes emails. Staff have no right to keep emails when they leave, just like they have no right to take all their other work with them. If they are allowed to do so, this is a privilege, and not a right.
Therefore, when a person leaves, their email account is deleted by our LEA. They should not have access to an @educ.somerset.gov.uk address if they no longer work for them!
25th May 2011, 10:10 AM #7
We tell staff not to use personal email for work or work email for personal stuff. It's not a good idea. We don't want your inbound genital enlargement spam coming through our server and you don't want us to discover bizarro naked pictures of your spouse when we look through the spam logs. Keep that at home.
If the leaver fulfills a particular role (i.e Head of Year, Head of Dept/Faculty, member of SLT, IT person, finance person) that will receive email from external parties, their email is attached as an alias to the person replacing them for about 6 months, by which time most important stuff has been caught and the new incumbent's details passed on.
If you don't fulfill a particular role, your accounts get archived and deleted after 30 days.
Last edited by pete; 25th May 2011 at 10:36 AM.
25th May 2011, 10:31 AM #8
Interesting thoughts so far from people. I tend to leave e-mail accounts open until the end of the term following the teachers departure. The only exception to this has been when we've had one member of staff leave for other reasons that none of us know so therefore the e-mail, etc was suspended with immediate effect.
I've all but given up with the staff using personal e-mails for work use etc. I don't mind staff checking their personal e-mails in school (when they're not teaching etc obviously) but to use them for school purposes.
It's bee a while since I've had the discussion with the SLT, so I might just raise it again one last time and suggest that we put a scale in place for moving from staff using personal e-mail accounts for work business. As with most schools theses days, our e-mails are web-based as well as being able to be accessed via POP should the staff prefer (or Exchange if, like me, you work mainly on a Mac .. for some reason we can't connect Outlook directly to our LEAs exchange though .. weird .. lol).
Yes, staff may need access to stuff, but, assuming they're not leaving because of a disciplinary procedure, they should be well aware of what stuff they need and it should be part of the process to ensure that any files they feel they need from the network / e-mail system (lesson plans etc, but under no circumstances pupil data of any kind) should be backed up, or they should seek the advice of the IT Helpdesk (or me .. lol) to help them with this backing up process.
It's one of those things that I guess you need to make suggestions on best practice in a document to SLT and then leave them to make the final decision and then you have their backing to do what you think is best, or you have a scape-goat should someone else somewhere else disagree as you can then point out what your suggestions were. I'm in the position at the moment where by everything goes through SLT in writing just because there are too many "forgotten" conversations etc though.
Anyway, I'll be keeping my eye on this thread for further ideas from people.
25th May 2011, 03:18 PM #9
Some good points raised about the issues with using personal email, and it highlights the reason why it can be important for thinking about archiving and handing over to staff if they are using the single account for more stuff.
25th May 2011, 07:28 PM #10
Generally when staff leave I remove their accounts after their final day of employment. Staff are aware of this, and if they ask I will gladly keep their accounts open for a little bit longer if requested.
Staff are all aware not to carry out school business via their own personal e-mail accounts, but I do permit them to access their hotmail accounts etc from within school. Students on the other hand only have access to the e-mail system I provide through school - they can't access hotmail / yahoo etc.
My staff e-mail addresses tend to take the form of jbloggs@..... after a staff member leaves the account gets deleted, a new member of staff with the same surname and first initial joins the school 5 years later, I then set them up with an account using the above criteria - I haven't come across it yet, but theres likely to be a lot of junk etc coming through for the previous member of staff - I guess theres no way to stop this, and just either have to remember all the names of old staff or hopefully the mail has dropped off after a long absence of bouncebacks. I doubt we would be able to ask staff not to sign up for any newsletters etc, as details just tend to appear on these systems plus sometimes it's impossible to opt out.
25th May 2011, 08:56 PM #11
This is where the benefits of a single dropbox helps ... it means you can check on a regular basis and add rules in to remove mailing lists before they end up on the server.
In one previous school we had a member of staff return to the school after a number of years ... and it was quite fun to turn off all the rules dropping email from certain lists into /dev/null ... and she ended up getting them. She was shocked to find out how much stuff she had signed up which was still coming in, as well as the amount of personal stuff going to her work email ... then again it had been her first ever email account (originally set up 15 years ago) so it was used for everything. She promptly got things sorted.
21st October 2011, 10:46 AM #12
- Rep Power
There are occasions when you need to use your personal e-mail address to send school business, such as being out and about and not able to get to a place were you could use the school E-Mail system ( if you get the chance you should CC to your work E-Mail).
There is also in my experience and I have been working in IT for nearly 18 Years that if you limit every thing to just work E-Mail a lot of important work will get missed out. Some people are not to happy about who can read there E-Mail, and if they know someone will be watching they will not sent it or communicate through E-Mails.
I also know of times when someone will E-Mail to there own E-Mail so they can carry on with the work at home and then E-Mail it back, is that also a breach of using personal E-Mail?
On the subject of keeping in contact with others, you will find if they want to keep in contact they will through personal E-Mails anyway.
21st October 2011, 10:50 AM #13
If someone has something to hide then there is an issue in the first place! Nobody should be worried that the emails will be read if they accept the terms and conditions of employment! Most contracts say nowadays that all communications belong to the school, therefore readable by the "school".
21st October 2011, 10:59 AM #14
I think the reason staff believe stuff belongs to them is that historically as a teacher you would create resources and these were yours. You would then have these items available when changing school. This is quite different to the Business world in which what you create is the companies.
21st October 2011, 11:33 AM #15
I think the out and about thing, generally, if you're able to access your own e-mail (hotmail, yahoo, mydomain.com/webmail etc) then you will be able to access schooldomain.com/owa (or whatever particular email servie you are using) therefore there isn't an excuse.
In terms of the e-mailing something home to e-mail it back again, the same thing applies, e-mail to themselves on their staff e-mail. It will come through to their staff e-mail, they can access this at home and then send it back in. A lot of LEAs offer a service where you can securely transfer files online (with Lancashire it's MyLGFL - staff can upload files in school, access them at home and then reupload to bring back in - a virtual USB stick is you like .. which is another option, the use of school issued secure memory devices).
I think where schools differ in terms of the resources is that there is an expectation that you share resources with the whole team attitudes and things, and that unless a school has created a business idea that you were a part of, you can still take those resources with you, it just means that you have to be organised, so if they have resources on e-mail, save them onto a memory stick (if not available to do in school, save them to their own device out of school) but there is a lot to be learnt from the commercial world in terms of the presentation and appearance of communications. I've only just won the battle to get the school to drop their talk21 account from the letterhead and have firstname.lastname@example.org instead.
People are becoming more savvy with internet protocols and scams, and I know if I had an e-mail from a school on a talk21 account (or other) that I would be warey of it (think along the lines of "your paypal account has been compromised - click here to reset your details" and if you look at the link it's something daft that obviously isn't PayPal). If a school is sending e-mails for school business, be that from the head or from the cleaners) it should be done using a school e-mail address as you are representing a school.
If a school doesn't have an assigned e-mail address (which I would find hard to believe in this day and age) then they can always go down the route of GMail and their hosting services to get an e-mail address for the school.
I've covered a lot of different things there, and it might be that staff do find it easier to e-mail their hotmail account with work from their school account, but they still shouldn't be e-mailing other people on their personal accounts when it's work business, and if they get an e-mail to their home account they should forward it to their school account and reply to it from there instead of opening up a line of communication with said third party on their personal e-mail, for a start, that's probably against something they will have signed up to with their contract in the first place.
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