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Currently, there’s an insatiable appetite among young people for watching films and playing online games about network attacks; consequently, there’s a huge increase in awareness of the large-scale damage that can be inflicted on an organisation’s network. A successful Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can paralyse a school’s network, potentially causing complete loss of control and in worst-case scenarios, even school closures. Children are often introduced to cyber crime through gaming at an early age. There were 259 referrals between 2019 and 2020 from police into the National Cyber Crime Unit Cyber Choices Programme, with the average age being 15, and the youngest being 9. There’s a huge growth in children and young people witnessing friends and teammates gaining gaming advantages online using DDoS attacks; targeted networks are flooded with traffic, causing speeds to slow to a halt and temporarily knocking competing gamers offline. Usually, the objective is to help the attacker win, however it can also be used as a tactic for monetary gain. Recently, a major online e-sports tournament hosted by game developer Jagex for the online game Runescape in which tens of thousands of pounds in prize money was at stake, was taken down by DDoS attacks while thousands watched over the streaming service Twitch. The likelihood is that children made up a large part of that audience. It is now all too easy for young people to access attack tools online. They will likely be aware that this is cheating, and against the rules of the game, but probably unaware that they are committing a crime. Many will have likely dipped their toe in the water to gain an advantage in online gaming, but what starts with DDoS attacks, hacking accounts, phishing etc. is just the thin-end of the wedge and can evolve into serious cyber crime such as ransomware. David Tindall, CEO at Schools Broadband, said: “If, as part of our standard filtering service we can educate young people and inform them that these activities are dangerous and can result in criminal prosecution, we can potentially prevent a future cyber criminal who could go on to do much more harm than interrupting an online game.” Intervention at an early age, when exposure and exploration is in its infancy, can prevent a ripple effect of online criminality that has the potential to be felt beyond the individual and go nationally, even globally. The Schools Broadband NCA block page is a specially designed page that informs on the dangers of cyber crime. Information on the block page encourages children to make more positive choices online and is a further enhancement to the filtering service provided to schools and Multi Academy Trusts by Schools Broadband. Specific block pages are displayed when search terms related to cyber crime are used. The block pages include links to the NCA’s Cyber Choices website that advises children on how to put their cyber skills to better use. Information is also gathered to allow teachers to intervene where appropriate, for example with vulnerable children or those who repeatedly attempt to access restricted content. It also allows the NCA to target their educational activities in areas that need it most. Technology and cyber crime is ever evolving, which is why Schools Broadband ensures its developments in safeguarding technology are always a step ahead. With the success of the innovative cyber crime education programme, we hope to introduce the same block page education principles into other areas where search terms may put a young person or child at risk of self-harm or drug related terms.

Specialist internet services for education

Schools Broadband is a specialist internet service provider to the education sector, currently providing filtering to over 700,000 school pupils and staff. Specialists in education specific web filtering and online safeguarding, network security, VoIP phone services and secure private wide area networks for multi academy trusts. Schools Broadband also provides secure leased lines up to 10Gbps, FTTC, EoFTTC and FTTP. Schools Broadband provides an added layer of Anti DDOS protection as part of its Unified Threat Management Service which includes several mechanisms to fully contain the largest of DDoS attacks. You can get in contact with Schools Broadband via their website, or find out more about them here.
You might also like: UK government unveils new strategy for cybersecurity [post_title] => It’s not just a game: Educating young people on the dangers of cyber crime [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => its-not-just-a-game-educating-young-people-on-the-dangers-of-cyber-crime [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-01-21 15:50:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-01-21 15:50:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=48938 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47663 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2021-11-15 09:19:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-11-15 09:19:19 [post_content] => Not only is it a regulatory requirement, it is absolutely vital for the safeguarding of pupils that a school’s filtering system meets the Department for Education’s appropriate filtering and monitoring standards, and is able to proactively alert Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) of suspected online activity of vulnerable pupils. Filtering and monitoring standards are constantly evolving to match the pace of online threats – the most recent definitions of what constitutes “Appropriate Filtering and Monitoring” were updated as recently as May of this year. This includes blocking illegal child abuse images through implementation of the Internet Watch Foundation’s URL list and integration of the police-assessed list of unlawful terrorist content. With hundreds of thousands of websites springing up every single day, the old method of manually adding URLs to blocklists simply can’t keep up. DSLs need all the help they can get, so fighting technology with technology provides critical support. This is where Artificial Intelligence comes in. Using AI, the Netsweeper Filtering Platform from Schools Broadband carefully categorises content on the Internet, all while ensuring minimal disruption to a student’s learning experience. Once inappropriate content is categorised, Schools Broadband filters block the website URL, preventing access to harmful content. This is done in real-time, 24/7. Not only is it constantly updated, but the Netsweeper policy is “Block First, Allow Later”, meaning a brand-new website can’t sneak past filters simply because it hasn’t been categorised yet. This has been refined through trial with over 2,000 schools to ensure education-based websites and resources are not blocked. This filtering service goes beyond content that is socially unacceptable for children to see like weapons or hate speech, to things more nuanced or hidden, like phishing, malware, and viruses – things that may not be immediately apparent to the human eye. As well as preventing access to inappropriate or harmful content, an often-overlooked benefit of filtering is the ability to ensure students stay on task and only access reliable sources of information. With the dawn of “Fake News” this is more important than ever. DSLs can set their own filtering policies if required and have the option to filter out unreliable websites, or anything that might be a distraction to learning, ensuring students stay focused and accurately informed. Equally as important as catching and preventing access to harmful content, is reporting on this activity. In order to meet standards, you need to demonstrate that you’re monitoring appropriately as well as filtering. With Schools Broadband, you can schedule reports based on customisable criteria, to run at intervals you choose. For example, a DSL could receive regular alerts and a daily report, while the Headteacher receives a weekly report, plus a monthly summary for the Board. In addition to this, once an alert is triggered, you can access back-logs of student activity to see what type of behaviour led up to the incident. For example, were there missed signs that a student was depressed before they attempted to access content on self-harm, or was there evidence that a student was being radicalised before they attempted to access extremist content? On the other hand, does innocent research on biology show that an alert for pornography was triggered accidentally? Using this information, safeguarding measures can be put in place to protect students before they reach this stage. With cyber-crime and other harmful content evolving constantly, students brought up with technology from an early age, and internet access ever more entwined in the delivery of education, it’s crucial that schools and DSLs do not hesitate to use every tool available to their advantage. For more information on Network Security and Filtering Services from Schools Broadband, get in touch. View the full checklist Specialist Internet Services for Education Schools Broadband is a specialist Internet Service Provider to the Education sector, currently providing filtering to over 700,000 school pupils and staff. Specialists in Education Specific Web Filtering and Online safeguarding, Network Security, VoIP phone services and Secure Private Wide Area Networks for Multi Academy Trusts. Schools Broadband also provides Secure Leased Lines up to 10Gbps, FTTC, EoFTTC and FTTP. Contact Schools Broadband: 01133 222 333 | info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk  www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk [post_title] => Is your filtering service giving your DSL the support they need? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => is-your-filtering-service-giving-your-dsl-the-support-they-need [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-11-15 16:42:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-11-15 16:42:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=47663 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46909 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2021-10-14 09:10:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-10-14 08:10:24 [post_content] => For some time it has been the DfE’s aim for all schools to access a modern broadband infrastructure to support schools’ much-needed move to the cloud. After all, cloud services are proven to provide greater efficiencies in both operational and financial areas of school management, they’re more secure, cost less to run and provide an essential platform for newer teaching strategies demanded by the digital age. A good broadband connection is widely acknowledged now to be the fourth essential utility; particularly in schools where cloud services support vital back-office functions, where there is an increased reliance on digital teaching and where more cost-effective internet or VoIP phone services have been adopted.

Reaching broadband capacity

A recent survey commissioned by BESA showed over a quarter of all primary schools and a third of secondary schools will be reviewing a move to cloud-based systems. However, without the right bandwidth, extra pressures on school internet connections will result in slow, frustrating broadband. Schools will need bigger and better bandwidth capabilities to support the successful adoption of cloud services but, budget constraints as they are, will require schools to do their homework before choosing an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who can meet their demands without breaking the bank.

What is the comparative cost of Ultrafast Broadband?

Until now, the cost of broadband speeds required to support the heavy demands of multiple cloud services has been prohibitive for most schools and tantalisingly out of reach for others. A brand-new suite of technologies, however, Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) and G.Fast, known as Ultrafast Broadband, is sweeping its way across the country, providing extraordinary bandwidth and connection speeds at very affordable prices. Ultrafast technology is already proving to be a game-changer for Schools Broadband customers, with FTTP connections providing up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps) for around the same price or sometimes less than a 100Mbps Leased Line. A staggering 10-fold increase in speeds for less than the cost of a 100Mbps leased line.

What will an Ultrafast connection support?

For schools looking to upgrade their broadband who need to improve their management systems and edtech, or who are considering a migration to cloud services, ultrafast broadband provides an affordable connection choice that can deliver schools the faster speeds required now and unimaginable speeds the future might demand. Ultrafast connections are also a wise choice for backup lines for schools with a leased line connection. Allowing full deployment of one-to-one devices throughout a whole school, whatever its size, an Ultrafast connection provides enough bandwidth to support a full migration of all school services to the cloud. Ultrafast FTTP uses full fibre connectivity direct to school premises. The roll-out of Ultrafast Broadband is well underway with an already well-established network. The technology is being installed at a rapid pace with availability increasing daily. Check Ultrafast Broadband Availability Call Schools Broadband: 01133 222 333 or request an AVAILABILITY CHECK If FTTP is not yet available in your area, please check with Schools Broadband as alternative Ultrafast technologies such as G.Fast, delivering 350Mbps may be available. Schools Broadband is also offering free upgrades to FTTP for their customers as soon as it becomes available.

How does Ultrafast work?

Unlike a traditional FTTC connection, where fibre connections run only as far as the street cabinet, FTTP, or Fibre to the Premises, uses full fibre connecting directly to your school. This provides Ultrafast speeds up to 1,000Mbps (otherwise known as one Gigabit per second (1Gbps). G.Fast, another of the new Ultrafast technologies works in a very similar way to FTTC with fibre terminating at the local BT street cabinet and copper running from there to your school. A special pod fitted to the side of the cabinet alters the speed frequencies of the copper connection. This increases the speed through the copper cable, resulting in a more reliable broadband with ultrafast speeds up to 330Mbps.

Specialist Internet Services for Education

Schools Broadband is a specialist Internet Service Provider to the education sector, specialising in Education Specific Web Filtering and Online safeguarding, Network Security, VoIP phone services and Secure Private Wide Area Networks for Multi Academy Trusts. Schools Broadband also provides secure 10Gbps Leased Lines, FTTC and EoFTTC. Contact Schools Broadband: 01133 222 333 info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk [post_title] => The Best Connectivity Options To Support Cloud Migration [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-best-connectivity-options-to-support-cloud-migration [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-10-14 09:10:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-10-14 08:10:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=46909 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 46457 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2021-09-29 10:38:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-09-29 09:38:09 [post_content] => During the last academic year, the Schools Broadband 4G filtered service helped to provide safe, remote internet access for more than 2,000 disadvantaged students through its innovative filtered and Prevent Duty compliant 4G dongle service. According to figures from Ofcom however, they say 559,000 children do not have access to the internet at all, leaving hundreds of thousands of children still unable to access remote education. The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) and the Carnegie UK Trust’s recent report, Closing the Digital Divide for Good, reports: “Over 76,000 wireless routers and over 33,000 increases to mobile data plans [were] provided to support children’s learning” during the last academic year.

The Connectivity Support Grant

Whilst there's a long way to go to secure digital inclusion for all, and UNICEF UK is lobbying hard for this, the government has said a Connectivity Support Grant will be made available for schools who provide internet connections to help disadvantaged pupils who may need to learn remotely. All eligible settings will be able to apply in January 2022 to cover costs incurred to support vulnerable children and young people’s access to the internet between 1 September to 31 December 2021. Schools will be able to claim up to £75 to cover these costs. 4G Dongles previously provided by the Department for Education (DfE) or Schools Broadband can still be used with a 4G SIM-only service from Schools Broadband, though the dongle must be unlocked. Instructions on how to do this are available from the DfE. Many schools are ordering multiple quantities of dongles to keep in a 'dongle library' to lend to students as and when they are required. The Schools Broadband mobile filtering and SIM-only service is designed exclusively for education, providing a safe and filtered learning environment for student home-learning. The service supports schools’ Prevent Duty compliance and KCSIE duties, is easy to use and has built-in monitoring, reporting and alert functions for Digital Safeguarding Leads. Packages start at £10 per month with both short and long-term contracts available.

How does 4G filtering work?

Unlike a standard mobile broadband connection, Schools Broadband fully controls the mobile data traffic from the carrier’s mobile network and terminates it on the Schools Broadband network in the same way we do with traditional broadband technologies such as FTTC and leased lines. This allows us to route all mobile broadband traffic through our hosted Netsweeper filtering and FortiGate firewall security, providing Local Authorities, Multi Academy Trusts, schools, colleges or any user with a Schools Broadband SIM card, the same safe, controllable and secure internet experience as they have in a school. To date, the Schools Broadband 4G filtered service supports more than two thousand disadvantaged students. David Tindall, CEO commented: “Knowing that we are helping to bridge the digital divide by providing such innovative technology is what Schools Broadband is all about. Many of our schools are now looking towards longer term contracts having recognised this is not a short-term issue, but a longer-term necessity for extended, personal and blended learning requirements.” For more information contact: info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk 01133 222 333 [post_title] => Connectivity support grant available for disadvantaged pupils [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => connectivity-support-grant-available-for-disadvantaged-pupils [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-09-29 10:38:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-09-29 09:38:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=46457 [menu_order] => 21 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21121 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2020-01-21 10:04:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-21 10:04:33 [post_content] => Whilst BT’s withdrawal of ISDN lines will take place from 2020 to 2023, it’s worth knowing the significant savings that can be made by switching to VoIP or SIP phone services. On average, VoIP and SIP phone services reduce line rental by 70% and some providers bundle call packages – including all UK landline and mobile calls. Ian Alexander, IT manager at Delta Multi Academy Trust, says: “Since moving to Schools Broadband’s VoIP phone system over four years ago, the Trust is no longer paying line rental and now have effectively free site-to-site calls.” In addition, Ian says the VoIP phone features improve the efficiency of their schools’ call handling. For example, the Auto Attendant helps manage and channel callers to the correct member of staff, while the voicemail feature means they can capture all calls for individuals, significantly reducing admin time. Switching to SIP is straight forward. Your current PBX phone system could already be SIP compatible, in which case SIP providers can configure SIP phone services remotely. 
Start making immediate savings, switch your school as soon as you can. Call: 01133 222 333 or email: www.info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk. Visit schoolsbroadband.co.uk to find out more. [post_title] => ISDN Cessation and the cost benefits for schools [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => isdn-cessation-and-the-cost-benefits-for-schools [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-21 10:11:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-21 10:11:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=21121 [menu_order] => 1382 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18896 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-11-05 09:38:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-11-05 09:38:03 [post_content] => Following an increase in phishing emails at the Abbey Multi Academy Trust in Leeds, technical director David Ryder identified a vast number of emails coming from other educational establishments and affiliates. Identifying the potential negative impact of a user ‘falling for’ a phishing email and giving away credentials, along with their ongoing cybersecurity projects, they prioritised work around phishing and mitigating the risk of a breach. In partnership with Schools Broadband, David Ryder has created a seven-point best practice guide for schools throughout the country. Abbey Multi Academy Trust utilises the Microsoft 365 email system. Whilst some of their actions are specific to this platform, they are transferable to other email systems. Here are three of the best-practice points they identified: 1. Mandatory phishing training for all staff – Each of our eight academies have had a training session from the head of IT services, providing awareness of phishing emails and the impact of them. This training is to be renewed annually with updated information. A version of this is also provided to students as part of ICT lessons. 2. Mail flow rules – We have created a set of mail flow rules, which we can amend manually when we have suspicious senders or content in the subject/body. This gives us granular control over email blocking. 3. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) – Microsoft offers MFA free for educational licences. Enabling this for all staff accounts across the trust means even if credentials are given away, there is much less risk of an account been accessed.

For the next four points, click here.

For more detail on search and destroy, mail access protocols (mail apps), phishing campaigns and training and alerts via 365 Security Centre, please click here.  For more information on Schools Broadband’s award-winning managed security service from Fortinet, please call 01133 222 333 Opt 3 or email info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk [post_title] => Seven steps MATS and schools can take to prevent phishing attacks [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => seven-steps-mats-and-schools-can-take-to-prevent-phishing-attacks [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-05 09:38:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-05 09:38:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=18896 [menu_order] => 1534 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18131 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-09-23 00:00:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-22 23:00:03 [post_content] =>

If you’re responsible for managing multiple servers, network security and devices across multiple school sites and you haven’t discovered the benefits of managed WANs and firewalls, this article gives a brief overview of how managed services can make managing your estates easier, help improve control of your networks and remove the administration of multiple service contracts.

Managed WANs let you manage your networks, servers and devices across multiple schools from one central point. And as schools move towards Multi Academy Trusts, it makes absolute sense to share resources and reduce costs, such as those associated with funding multiple firewalls across sites. Schools can be added into the WAN and benefit immediately from centralised security.

Deploying virtualised firewalls across a WAN and using virtualised large-scale hardware – rather than smaller dedicated units that become outgrown – also means capacity is easily increased. A single-pane-of-glass view provides central control for Multi Academy Trusts of all their security and filtering across multiple sites. Schools Broadband’s largest client hosts 80 schools using this method.

David Ryder, IT Director of Abbey MAT in Leeds says: “From a security perspective, the single most impressive feature of the Schools Broadband-hosted firewall service is the amount of control we have of it on-site. In fact, we have almost as much control as if we owned the firewall on-site.”

In the case of Schools Broadband’s service, content filtering can be centrally controlled too.


For more information about network security and managed WANs visit: www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk/wide-area-networks  , email: info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk or call: 01133 222 333

[post_title] => Multi Academy Trusts, managed WANs and managed firewalls [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => multi-academy-trusts-managed-wans-and-managed-firewalls-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-09-19 11:43:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-19 10:43:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=18131 [menu_order] => 1634 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17957 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-09-17 00:00:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-16 23:00:58 [post_content] => If you’re responsible for managing multiple servers, network security and devices across multiple school sites and you haven’t discovered the benefits of managed WANs and firewalls, this article gives a brief overview of how managed services can make managing your estates easier, help improve control of your networks and remove the administration of multiple service contracts. Managed WANs let you manage your networks, servers and devices across multiple schools from one central point. And as schools move towards Multi Academy Trusts, it makes absolute sense to share resources and reduce costs, such as those associated with funding multiple firewalls across sites. Schools can be added into the WAN and benefit immediately from centralised security.
From a security perspective, the single most impressive feature of the Schools Broadband-hosted firewall service is the amount of control we have of it on-site. – David Ryder, Abbey MAT
Deploying virtualised firewalls across a WAN and using virtualised large-scale hardware – rather than smaller dedicated units that become outgrown – also means capacity is easily increased. A single-pane-of-glass view provides central control for Multi Academy Trusts of all their security and filtering across multiple sites. Schools Broadband’s largest client hosts 80 schools using this method. David Ryder, IT director of Abbey MAT in Leeds says: “From a security perspective, the single most impressive feature of the Schools Broadband-hosted firewall service is the amount of control we have of it on-site. In fact, we have almost as much control as if we owned the firewall on-site.” In the case of Schools Broadband’s service, content filtering can be centrally controlled too. For more information about network security and managed WANs Visit: www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk/wide-area-networks Email: info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk Tel: 01133 222 333 [post_title] => Multi Academy Trusts, managed WANs and managed firewalls [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => multi-academy-trusts-managed-wans-and-managed-firewalls [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-09-16 15:43:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-16 14:43:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=17957 [menu_order] => 1651 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17035 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-08-10 00:00:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-09 23:00:39 [post_content] => Colossal growth in demand on school bandwidths means 1Gbps connections in secondary schools are now relatively standard practice. And with BT rolling out their full-fibre infrastructure, and the introduction of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections, smaller schools are also realising the benefits of ultrafast broadband technologies, receiving five times speeds of superfast (EoFTTC) broadband at 350Mbps. But some schools have been unaware that their on-site filtering and security hardware only has the capacity to process 80-100Mbps. Upgrading or replacing hardware could cost thousands, a capital expense schools could well do without. Planning your network capacity to accommodate bigger bandwidths as cost-effectively as possible undoubtedly means transferring on-site services like filtering and security to a cloud hosted service. Cloud-hosted server capacities are in their tens of Gbps, meaning capital costs required to improve your school’s network become an expenditure of the past. Schools Broadband has invested over half a million pounds in its cloud-hosted filtering and security platform, so you don’t have to. Based on Netsweeper and Fortinet technologies, the filtering solution meets all the PreventDuty requirements. The platform is designed to accommodate the enormous increases in school bandwidth demands, both now and in the future; something traditional servers will not do. The Schools Broadband core network supports multiple 100Gbps interfaces, meaning filtering servers can be added as required, allowing schools to make use of 1Gbps and 10Gbps broadband services as they become available. Schools Broadband can be contacted on: 01133 222 333 info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk [post_title] => Beware the expense of hardware upgrades [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => beware-the-expense-of-hardware-upgrades [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-08 10:27:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-08 09:27:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=17035 [menu_order] => 1727 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15302 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-06-06 00:00:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-05 23:00:11 [post_content] => The Script Kiddies. The kids who Google "How to DDoS my school," and they're wreaking havoc with school networks. The insatiable appetite for films and online games about network attacks means a huge increase in awareness of how to inflict large-scale damage. With DDoS attack tools as readily available online as sweets in a sweet shop, this is precisely why Schools Broadband continues to invest heavily in the security systems they provide their customers. Until now, the industry-leading Forti net firewalls they used have been sufficient to protect customers; DDoS attacks didn't affect large-scale networks. However, increased bandwidths now give the capacity to strike attacks as much as 50 times bigger than most school broadband lines. The growth in severity of DDoS attacks has meant adding a level of dedicated DDoS protection to our enterprise level firewalls. This extra layer of protection scrubs and removes malicious traffic from the main traffic stream. In fact, it recently deflected a 25Gbps DNS reflection DDoS. In the past this would have massively affected customer connectivity and a manual process could have taken up to 40 minutes to detect it. Now it is automatic and typically takes a couple of seconds to detect and scrub the malicious traffic.
Schools Broadband is a leading provider of network security and web filtering and has been awarded Best Cloud and Best Security three times by the Internet Service Providers Association. They have again been shortlisted for Best Cyber Security 2019. They can be contacted by calling: 01133 222 333, emailing: info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk or visiting: www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk This article was updated on 09/07/19 [post_title] => Are your firewalls ready to take on the Script Kiddies? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => are-your-firewalls-ready-to-take-on-the-script-kiddies [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-09 08:12:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-09 07:12:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=15302 [menu_order] => 1884 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13396 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-02-19 17:08:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-19 17:08:32 [post_content] => When the DfE updated its statutory guidance 'Keeping Children Safe in Education,' it stipulated that schools and colleges in England must “ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place and children should be prevented from accessing harmful or inappropriate material.” The guidance sparked much debate around what constituted 'appropriate filtering,' until the UK Safer Internet Centre issued a self-certification checklist for filtering providers. The stipulations created a technical nightmare for some players in the industry, in particular that the filtering system should have the ability to identify and report on individual users. This has shaken the industry, and recent reports have suggested some providers are still struggling. Below is a basic check-list issued by the Safer Internet Centre. Use it to check with your provider that they are able to meet the appropriate minimum standards for you to meet the DfE and Prevent Duty requirements. Does your filtering system provide:
  • Age-appropriate, differentiated filtering, including the ability to vary filtering strength appropriate to age and role?
  • The ability to allow schools self-control of the filter to permit or deny access to specific content?
  • A rationale that details their approach to filtering with classification and categorisation as well as over blocking?
  • The ability to identify individual users?
  • The ability to block inappropriate content via mobile and app technologies?
  • The ability to manage relevant languages?
  • Network level filtering that is not reliant on any software or user devices?
  • The ability to report on inappropriate content for access or blocking?
  • Clear historical reporting information on websites visited by users?
In addition, you should ask your provider to confirm that they:
  • Are members of the IWF
  • Block access to illegal child abuse images (by actively implementing the IWF CAIC list)
  • Integrate the police-assessed list of unlawful terrorist content produced on behalf of the Home Office
  • Provide monitoring of: Drugs/substance abuse, extremism, pornography, self-harm and violence.
The filtering platform hosted by Schools Broadband has seen a recent £500K investment, to ensure it fully supports schools in meeting DfE regulations. As standard, it provides proactive Prevent Duty reports to protect vulnerable children. To find out more about Schools Broadband’s new filtering platform, view our short video at www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk/migrations. email info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk or call 01133 222 333 David Tindal, CEO, Schools Broadband [post_title] => Check your school’s web filtering is up to the job [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => check-your-schools-web-filtering-is-up-to-the-job [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-02-21 10:52:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-02-21 10:52:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=13396 [menu_order] => 2132 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6659 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2018-11-23 00:00:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-23 00:00:43 [post_content] =>

Can you give us some examples of general green credentials: do some forms of edtech use less energy and other resources than others?

In terms of the environment, cloud-based or data centre solutions are greener all round. As centrally operated servers are controlled virtually, this immediately cuts down on site visits and transportation. It removes the need to dispose of obsolete hardware and the recycling issues associated with end-of-life disposal. Again, on the plus side for cloud-hosted services, an increasing number of data centres now use renewable energies, with lots of innovative approaches being adopted for cooling.

How much of the sustainability equation is about sourcing the right products, and how much is about helping teachers to adapt their teaching, in order to use edtech more sustainably?

It’s more about having a clear, long-term IT strategy for your school or university, and ensuring that the products and services you select are going to meet that strategy. Running a full audit on what equipment you currently have is a must, as well as knowing how this is used. You will also need to understand how the school plans to move forward in terms of the number of devices it plans to use. For example, how much 1:1 teaching on devices do you intend? Do you intend to roll out devices across the entire school? This will give you an idea on the amount of bandwidth your school will require and whether it’s going to pay to continue upgrading your server, or whether you should consider an ISP who can provide hosted services, which means you won’t need to pay for a server at all.

Sustainability is also about upkeep. Which solutions are the most streamlined and don’t need continual updating?

Hosted services provide huge economic efficiencies by providing affordable, high-grade filtering and security solutions that wouldn’t otherwise be within financial reach of many schools. Purchasing and installing dedicated hardware is expensive and time-consuming. Onsite engineer visits are necessary, involving transportation which is again costly to the environment as well as to the school in terms of the power required to run the servers. Hosted services immediately reduce capital expenditure, often to nothing. W: schoolsbroadband.co.uk [post_title] => Futureproofing and sustainability: David Tindall [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => futureproofing-and-sustainability-david-tindall [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-07 16:29:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-07 16:29:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=6659 [menu_order] => 2310 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 362 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2018-08-12 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-11 22:00:00 [post_content] =>

Even the most protected system in the world could fall victim to attack through bad luck, human error, zero-day exploits, or a host of other factors, but early detection could save the day.

There is a lot schools can do to minimise the impact of a breach or even catch it before it does any damage. Antivirus, internet security, encryption, two-factor authentication and other IT security products, like those from Schools Broadband, can significantly reduce your chances of the devastating disruption caused by attacks. 

Whatever the size of your school, having robust security defences is essential in protecting every school’s network, particularly given the upsurge in changes to today’s threat landscape. “Often overlooked though,” said Dave Tindall of Schools Broadband, “is endpoint protection; that’s protecting your desktops, laptops, tablets and mobiles.” Dave commented: “It is more critical than ever to ensure computers and devices are protected against the catastrophic effects of now commonplace advanced attacks.”

The growing sophistication of attacks means keeping up to date with common attack methods has become a specialist area. And Schools Broadband, winners of the ISPA’s Best Security ISP for the last two years, clearly demonstrates no education ISP is more qualified to ensure the full protection of your school’s network.

Bob Yorke

Providing cloud-based network security from Fortinet, Schools Broadband has added ESET Endpoint Protection Advanced to their award-winning solution.

Antivirus and Antispyware will eliminate all types of threats, including viruses, rookits, worms and spyware, and the Exploit Blocker will strengthen the security of applications such as web browsers, PDF readers, email clients or MS Office components, which are commonly exploited. The Exploit Blocker will also monitor process behaviours and look for suspicious activities typical of exploits, whilst strengthening protection against targeted attacks and previously unknown exploits, e.g. zero-day attacks.

Dave Tindall added: “Although security is a very specialised field these days, the appeal of our new ESET Endpoint Protection is undoubtedly in its ease of deployment and user-friendly remote administrator tool. That, together with the cloud-powered scanning, makes management of your security effortlessly straightforward.”

For more information on Endpoint Security for schools visit: schoolsbroadband.co.uk or call 01133 222 333

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How do you foresee cloud computing changing the education landscape, in terms of data storage and security?

From a data storage point of view, the historic days of onsite storage have gone. That’s because the new Ultrafast (G.fast) broadband technologies that are available to schools, allow connectivity to be nearly as fast as if it is stored on site.Because of this, I see significantly more data being pushed to cloud storage across multiple applications, making it even more important for customers to be securely connected.

Schools moving from on-site to cloud storage need to ask themselves, “is our data as safe as it was when stored on-site?” Schools can be connected to some of the best security in the world via cloud-hosted security. State-of-the-art data centres are providing affordable high-grade security solutions that wouldn’t otherwise be affordable to most schools.

Choose an internet service provider (ISP) who can offer a full suite of UTM applications and take care of your end-point security and perimeter protection – this will be a big step towards fulfilling the security element of GDPR criteria. An ISP that can offer proactive reporting and response will further help schools meet the GDPR’s stipulation that schools must detect, report and investigate a personal data breach within 72 hours

Is there also the possibility that cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT), can make campuses greener, more efficient spaces?

From a power-consumption point of view, cloud computing is definitely more efficient. Data centres (the cloud) run on greener energy resources where energy is bought in bulk, so giving better economies of scale to power multiple servers. In addition, reducing the amount of tin on site reduces hardware disposal issues and the complexities surrounding the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive.

The IoT is a fantastic way of making life in general more efficient. Bridging the gap between the physical and digital world is improving productivity all round. There should be over 20 billion devices connected across all technologies by 2020. So, from remotely adjusting thermostatic controls, to wearable devices and smart transport, we can look forward to our connected lives bringing lots of new efficiencies in almost every aspect of our lives.

Bridging the gap between the physical and digital world is improving productivity all round. There should be over 20 billion devices connected across all technologies by 2020

Is cloud computing opening up education for a whole raft of users who – either because they are not suited to the classroom environment, or can’t afford the materials – were previously excluded from it?

The technological capabilities of the cloud mean that our tablets are giving us access to staggering amounts of content, anywhere in the world. The internet has become the best encyclopaedia in the world, offering enormous opportunities for those hungry for knowledge. We must however remain aware of the e-safety aspects of access to such content, and ensure that what people are looking at is relevant and monitored.

Should educational institutions be clear on which type of cloud infrastructure – Public, Private or Hybrid – works best for them?

Yes, they should. Technology advances very quickly, so strategies should be reviewed as and when the technology changes and when new services become available. Cloud-based technology is very “elastic”: it allows you to change solution very quickly. For example, you can move from just three servers in the cloud to 20, without the need to invest hugely in hardware.

My advice: encrypt any data held on a laptop, and make sure you have a Disaster Recovery plan

What risks and challenges (e.g. data protection, cybersecurity) should institutions be aware of?

Schools should be clear on what data they want to put where. Without the right security measures, pupil data in the cloud, for example, is vulnerable to hacking, so a specific cloud security strategy is a must. Know what your data is, where it is – and make sure it is deleted if not needed.

If you can’t control the security of your data because it sits on a third-party server, make sure you’re comfortable with your provider’s data-protection procedures. It’s worth undertaking a risk analysis. My advice: encrypt any data held on a laptop, and make sure you have a Disaster Recovery plan.

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Network Managers responsible for looking after multiple school sites or Multi Academy Trusts (MATs), will be familiar with the logistical nightmare of managing single servers across multiple sites. Headteachers and finance heads may or may not be aware of the inefficiencies, on many levels, that also come with managing different servers at different locations.

Schools ahead of the game, however, are using Managed Wide Area Networks or WANs, to privately connect multiple school sites on the same network, using high speed, high capacity, private connectivity. Best described as an extended Local Area Network, the Managed WAN lets you manage networks, servers and devices across multiple schools from one central point. This makes managing estates much easier, improves control of the network and removes the administration of multiple service contracts.

As schools move towards MATs, it makes sense to share resources and reduce costs. Managed WANs reduce the need to have multiple firewalls across estate sites; schools can be added into the WAN, benefiting immediately from centralised security. In the case of Schools Broadband’s service, content filtering can be centrally controlled too. 

Schools Broadband protects and reports on over 1 million staff and pupils at UK educational establishments and hosts 80 schools as their largest Managed WAN client. 

The Schools Broadband Managed WAN service was awarded the UK’s Best Security ISP at the latest ISPA Awards. David Tindall added: “Our award-winning security is central to every network we provide. We work in partnership with Fortinet and our hosted security provides affordable, high-grade solutions that wouldn’t otherwise be in financial reach of schools and trusts.”

As well as providing critical security, the Schools Broadband Managed WAN allows schools to use IT in the way they want to, allowing schools and trusts to get the most out of their IT investments and cloud-based services. For example, a Microsoft express route provides a direct connection to Microsoft, but behaves as a simple extension to the Managed WAN.

Schools Broadband protects and reports on over 1 million staff and pupils at UK educational establishments and hosts 80 schools as their largest Managed WAN client. 

For more information about Network Security and Managed WANs click here or email info@schoolsbroadband.

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More stringent data protection laws coming into force this May, plus a threat landscape rife with cyberattacks, will see Network Managers scrutinising school security. But despite a modest increase in budget allocations for school networks, overall, ICT investments remain low, making strategic and financial network investments more critical now than ever.

Most schools currently deploy on-site hardware firewalls; until now they’ve done the job. But don’t be fooled, the threat landscape is changing by the day. Last year, over three billion records were leaked by organisations, including education establishments, due to network attacks.

There is a clear and present danger that on-site firewalls have limited capacity in defending the onslaught of today’s attacks. Upgrades will need new hardware, new hardware will need more money. As new threats develop globally every second, this scenario will soon turn into Groundhog Day.

But there is another way, and one which is gathering momentum. Cloud-hosted security, once a mistrusted solution by some, (tho’ I’m not sure why?) is having its day.

Able to respond automatically to new threats by the minute, equally important, hosted firewalls offer increased resilience with automatic failover.

Schools can be connected to the best security defences in the world via hosted security. State of the art data centres provide affordable, high grade solutions for schools that wouldn’t otherwise be in their financial reach.

Able to respond automatically to new threats by the minute, equally important, hosted firewalls offer increased resilience with automatic failover. That’s the equivalent of two firewall boxes on-site, but without paying for the extra firewall. Your uptime is protected and you won’t have to wait a day for your replacement firewall.

All hosted security equipment is looked after in secure data centres, where everything is kept in warranty. There’s no continual funding of new licences and all your configurations are backed up automatically. If you choose a supplier like Schools Broadband, their unique system, named Best Security ISP by the Internet Service Provider’s Association this year, allows you complete control and visibility of your school’s network. They can also do this for you.

MAT Network Managers might also like to know cloud hosted firewalls integrate with MPLS/VPLS WANS, so there are big savings to be had on purchasing individual firewalls.

Schools Broadband is a Gold MSSP Fortinet partner. They provide broadband, DfE compliant web filtering and award-winning security all in one package.

To find out more visit www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk/network-security.
Contact 01133 222 333 or email info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk

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A specialist schools Internet Service Provider has been unveiled as the industry’s best network security provider in the UK.

Hot on the heels of their 10th anniversary celebrations, Talk Straight, the parent company of Schools Broadband, received Best Security Award at the national Internet Service Providers Association Annual Awards, the most prestigious in the industry.

Held in London in July, the dominant theme this year was cyber security. Scores of entrants were whittled down through a combination of technical testing and scrutinising from an expert panel of judges. The industry judges said: “It was the fact that Talk Straight operates in a critical and constantly evolving education environment, together with their innovation and seamless integration that made their managed security service stand out from other entrants.”

The secret to our success is that we take very complicated and advanced cyber security solutions, and make them simple for schools and organisations to understand and implement, without the need to become experts - David Tindall, founding director of Talk Straight and Schools Broadband

David Tindall, founding director of Talk Straight and Schools Broadband said: “I am thrilled we have won the national award for Best Internet Security. The timing couldn’t be better to help raise the profile of how important it is for schools and all organisations to have really robust networks. The secret to our success is that we take very complicated and advanced cyber security solutions, and make them simple for schools and organisations to understand and implement, without the need to become experts.”

The Wannacry and Petya ransomware attacks experienced by the NHS and Westminster highlighted the very real issues organisations of every size face from cyberattacks. Talk Straight has experienced an increase in enquiries for secure networks during the last few months, mostly as a result of the doubling of cyber-attacks in the last three months, but also in preparation for the forthcoming European Data Protection Requirements.

The Government’s Cyber Security Breaches survey shows too many organisations suffering disruption, financial loss and theft of intellectual property as a result of cybercrime. Whilst recognition of the importance of network protection is increasing, organisations are taking action too late and falling victim to attacks.

Talk Straight is one of the leading specialist Internet Service Providers to schools throughout the UK. They protect and report on over one million staff and pupils at UK educational establishments via their unique cloud based Next Generation Firewalls and content filtering platform. This year their managed service has been expanded to include cloud managed end-point protection for on and off-site customer devices. Their hosted solution incorporates the largest number of Fortigate Virtual Firewalls per cluster in Europe, using carrier grade devices, running dedicated ASIC hardware accelerators.

They are also one of the first to market with innovative SIP and VoIP telephony solutions, saving schools and business thousands of pounds on their telephone bills.

With year-on-year growth for 10 successive years, Talk Straight is going from strength to strength and has recently announced a further 17% growth in business on the previous year. Tim Sedgwick, Joint Founding Director, said: “we have made substantial investments in our network infrastructure and innovative configurations during the last two years, which is an investment paying off. We pride ourselves on being an organisation at the forefront of technology and I am delighted to report further investment to strengthen our position in the market even more.”

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David Tindall, founder of Schools Broadband, shows how modern-day telephony and broadband technologies are saving schools thousands of pounds a year on their telephone line and call rental costs.

ISDN to be phased out

SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) are phone lines, or to be more precise, phone channels that run over your broadband. They replace the need for traditional ISDN phone lines and have been around for nearly 15 years. Believe it or not, most calls made in the UK now run over a form of Internet Protocol (IP) telephony. You’re probably familiar with the term VoIP, (Voice over Internet Protocol) that’s what this is.

In 2014, BT announced that they would no longer be providing new ISDN lines after 2020 and will cease all current ISDN circuits soon after. This has signalled the death of ISDN technology and BT is slowly pushing UK customers towards alternative technology such as SIP Trunking.

Most secondary schools and larger primary schools have some form of ISDN telephone line which makes no use of VoIP. It’s expensive to rent compared to SIP which can be as little as £0). ISDN lines are expensive and slow to upgrade, calls normally cost more, they’re inflexible and there’s little redundancy if things go wrong.

Benefits and savings with SIP Trunking

By switching to SIP Trunking, schools will make immediate and long-term savings. Schools Broadband has been delivering Voice Over IP services to schools for over seven years, and on average, they say secondary schools using SIP Trunking have saved approximately £3000pa. SIP Trunking is more flexible, features are all-inclusive and call quality is guaranteed. SIP Trunking let you keep your existing telephone numbers and you also benefit from free site to site calls.

SIP Trunking is designed to work over any kind of broadband connection, but in practise works better when provided by your broadband provider. When delivered by your broadband provider, the SIP service will only run over its own network, guaranteeing call quality and protecting bandwidth for both voice and data. This means students and staff can be assured of uninterrupted internet and use of the phone. It also gives you one point of contact and billing for all your calls, lines, Internet and filtering. Schools Broadband goes one step further and provides one combined bill for everything, bringing simplicity and control to cost management for Business and Finance Managers.

SIP Trunking is quick and easy to install. All you need is a compatible telephone system, which you could already have, or a small plug-in VoIP gateway converter.

About the author

David Tindall is founder of Schools Broadband who are leaders in the field of pioneering technology for schools. They provide internet connections of every kind, sophisticated DfE compliant web filtering and world leading network security from Fortinet. For more information visit www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk or call 01133 222 333.

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Q: Technology in education is constantly evolving, what do you think was the most significant edtech development in 2015?

A: From our perspective as an ISP, by far the biggest development was BT’s announcement that they’ll be deploying the next generation hybrid-fibre G.fast broadband technology across the United Kingdom from 2016/17.

At the moment, most primary schools receive their broadband via hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps. This works by running a fibre optic cable to the local street cabinet and then using the existing copper line from the cabinet to the school. G.fast works in a similar way but utilizes a broader radio spectrum that will give download speeds of up to 500Mbps. This is going to give schools a real boost and they’ll be able to download large files much quicker and take advantage of more cloud hosted applications.

Q: Were we successful in reducing the digital divide this year? How do you think we can improve on this in 2016?

A: With laptops and tablets now having reduced in price so significantly, they are now well within the budget of most UK households and many children now have access to their own tablet.

Whilst there’s still somewhat of a divide globally, this too is being alleviated by the availability of mobiles. 4G could mean that even those living in remote areas in developing countries can access the same cloud-hosted resources and systems that we have in the developed world.

What seems to be lacking now, is not the technology itself but the knowledge on how to use it to its best effect. Whilst children seem to adapt quickly to new technology, adults are often left behind and lack the knowledge to pass onto young people. This is becoming more and more the case as technology evolves at such a rapid pace. 

Many adults grew up in an age before the internet was even accessible and often don’t understand the potential dangers that can lurk online. They’re not always able to give their children advice on how to use the internet safely. Awareness courses for parents and government funded IT training for adults would help us bridge that gap.

Q: The computing curriculum has now been in place for over a year, has it proved to be a success so far, and how do you think we will we see this evolve in 2016?

A: As an ISP, this isn’t an area that we are able to comment on. However as a technology company that employs young people, we know that it’s vital for the future of our economy to provide our children with the digital skills that will allow them to succeed in their chosen career. In this day and age there are few, if any, jobs that do not utilize computers in some form.

It’s vital for the future of our economy to provide our children with digital skills

Q: E-safety is still a key issue in schools, with cyberbullying presenting a huge problem. What steps can we take to tackle this?

A: Better education in schools about the impact of bullying and how it can affect children’s lives. Easier ways of reporting online bullying and clearly imposed consequences for those who do bully online. Better counselling for those who are feeling threatened. Having somebody to reach out to confidentially, away from the school may have helped many young people who have taken their own lives because they’ve been continually tormented.

Q: BYOD adoption continues to rise in our schools and universities. How can we ensure we further reduce the data security risks associated with this next year?

A: Schools need to be sure that their data is protected. There are many different products available on the market, but ideally schools should be looking for an enterprise-class firewall that includes anti-malware, anti-virus and intrusion prevention. A responsible use policy, web filtering and the ability to view who is accessing what on your network is also vital. 

Q: MOOCs, BYOD, WYOD, gamification, are all popular terms and trends seen and used throughout the education sector. What trends will emerge over the coming months?

A: I think many schools will be looking at how technology can better aid children with special educational and behavioral needs. Also, could the dream of becoming a paper-free school actually become a reality?

David Tindall is the Managing Director at Schools Broadband W: schoolsbroadband.co.uk/

 

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Cybercrime is big business. It is growing day by day and growing in sophistication too. To put it in perspective, 90% of large businesses suffered a data breach last year, costing each business between £75K and £310K. Whilst we’re focusing on education here, this should send alarm bells ringing to anyone with responsibility for the protection of data under the Data Protection Act.

A school’s student data, contact details, medical history and personal details are valuable pickings to the cybercriminal market which is currently estimated to be worth £27bn per annum in the UK alone. But schools are not security experts, that is not their business. And with the upsurge in changes to the threat landscape, automated attacks on networks means security is more significant now than ever before.

For the schools who have this covered – great. For the schools that think they have this covered and for the schools that don’t – read on to find out what to do to protect your networks and data.

The NEN 10-step checklist, produced by The Education Network made up of not-for-profit and public bodies, provides useful guidance. They advise that “you must understand where the responsibilities for maintaining all systems and processes reside: some may be maintained in-house while others may be provided by your broadband supplier or another third party.” The checklist can be found at www.nen.gov.uk/10-steps-to-protect-your-schools-network-a-guide-for-school-leaders.

More useful information on data protection and what to do if a breach occurs can be found on the Information Commissioner's website: ico.org.uk

Whilst many schools have improved staff training in respect of security, and have established firewalls and virtual private networks, these measures alone are not sufficient to protect against the growing scale of cybercrime. Hardware or on-site firewalls are struggling to keep pace with the avalanche of new threats and the ongoing costs associated with these are substantial. As hardware becomes outdated, budgets become depleted due to a constant demand to pay for extra bolt-ons to keep schools secure.

Unless schools are able to keep pace with changing technology, their networks remain vulnerable. An internet service provider (ISP) with integrated cloud-based security is able to provide schools with the most up-to-date advanced threat protection, giving schools complete peace of mind. The migration from costly on-site premise equipment opens up a whole new world of security opportunities for schools, who until now have been unable to take advantage of the economies of scale that larger organisations can. A hosted service provides affordable higher grade solutions that wouldn’t otherwise be in the financial reach of a small school.

'Whilst many schools have improved staff training in respect of security, and have established firewalls and virtual private networks, these measures alone are not sufficient to protect against the growing scale of cybercrime'

Large upfront IT costs become an expenditure of the past, with complexity, cost and IT resources associated with traditional on-site telco and firewalls all reduced. Software upgrades can be managed automatically ensuring schools are covered with the most up-to-date technology available.

Schools Broadband’s hosted security service is a good example of this. Part of the Talk Straight Group and leaders in the field of managed security, Schools Broadband has certainly set itself apart from other broadband providers. Combining firewall, intrusion prevention and resilient connections into a single system that updates every hour means networks are protected against the latest and most advanced threats.

In addition to security, Schools Broadband’s Filtering from Lightspeed System is designed specifically for schools and is one of the most sophisticated web filtering systems on the market. Their network security, powered by Fortinet (who are global leaders in next generation firewalls) means Schools Broadband is not taking any chances. They are addressing the needs of schools with the most stringent security and web filtering required to protect our schools from the onslaught of cybercriminals.

All web filtering and security is provided as standard with every broadband connection Schools Broadband provide.

Schools Broadband can be contacted on 0113 3 222 333 or info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk. W: www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk

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By David Tindall, Managing Director, Schools Broadband

 The introduction of e-safety to the National Curriculum last year saw moves to help tackle the increase in online risks to the young. All schools were required by law to implement e-safety strategies to help protect vulnerable school children from exposure to inappropriate online content.

Schools ramped up their focus on web filtering, many blanket-blocking access to unsavoury and inappropriate websites. The argument however for safe internet access without over-blocking and the ability to have adventurous but safe online learning meant a demand for more sophisticated filtering services. A managed approach to filtering was to become the recommendation set out by Ofsted, where schools had some control over access to websites and could offer age-appropriate filtering. 

But July this year has seen even further steps taken to protect children in schools, with a focus on tackling fundamentalist extremism. The introduction of the Government’s Prevent Duty, which forms part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, states schools should have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.” And with the increased risk of online radicalisation, where terrorist organisations have been known to radicalise young people through social media and the internet, schools without the more sophisticated web filtering will be at risk of missing some of the potentially worrying online student behaviours that teachers now have a responsibility to be aware of.

The duty states: “Schools have an important role to play in equipping children and young people to stay safe online, both in school and outside.” As with other online risks of harm, every teacher needs to be aware of the risks posed by student online activity. Ofsted’s revised common inspection framework for education, skills and early years, effective from 1 September 2015, makes specific reference for schools to have safeguarding arrangements to promote pupils’ welfare and prevent radicalisation and extremism.

'A filtering system will require advanced functionality that alerts teachers to suspicious search queries, including keywords that could potentially be linked to terrorism or extremism.'

A basic lockdown filtering system then is no longer enough. Schools will need to comply with guidance from the Prevent Duty that includes putting strategies in place to raise awareness of the online activity of pupils who are at risk of being drawn into terrorism. The Prevent Duty advises “staff should be alert to changes in children’s behaviour” as an indicator to those children who may be vulnerable to radicalisation. A filtering system will require advanced functionality that alerts teachers to suspicious search queries, including keywords that could potentially be linked to terrorism or extremism.

Schools Broadband’s cloud-hosted service, which incorporates Lightspeed Systems Web Filtering is designed to do just that. Its reporting function gives schools visibility of all web use via summary reports, giving a high level overview of what’s happening on a school’s network. Dynamic mobile filtering for off-network devices, ensures continuous filtering where teachers are alerted to suspicious search queries including keywords not just tied to terrorism but other triggers such as cyberbullying, child sexual exploitation or anorexia for example.

If necessary the Schools Broadband filtering system can drill down to view lists of websites accessed per user showing the date and time of the suspicious query. Schools Broadband says this function has already benefited several vulnerable students and teachers, enabling intervention which otherwise would not have ensued.

The fact the Schools Broadband web filtering system is customisable, allows schools and teachers the ability to set policies to match the schools area or a particular school’s needs. Reports can be accessed for up to three months after the activity has taken place, with a back-up kept for three years.

Schools Broadband can be contacted on 0113 88 77 633. The Department for Education has dedicated a telephone helpline (020 7340 7264) to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. Concerns can also be raised by email to counter.extremism@education.gsi.gov.uk

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Staff from Schools Broadband have been celebrating the opening of their new state-of-the-art offices on Leeds Road in Ilkley. 

The brand’s parent company Talk Straight, owned by business partners David Tindall and Tim Sedgwick which started life at Tim’s kitchen table only eight years’ ago has now grown to employ almost 50 people.

This will be the third move that the company has made over the last six years, having moved to an office on Little Lane in 2010 and then on to Dalesway House in Ilkley in 2012 as the number of staff has continued to grow.

David Tindall worked closely with staff in the company to ensure that everyone had an input into the design and facilities. “As a forward-thinking technology company we wanted to create a head office that’s exciting and comfortable to work in at the same time as being a highly-functional space that will maximise working efficiency. It’s taken a couple of months to convert the empty shell, but the whole office team are really pleased with the end result.”

Features include zonal air-conditioning, motion-controlled lighting, a grassed indoor picnic area, mobile controlled kettles, a shower and special ‘quiet’ relaxation areas for staff. The new office will also house the control centre for the company’s network operations team who look after the broadband for over 1,000 schools across the UK. Solar panels are in the planning by the end of the year to meet the company’s strict environmental policy.

Tim Sedgwick commented on the company’s growth: “It’s been an incredible eight years and despite tough economic times we’re proud to have flourished so well. I feel extremely pleased that we’ve been able to offer many young people employment opportunities, particularly as there are very few technology companies in the locality. Our new offices have the capacity for up to 35 additional staff and I hope the company will continue to grow over the next few years.”

Schools Broadband serves over 1,000 schools nationally, giving them the fastest possible internet speeds coupled with education specific content filtering from Lightspeed Systems and industry-leading security from Fortinet. In 2014, Talk Straight were winners of the ISPA (Internet Service Providers Association) award for Best Business Use of Cloud.

W: schoolsbroadband.co.uk

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As an internetservice provider to education, Schools Broadband is more than familiar with the everyday pains that schools experience when trying to access vital online tools and resources. Recent research carried out by BESA shows that from those surveyed, 42% of primary schools and 31% of secondary schools said they were under-resourced in broadband provision with a further 65% and 54% (respectively), reporting insufficient Wi-Fi connectivity. With more and more admin systems and learning resources moving to the cloud, we know these connections are only going to be further burdened as the demand for bandwidth increases.

But the news isn’t all bad. With the number of computers and tablets in schools set to rise, so have the budgets. In 2014/15 we saw an increase in budget of 5.5% for primary schools and 9% for secondaries, giving the average primary an ICT budget of £14,450 and a secondary £64,400. 

Hope also comes in the arrival of the government’s Superfast Broadband Scheme. Started in 2012,
its project partner BT has now rolled out more than 25,000 km of fibre-optic cabling to over 1.5 million premises, including many schools. The government has confirmed that the rollout is firmly on track to take superfast broadband coverage to 95% of the UK by 2017.

Ethernet over Fibre to the Cabinet (EoFTTC) is one technology that Schools Broadband now offers as standard. As the next generation on from fibre broadband it gives schools superfast broadband with an uncontended line, ensuring that the line speed quoted is what a school will get every day, even at peak times and regardless of how many people are using the internet. This has made a huge difference to countless schools, many of which struggled with internet speeds before because of their proximity from the street cabinet. The EoFTTC service also has the added boon of the guaranteed service level agreement (SLA) which assures schools of a fix within seven hours and 24/7 support. 

“Keeping pace with advances in internet technology is a necessity for schools,” says David Tindall, Director at Schools Broadband. “It’s never been more important for pupils to have a resilient, consistently fast internet connection that facilitates learning. Without it we wouldn’t be giving our children the tools they need to succeed in the future.”

EoFTTC is now available from many providers, but sadly not all education ISPs are able to provide it. With the rollout continuing, it is hoped that most schools will gain access to this over the next couple of years. 

To see whether your school has access to EoFTTC, you can send your enquiry to info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk or give us a call on 0113 3 222 333 and we’ll run a free, no-obligation check on your school.

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By David Tindall, Director at Schools Broadband

Much like businesses and homes, schools are using the internet more and more for teaching and administration. In fact, Fortinet estimates that the amount of internet data being used by schools has been increasing by 120% each year! Schools are now reliant on the internet which means they’ll need to have the fastest possible upload and download speeds available to accommodate its concurrent use by many staff and pupils.

As an ISP dedicated to delivering internet services to education, Schools Broadband is able to provide the latest connection technology. As we work with a number of wholesale providers, we can conduct a search on each school to determine the best possible connection and secure the best price. New Ethernet over FTTC (EoFTTC Technology) means that any school that has fibre to their local cabinet can now take advantage of this new technology. Considered a leased line, EoFTTC gives schools a 1:1 contention ratio as recommended by the National Education Network and provides download speeds of up to 80Mbit.

We recommend this for all primary school installations and have already started to install this for new customers where available. For secondary schools, we always recommend a leased line.

Of course, providing internet services to schools doesn’t just mean giving them the fastest speeds. Our focus remains very much on pupil e-safety. Ofsted recommends that schools take a managed approach to content filtering, where the school has some control over access to websites and offers age-appropriate filtering. It has been widely acknowledged that pupils in schools that have managed systems have better knowledge and understanding of how to stay safe than those in schools with locked down systems because they are given opportunities to learn how to assess and manage risk for themselves.

Our Security and Web Filtering solution meets these recommendations. Globally unique, our cloud-hosted infrastructure combines the expertise of global leaders Fortinet and Lightspeed Systems, giving schools the latest in Next Generation Firewall protection in combination with fully customisable content filtering. The Lightspeed Systems’ user interface is so intuitive that any member of staff can learn to use it quickly and easily to customise web access by year group, teaching group or even by individual pupil and the system also allows administrators to expand and contract internet access for specific periods. The system’s comprehensive and accurate URL database updates daily and has more than 1 billion entries grouped into education-specific categories.

Our reporting function has also proved invaluable to schools, allowing administrators to view all websites visited by each pupil (if desired) and will also pro-actively report any suspicious search queries. Our cloud-hosted system will hold these records for up to three years should you ever need to retrieve them.

In July, we were extremely proud to be presented with Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) award for ‘Best Business Use of Cloud’ for our Schools Broadband-hosted infrastructure that has helped hundreds of schools save money.

We were also selected as finalists for ‘Internet Safety and Security’. As a young company, we are continually evolving and working hard to ensure that we are giving schools up-to-the-minute technology that promotes the safe and effective use of online resources.

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The company was presented with the Best Business Use of Cloud award for their Schools Broadband hosted infrastructure which gives schools a fast, secure internet connection with customisable content filtering. The company was also selected as a finalist in the Internet Safety and Security category, beating over 20 companies to make it into the final 5 alongside Sky and TalkTalk.

The ISPA (Internet Service Providers’ Association) Awards were launched in 1999 and are the longest established and most respected awards in the internet industry. The awards herald the best of the industry and celebrate innovation and best practice. 

Company Director, David Tindall said: “We are very proud to have been recognised as leaders in the provision of internet services to education. The award reflects the hard work and dedication of everyone in the company in delivering an exceptional system that gives schools industry-leading security and content filtering at an affordable price.”

Founded in 2007, Talk Straight delivers broadband and internet services to hundreds of schools across the UK, giving schools a fast and reliable alternative to a local authority internet connection.

Their school broadband service includes the installation of a broadband/leased line connection as well as industry leading security from Fortinet and flexible content filtering from Lightspeed Systems, hosted in their cloud environment. The company also provides Mobile Device Management as well as VoIP telephony and wireless. 

For more information, visit www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk or call 0113 3 222 333.

[post_title] => Schools Broadband wins ISPA Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => schools_broadband_wins_ispa_award [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-07-22 11:03:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 5801 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 25 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 48938 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2022-01-21 15:50:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2022-01-21 15:50:00 [post_content] => National Crime Agency data shows cyber attacks on schools have more than doubled during the Covid-19 pandemic, often with attacks coming directly from school students. Currently, there’s an insatiable appetite among young people for watching films and playing online games about network attacks; consequently, there’s a huge increase in awareness of the large-scale damage that can be inflicted on an organisation’s network. A successful Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can paralyse a school’s network, potentially causing complete loss of control and in worst-case scenarios, even school closures. Children are often introduced to cyber crime through gaming at an early age. There were 259 referrals between 2019 and 2020 from police into the National Cyber Crime Unit Cyber Choices Programme, with the average age being 15, and the youngest being 9. There’s a huge growth in children and young people witnessing friends and teammates gaining gaming advantages online using DDoS attacks; targeted networks are flooded with traffic, causing speeds to slow to a halt and temporarily knocking competing gamers offline. Usually, the objective is to help the attacker win, however it can also be used as a tactic for monetary gain. Recently, a major online e-sports tournament hosted by game developer Jagex for the online game Runescape in which tens of thousands of pounds in prize money was at stake, was taken down by DDoS attacks while thousands watched over the streaming service Twitch. The likelihood is that children made up a large part of that audience. It is now all too easy for young people to access attack tools online. They will likely be aware that this is cheating, and against the rules of the game, but probably unaware that they are committing a crime. Many will have likely dipped their toe in the water to gain an advantage in online gaming, but what starts with DDoS attacks, hacking accounts, phishing etc. is just the thin-end of the wedge and can evolve into serious cyber crime such as ransomware. David Tindall, CEO at Schools Broadband, said: “If, as part of our standard filtering service we can educate young people and inform them that these activities are dangerous and can result in criminal prosecution, we can potentially prevent a future cyber criminal who could go on to do much more harm than interrupting an online game.” Intervention at an early age, when exposure and exploration is in its infancy, can prevent a ripple effect of online criminality that has the potential to be felt beyond the individual and go nationally, even globally. The Schools Broadband NCA block page is a specially designed page that informs on the dangers of cyber crime. Information on the block page encourages children to make more positive choices online and is a further enhancement to the filtering service provided to schools and Multi Academy Trusts by Schools Broadband. Specific block pages are displayed when search terms related to cyber crime are used. The block pages include links to the NCA’s Cyber Choices website that advises children on how to put their cyber skills to better use. Information is also gathered to allow teachers to intervene where appropriate, for example with vulnerable children or those who repeatedly attempt to access restricted content. It also allows the NCA to target their educational activities in areas that need it most. Technology and cyber crime is ever evolving, which is why Schools Broadband ensures its developments in safeguarding technology are always a step ahead. With the success of the innovative cyber crime education programme, we hope to introduce the same block page education principles into other areas where search terms may put a young person or child at risk of self-harm or drug related terms.

Specialist internet services for education

Schools Broadband is a specialist internet service provider to the education sector, currently providing filtering to over 700,000 school pupils and staff. Specialists in education specific web filtering and online safeguarding, network security, VoIP phone services and secure private wide area networks for multi academy trusts. Schools Broadband also provides secure leased lines up to 10Gbps, FTTC, EoFTTC and FTTP. Schools Broadband provides an added layer of Anti DDOS protection as part of its Unified Threat Management Service which includes several mechanisms to fully contain the largest of DDoS attacks. You can get in contact with Schools Broadband via their website, or find out more about them here.
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Schools Broadband

About

A Cost-Effective Internet Service Without Capital Costs

Schools Broadband is a specialist Internet Service Provider to schools and MATs.
Established in 2007 we look after more than 2000 schools and 250 Multi Academy Trusts.

We provide fast, secure broadband connectivity and high-speed Wide Area Network services,
together with cloud-hosted web filtering and network security from two of the world’s foremost organisations in

the industry, Netsweeper and Fortinet.

Because our services are hosted, there is no expensive equipment to buy, store or maintain.
Everything is based on operating expenditure only and will reduce long-term costs.
It also means your school will be up to date with any security and filtering regulatory requirements.
We take care of all that for you centrally. That’s the beauty of our cloud.
We also provide VoIP phone services for schools.

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    news

    Connectivity support grant available for disadvantaged pupils

    The government has stated that schools are expected to continue offering immediate access to remote education where pupils test positive for coronavirus and need to isolate

    Read more

    Schools Broadband News

    It’s not just a game: Educating young people on the dangers of cyber crime

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    Is your filtering service giving your DSL the support they need?

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    The Best Connectivity Options To Support Cloud Migration

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    Connectivity support grant available for disadvantaged pupils

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    ISDN Cessation and the cost benefits for schools

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    Seven steps MATS and schools can take to prevent phishing attacks

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    Multi Academy Trusts, managed WANs and managed firewalls

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    Multi Academy Trusts, managed WANs and managed firewalls

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    Beware the expense of hardware upgrades

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    Are your firewalls ready to take on the Script Kiddies?

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    Check your school’s web filtering is up to the job

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    Futureproofing and sustainability: David Tindall

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    Schools must secure their endpoints

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    Cloud Formation – David Tindall

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    Save time and money with Managed WANs

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    The case for cloud-hosted firewalls

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    Talk Straight is awarded UK’s Best Security ISP

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    SIP Trunking could save you thousands on telephone costs

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    Is the digital divide a family affair?

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    The cybercriminals are after your data!

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    Ruling out radicalisation

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    Schools Broadband move to state-of-the-art base

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    Future-proofing broadband

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    Dedicated to broadband

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    Schools Broadband wins ISPA Award

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    Free live webinar & QA

    Blended learning – Did we forget about the students?

    Free Education Webinar with Class

    Wednesday, June 15, 11AM London BST

    Join our expert panel as we look at what blended learning means in 2022 and how universities can meet the needs of ever more diverse student expectations.