Suffolk County Council


Responsibilities of Schools

Minimum Responsibilities for all Schools

Schools have choice in terms of how they obtain services to meet the challenges of maintaining there environment. In exercising that choice schools also have responsibilities and where they choose not to take services from CSD they should ensure there is cover and processes in place to ensure continuity of service.

As good practice schools should undertake certain key routine operations for themselves. These are essential to ensure the smooth running of computer-based systems in schools.

The following list is not exhaustive but covers the minimum responsibility of all schools.

As a minimum schools should:

  • Employ an ICT technician (possibly shared with local schools) or another member of staff with adequate technical skills who should be able to carry out the following tasks:
    • Routine maintenance of items supplied by the support service not covered by warranties e.g. changing drums on laser printers, or other technical operations which are designed to be 'user-serviceable';
    • Upgrades to SIMS and other software;
    • Installation of hardware, software or peripherals supplied by a third party;
    • Support for hardware and software provided via third parties;
    • Re-installation or re-configuration resulting from infection by a virus;
    • Re-installation or correction of software or data where necessary as a result of the actions of users in the school.
  • Backup key data.
  • Verify that the data has been backed up successfully.
  • Ensure that anti-virus software is installed on all PCs, laptops and servers, updated on a regular and frequent basis and that PCs are routinely scanned for viruses.
  • Ensure that unauthorised users do not have access to ICT systems
  • Ensure that security levels within school networks are sufficient to allow only authorised persons to gain access to SIMS and other administrative information.
  • Ensure that all software is licensed as required and that appropriate records are maintained.
  • Take out a maintenance contract on all key ICT equipment when out of warranty and ensure that all new equipment has an appropriate on-site warranty (a minimum of 3 years is recommended).
  • Recruit appropriate and sufficient staff with the requisite skills to enable them to carry out their work, where this involves the use of ICT systems, and to enable them to benefit from appropriate training and support.
  • Ensure that there is an appropriate level of training for staff in accordance with their needs and responsibilities.
  • Respond appropriately to recommendations made by the ICT Support Service concerning technical and operational issues.
  • Purchase the appropriate SIMS annual software maintenance from the LEA.
  • Provide named personnel to act as the main ICT contact(s) with the service.
  • Keep the Helpdesk informed of any change to the general administrative email address that is used for communications between the LEA, DfE and the school.
  • Keep the DfE informed of any change to the general administrative email address that is used for communications with the school
  • Ensure that an adequate password policy is in place for example: passwords to be changed regularly and kept secure.
  • Keep abreast of best practice advice from organisations, such as DfE and your regional broadband consortium.

For those schools that buy into the Next Generation Network (NGN) they must ensure that they comply with the Appropriate Use conditions detailed below:

  • All schools should have in place an Acceptable Use Policy for pupils and staff using the broadband service. Use of the service must be to support learning and research and be consistent with educational objectives of the school.
  • Schools are obliged to abide by all relevant UK and European Union legislation. Being part of a local and regional network means that inappropriate use can have serious implications for many other uses.
  • There must be no file sharing or peer-to-peer software clients used on the broadband connection.
  • The school is responsible for any authorised or hostile traffic on their broadband link.
  • The video conferencing port on the broadband WAN switch/router must only be used for video conferencing traffic and for no other purpose.
  • Third party remote access products are not allowed without a prior request being made to the CSD ICT Helpdesk.
  • Any dial-in services and other broadband connections at the school must be isolated from the Suffolk Schools' Broadband Network.
  • The school must not run unencrypted wireless networks and not offer network services to the community over the broadband connection other than on the school premises.

Where schools choose not to use CSD support services to provide these aspects of routine housekeeping and maintenance schools will need to make their arrangements to ensure that these responsibilities are met.