Cyber Security for Schools and Governors

Whilst schools and academies are in many ways unique organisations they do share an important similiarity with businesses, charities, the health service and indeed private individuals.  That is, they are potential victimes of cyber crime. Schools are no more and less likely to suffer a cyber attack than any other internet using organisation. The cyber criminal makes no moral distinction between ripping off a multi-million pound plc and a charity; between disrupting the stock market and stopping your exams officer submitting candidate details. In most cases, they are using a scattergun approach - if they fire at enough targets they will inevitably hit some. 

What makes a school or academy a more or less likely to suffer a data breach or randsomware attack is the organisation's start of preparedness and its ability to respond in an appropriate manner. And although technical safeguards such as a secure firewall and software updates are important, a lot of a school's defence comes from good organisational practice and awareness raising.

The NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) and NEN have put together a set of advice and guidance for schools, academies and trusts on how to improve cyber security, how to reduce the risk of data breaches and what to do if the worst happens.

Guidance for Governing Bodies is a short document to help start a converstaion between Governors and senior leadership teams

NEN Cyber Security Advice includes the 'What if' document that provides more detail on how to prepare for and respond to an incident  and the 'Cyber Security Checklist' that will help you audit your school's current state of cyber readiness and collate essential information.

What Really Happened Online During Lock Down?

As we begin to struggle back to some resemblance of normality and look towards fully opened schools in the autumn it is perhaps time to take a few minutes to consider what has just happened. For many people the pandemic was the first time that they have ever found themselves truly reliant on technology for such basic human needs such as food, company, work or education. And for some schools, online learning was a Godsend. It enabled staff to keep in touch with pupils, it provided parents support with hone-schooling and it gave many pupils a life line to trusted adults and the reassurance that they and their education were still importance.

We think that many of you will have done great things for your pupils during lock down and found creative ways to make the most of the technology you had available. We'd like to celebrate those things and share those fantastic ideas. Please no false modesty here - whether you kept your year 4's or you GCSE history class online and learning during the lockdown you did a great thing. Please let us know about it by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can help others learn from your experience.

You might also want to find out how your pupils felt about online learning. Our friends at LGfL have created a short questionnaire that you might like to use with your pupils.

We aren't asking you to share this information with us. However, if you think that your results highlight an important lesson that others could benefit from hearing about, again please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your contributions will be used anonymously.

And for a bit of a bigger picture about online learning in the time of coronavirus please read the Sutton Trust report. It highlights some really important points about technology, social mobility and the digital divide.

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Getting started with G Suite for distance learning -Webinaire

Are you thinking about moring to Google for Education? Google is hosting a webinar series designed for Senior Leaders, Teachers and IT Admins alike who are interested in using Google's tools for teaching and learning during COVID-19 related school closures. The webinaire is free and open to all.

Find out more and sign up here

Please Help Our Friend Caroline Coster

 Many of you will have met Caroline at one of our events. She provided many fantastic conference workshops over the years, helped launch Risks and Rewards and is a keen supporter of the use of technology in the classroom.

caroline

Caroline is also a tireless helper of others. For many years she has recycled jeans into fantastic handbags, phone and glasses cases, purses and soft toys. She has sold them at fetes, craft fairs and E2BN conferences to raise money for charities in Kenya. Over the years many people, both at home and abroad, have benefitted from Caroline's energy, enthusiasm and incredible generousity. 

Sadly, Caroline contracted CoViD19 in March and suffered complications that resulted in the amputation of her hands and feet. 

Caroline is supported by a loving family but in order to live safely at home her house needs to be adapted and she will need hand prosthetics in order to achieve some degree of independence. 

So I am appealing to the 'E2BN Family' to help Caroline by making a donation via her justgiving page where you can read the full story of her illness and recovery so far.

Please give as generously as you are able.

Many thanks

Kathy Olsson (on behalf of the E2BN Board and Team)

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Top tips for supporting Child Mental Health

The Milton Keynes SEND team have produced a short guide to supporting child and adult wellbeing during the Corvid 19 pandemic. It includes top tips and links to organisations that provide support and guidance. Download the .pdf 

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