We provide strategic advice on key ICT issues impacting on policy and practice in the Local Authority and within schools.

We manage a number of ICT projects including planning and procurement of new technologies which are centrally deployed to schools, focusing on key areas such as connectivity.

We also provide an interface between corporate developments and new DFE ICT requirements for schools and children's centres to ensure opportunities are available for delivery of citywide solutions, enabling economies of scale.

ICT support for schools

The ICT team can be contacted by email: school-ict@york.gov.uk or via:

Laura Conkar:

Leigh Farrow:

Please note that schools now have access to the SchoolBus system on the following URL: http://yorkeducation.co.uk/lalogin.aspx . Further information about ICT services can be found by logging onto this website.

ICT guidance for schools

Use of photographs and data protection

Photographs are defined under the Data Protection act as personal information so if you use them in school/nursery you will have had to cover this in your school/nursery data protection policy and other relevant policies. It's essential that if the school/nursery use photographs that parents are told about this and they agree to this because apart from the data protection issues, there are safeguarding issues around the images of children and the identification of them.

The Information Commissioner has also clarified issues around taking photos and video at school plays and, as long as it's for the parents’ personal use and is not later transmitted or hosted online publicly, it is permissible.

Advice on data protection and freedom of information (FOI) for schools

General guidance on data protection issues associated with the personal and sensitive data that schools deal with is available from ico.org.uk/for-organisations/education/, which also has links to guidance around FOI and other topics which may be of interest to schools.

Useful documents:

Data security awareness and encryption

The Information Commissioner's summary page on data security is a good starting point to get information on data security and encryption. See: ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/security_measures

Although there are many different encryption softwares available on the market to protect laptops, PCs and flash drives, it may be worthwhile speaking to your ICT support provider in the first instance as Windows 7 devices already include encryption software ("Bitlocker") as part of their standard functionality, and the product is already licensed as part of the operating system.

It's very important that staff are aware of data security issues and the potential for confidential data to be left accidentally in a public place. Staff should be advised of the school's data security policy, and made aware of the Information Commissioner's stance on data security and how to manage a data breach. See: Information Commissioner Guidance on Data Breach.

Please also bear in mind that data security should apply to paper-based resources as well as electronic media. Also if staff are provided with SMART phones, please ensure that these devices include security measures to protect against data loss or breach.

Central Government has put together a resource on Cybersecurity which is a very useful matrix for measuring how strong your data security measures are in school. Although the advice has been written for small businesses, the principles apply to schools as well.

Some of the measures suggested in these advice sheets can be implemented by the school right away as they are policy based. Others which are more technical in nature should be commissioned by the school from their ICT support provider.

Useful data security resources:

eSafety links

For additional advice about staying safe online, see the following links:

Advice on use of social networking

Resources to combat cyber-bullying

Other useful links

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