There is a lot going on this summer, it won’t be as visible as a new building like the DLC but there will be a ton of quality of life changes (heating, plumbing, lighting…)  that will make everyone’s life better.

As for IT, we are supporting some of these changes.

  • We started with F08 and F09 with new screens installed prior to the room refurbishment
  • We are continuing with G15 (refurb) and G16, both getting new screens (Install booked on the 29th of August).
  • The Heads of year office of B40 is moving to M02, which needs cabling, Wi-Fi (We are expandind the Wi-Fi in 5 new locations)…
  • B40 is becoming a classroom (new screen – Install booked on the 29th of August).
  • We are doing some major infrastructure changes and replacing Cabs in the 6th Form and Art (14th of August) to allow further expansion of the network.
  • The screens in the DLC (computing) will get replaced and the old/smaller ones will move to G20/R01/R02 to be used as digital signage.
  • Last but not least, we are getting a Bodet PA system (install 29th of August). This will allow us to send alerts, voice messages, play music… in corridors.


Again, many changes that are invisible at first, but will have a big impact on your day to day use.

I am currently moving the room booking system, the parents evening system, Cloudpath and Papercut to Office 365.
For one, it will improve security but it will also simplify authentication.


On the last week of term, you were sent an updated “Acceptable Use E-Safety policy” by HR.
If you haven’t read it yet, please do.

There were three changes that were highlighed in the document.

  • Confirmation that USB storage will no longer be permitted in school except for specific purposes.
  • Changes to two-factor authentication for staff.
  • Changes regarding the sharing of Sharepoint files/folders

The biggest one will be the ban of mass storage. We have had it turned on for students to allow us to collect data as blocking USB mass storage, blocks other things.
There was a quick way to block mass storage but it was not flexible, so we are blocking USB with our antivirus solution. What I discovered along the way, was that it was not a case of one rule fits all, multiple rules were needed for different mass storage. We currently have three rules, one of them lacks flexibility, the others two can be tailored to allow some devices. Why did we make exceptions and how will it work…

  • Exams: some exam boards still use USB storage. E. Seccombe will be the one transferring the necessary material to USB.
  • Computing and DT use programming dongles that are detected as mass storage. These devices will be whitelisted.
  • Art and DT use card readers to download images.

No other exception and, to be clear, the use of USB mass storage for personal use will not be allowed for all, even for these departments. Only the specific use listed above are allowed.

It has been a long time coming, most schools block mass storage as this is a massive security risk.

Why now? This was one of the urgent points highlighted in our IT Audit this year.

Caveat: if you want to discuss any of the new changes in the policy, ask IT Support, not HR. As a rule of thumb, if it’s an IT policy, ask us. laughing