Please note that we have updated our terms and conditions which are effective from 1st June 2016.
To read the updated terms and conditions please click here.
Recent changes to terminology by the DfE from e-safety to online safety, together with online Prevent Duty responsibilities have left some schools requiring more training and in some cases clarity as to what this means and what the safeguarding implications are.
Schools Broadband is holding a series of free seminars for schools, with e-safety expert Alan Mackenzie and will include presentations on the following subjects:
All schools are subject to the Prevent Duty under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act in which they are required to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” this session will cover how to ensure your school is fully compliant.
There is a huge amount reported in the media about the risks and issues related to children and young people being online; much of this is unbalanced and based on questionable facts. This session will update schools on the risks and issues both from a statutory and ‘wider risks’ basis from a school context to give a balanced, research-based and factual overview.
Engaging the wider community is one of the most important and yet commonly the most frustrating areas of e-safety, particularly as many parents will default the responsibility to the school. Whilst there is no magic wand, this session will consider initiatives that have been proven to work in other schools.
There are so many resources available for schools to use in the classroom, some of which are free and some of which have to be paid for. During the sessions you will be introduced to some of my favourite resources and unbiased opinion as to why they are my favourites.
Date : Thursday 26th May 2016
Venue: The Studio, Riverside West, Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS1 4AW
Somerset Event No.1
Date: 21st June 2016
Venue: The Walnut Tree Hotel, North Petherton, South of Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 6QA
Somerset Event No.2
Date: 22nd June 2016
Venue: The Mount Somerset Hotel & Spa, Lower Henlade, Taunton, Somerset TA3 5NB
Contact us to reserve your places T. 0113 3 222 333 E.firstname.lastname@example.org
These events are extremely popular therefore we recommend early registration to secure a place.
Alan Mackenzie is a leading consultant in the education sector with a local authority background. He has a passion and deep understanding of the technological needs and frustrations of schools, and for many years has been advising educational establishments across the country.
The Business Broadband Code of Practice is a voluntary Ofcom initiative to protect business customers when purchasing Business Broadband. The aim of the code is to ensure that Communications Providers are being more transparent during the sales process with regards to the broadband speeds that a business end user might achieve.
All Communications Providers who have signed up to the Ofcom Speed Code of Practice need to ensure that it is implemented by Friday 30th September 2016. Talk Straight already adheres to the code, and believes it is necessary to ensure transparency for all businesses who purchase products from ourselves.
The code can be broken down into five principles which are as follows:
Principle 1 – Transparent and accurate information on estimated downstream broadband
speeds at point of sale
Principle 2 – Detailed information after the sale and on the website
Principle 3 – Manage speed-related problems in-life
Principle 4 – The right to exit the End User contract without penalty if speeds are significantly lower
Principle 5 – Endorse the objectives of the Code through appropriate processes
If you would to like to find more about the code, please follow the below link:
As of July 2015, schools across the UK are subject to a duty under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act in which they are required to have “due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism”. This duty is known as the Prevent Duty.
The Prevent Duty applies to all forms of extremism and to the promotion of British values. Ofsted will expect to see compliance in all areas of the country and has been inspecting for compliance with the Prevent Duty for several months. If your school doesn’t have the ability to view the internet activity that’s been undertaken by your students, then you may be interested to learn more about the features that are available with our cloud-hosted Lightspeed Systems’ filtering and reporting.
Our system gives real time visibility of all activity on your school’s network. It provides notifications alerting teachers to suspicious search queries and the ability to temporarily block categories at user, IP, group or domain level on fixed and mobile devices.
Suspicious Search Queries is a built in report providing a detailed list of users and suspicious or inappropriate searches that have been made on any search engine. This includes words relating to issues such as radicalisation, violence, pornography, cyberbullying and sexual exploitation.
Lightspeed Systems works directly with governments worldwide to ensure that their URL lists are blocked. This includes the Home Office terrorism block list.
Blocked categories on the web filter can be classified as Lockout categories. This temporarily locks out users who persistently try to visit banned websites. Locked out users lose their internet access until the lockout expires and an immediate alert can be sent to the administrator to determine if the site they’re trying to access is dangerous.
The Department for Education has a dedicated telephone helpline to enable staff and governors to raise concerns relating to extremism directly. 020 7340 7264
Concerns can also be raised by email to
The Talk Straight and Schools Broadband customer portal provides a range of real-time reports on your telecoms and internet services, 24 hours a day.
It has been developed to improve the efficiency of our service, giving you instant visibility of up-to-the-minute statistics on circuit status, bandwidth usage, latency, jitter and packet loss. The portal contains information at a level of detail relevant to Network Managers but there are also simplified reports, giving an overview of your service in a traffic light format.
Having access to the portal will mean that you’re much more informed about the traffic on your network. You’ll also be able view realtime notifications of service status and raise faults, as well as view open tickets and their resolution progress. To start using the portal, you can register as a new user here or by clicking the ‘log in’ button at the top of the Schools Broadband website.
What does your school have planned for 2016?
2016 promises to be an exciting year for Schools Broadband, starting off with the release of our new product for schools – Rapid VM, which we’ll be showcasing at the Bett show next week.
In this term’s issue of Connected, we’re delighted that Louise Tickle has been able to write for us again. This issue she looks at a hot topic – the Government’s Prevent Duty and the measures schools are taking to comply. You can also read more about Safer Internet Day on February 9th.
To read the newsletter click here or on the image below.
Friday 13th was BBC Children in Need’s annual fundraising appeal and the team at Talk Straight and Schools Broadband were busy!
Even our directors dressed in their onesies and pajamas to join in the fun! To raise money, the team have been baking and this afternoon we have a number of group fundraising activities planned, including a raffle and ‘Find Pudsey’ challenge.
BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity. Thanks to the support of the public, they’re able to make a real difference to the lives of children all across the UK. Their vision is that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and gives them the chance to reach their potential.
What they do
Children in Need provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. They are local to people in all corners of the UK and support small and large organisations which empower children and extend their life choices.
Their grant programmes are open all year round for applications. They give our small grants awards four times a year and main grants three times a year. Click here to find out more about their grant programmes, to apply for a grant or to hear about some of the differences made to children’s lives by grants from BBC Children in Need.
The BBC Children in Need Appeal Night takes place every year in November. The Appeal show is a whole evening of entertainment on BBC One with celebrities singing, dancing, and doing all sorts of crazy things to help raise money.
There are also plenty of one-off specials of your favourite programmes, which in the past have included Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, The One Show, EastEnders and much more
We’re pleased to bring back our exclusive offer on VoIP telephony for schools.
Our powerful, fully-featured VoIP system provides you with a cheaper, more reliable alternative to a traditional phone line. Hosted on the largest carrier of VoIP traffic dedicated solely to business use, it will provide you and your staff with high quality communications that won’t touch the public internet.
Available only whilst stocks lasts, we are offering a range of refurbished Mitel Handsets starting at just £50 each with FREE licences. This will save you £175 on the cost of an annual licence for each phone.
Switching to VoIP telephony brings many advantages, including:
• The ability to keep your existing schools telephone numbers
• Free internal and site-to-site calls
• Easy-to-use online control panel
• Continuity options, allowing you to redirect calls in case of emergencies, such as fires, floods or extreme weather conditions
• Telephone number portability and flexibility. This means that you can take your number with you regardless of location
• Improve your call management performance using call forwarding, company directory and remote home worker access
• The system can be easily scaled to suit your school and new users can be added or removed instantly
• You can choose from a range of Mitel handsets
• Fully managed installation from our team at Schools Broadband as well as training and on-going support
If you’ve seen or read the BBC news, you’ll be familiar with the story about the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and some of the tactics they’ve employed to try and discourage London schools from switching to independent broadband providers.
LGfL is the council organisation that looks after the Broadband contracts for 2,500 schools across 33 London councils.
The internet contracts for the London schools will shortly be coming to an end and LGfL is keen for schools to renew their broadband contracts with them. The BBC article states that LGfL have admitted blocking emails from a particular provider as they believed it to be in the best interests of the schools to block items they consider to be spam. The independent provider has responded by saying that LGfL has acted unfairly by not allowing schools to make sure they get value for money by allowing them to find out about other deals on the market.
LGfL has also been unfair by rushing schools to make a decision and not giving them adequate time to consider other deals. By comparison, many independent providers, including Schools Broadband, can offer the same or better service to both primary and secondary schools in London at a much lower cost. An update to the article on Thursday 29th October also uncovers the huge salaries and dividends that are being taken by Atomwide, the independent company who is providing the service to LGfL.
Schools Broadband can provide an internet service to all schools in the 33 London Boroughs using the existing Virgin Media network at a much lower cost.
1) Schools Broadband gives a 99.95% money back service guarantee
2) Schools Broadband offers 3 year contracts. LGfL tie schools in for 5 years. If prices come down in that time, Schools Broadband will give schools more financial flexibility
3) Schools Broadband provides Lightspeed Systems Web Filtering and Fortigate Managed Firewalls to all schools as standard
4)Schools Broadband can provide Teacher Dashboard (from Lightspeed) for learning content, giving schools access to a wider reach of national and international content.
To find out how much your school could save, why not take a look at our London prices which compare our services and costs with those of the LGfL.
Jimmy Lee is the most recent recruit to join the growing squad of experienced staff at Schools Broadband. Jimmy has four and half years’ experience in working with companies that serve the education sector, having worked with Lightspeed Systems.
Schools Broadband hosts Lightspeed System’s industry leading Web Filtering technology in the cloud, providing Web Filtering services and world leading Network Security to over 1000 schools nationwide.
“Technology solutions are a huge talking point in Education now more than ever and as technology has developed, the internet is no-longer a perk but a must. If students and teachers cannot access certain resources in the classroom quickly, it impacts the students’ learning.” says Jimmy.
Talk Straight’s innovative approach to technology and their hosted Cloud Filtering and Fortinet Security is what attracted Jimmy to the company. He said “I have seen the rate at which technology is moving and the rate at which the threat landscape is growing and really a hosted solution is the safest and only economically scalable option for schools if they are to keep pace.”
He added “Historically most schools across the UK relied upon their Local Authorities to give them the correct broadband solutions. Increasingly however Schools are breaking away from LA’s as traditional Web Filtering systems are no longer adequate for the demands schools place upon them.”
Take the recent introduction of the Government’s Prevent duty, which forms part of the Counter Terrorism and Security Act. This is a perfect example of how nothing less than a sophisticated Managed Filtering System is adequate for schools. The Prevent Duty states schools should have ‘due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.’ And schools should have strategies in place to enable awareness of online activity in this area.
The Lightspeed System’s reporting function is just one of many features perfect for this. It gives schools visibility of all web use via summary reports, giving a high level overview of what’s happening on a school’s network. 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.
Schools Broadband hosted filtering and Fortinet security systems are two of the most advanced systems available. And because the cloud hosted infrastructure is central to everything Schools Broadband does, even the most complex solutions can often cost less.
Schools Broadband is the only ISP dedicated entirely to the education sector. If you would like to talk to Jimmy Lee about Partnership opportunities, he can be contacted on 011 33 222 333 or email@example.com