Pagabo News

Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and MATs with our ICT Solutions Framework

02 March 2023

The Department for Education (DfE) has outlined a set of guidelines that schools and MATs across the UK should be adhering to when it comes to digital and technology standards.

The DfE suggest that meeting the guidelines can improve your knowledge about digital and technology standards which can lead to safer and more cost-effective practices. It is also important to recognise the benefits technological advancements can have on student learning. A recommended way to achieve these standards would to be to partner with a trusted provider through an ICT procurement framework.

From this article, you will gain a summary insight to what the standards are and how our ICT Solutions Framework can assist in areas where improvements are needed.

The digital and technology standards can help your school or MAT with budgeting and purchasing tech. It is important that when you renew any current contracts you take time to compare other solutions out there that might improve your school or trusts practices.


Meeting the Department for Education’s digital and technology standards

Broadband internet

You should ensure you have a full fibre connection for your broadband service, copper connections are soon to be phased out and won’t meet standards. Full fibre enables the capacity and speed needed for effective use of online learning tools such as tablets or laptops. Also worth noting, you will need a backup broadband service should anything unexpected happen. You must ensure all broadband has adequate IT & data security and safeguarding systems in place due to the amount of sensitive data your school or trust holds. You can also save money by switching to VoIP telephony through an ICT framework if you haven’t already. When existing contracts run out, you should be considering switching through our procurement framework to ensure compliance.


Network switching

You need to ensure your network speeds remain high even when lots of devices are being used on the network, especially if you are considering purchasing more devices and adding them to the network. It’s also required that you have a platform that can centrally manage the network switching infrastructure which will help you control and monitor the network securely. It is essential that you connect your network to a User Services Platform (USP) to reduce the risk of a network outage, the suppliers on our compliant ICT framework are aware of this and can ensure you aren’t at risk.


Network cabling

Copper cabling for networks should be Category 6A compliant to give schools the ability to increase the spec of their technology which they are adding to the network. Optic fibre cabling should also be a minimum of 16 core multi-mode OM4 which allows the smooth transfer of data around the school sites. It is essential when upgrading cabling that you check the supplier is installing and checking the cabling to meet the manufacturers guidance, warranty terms and conditions. With the suppliers on our ICT procurement framework you can rest assured that the service will be compliant and carried out to a high standard. Our suppliers have vast amounts of experience with working in the education sector.


Wireless network

Your Wi-Fi must be approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance ensuring that adding more devices won’t affect the quality of the network connection. You are also required to centrally manage the wireless network to properly configure and monitor the network performance. An essential part is ensuring connection is strong from all areas of the site and there aren’t any weak spots. It is helpful to know that Pagabo suppliers on our ICT framework can offer wireless site surveys for your school to identify any areas that need improvements. Network security is also of paramount importance and there needs to be a way to compliantly provide access for different levels of user, for example, students or guest users. Finally, schools have lots of sensitive information, so it is important to take every step possible to prevent a data breach.


Cyber security

You need to ensure that all devices on the network have a properly configured boundary or software firewall. You should ensure you have all devices on an up-to-date asset register and record what their security features are, which can be provided by our trusted partners at Sypro Risk Manager.  There is lots to consider when it comes to cyber security in schools in a fast evolving technological landscape, this includes:

  • Having different levels of access to data and services within your network and ensure that sensitive information is protected with multi-factor authentication.
  • An approval process in place for downloading applications to any device.
  • Ensuring all network devices including your cloud-based systems such as VoIP telephony are protected with anti-malware software.
  • Making sure security updates are kept up to date on all devices and ensuring all technical requirements meet the standards with current licensing.
  • Having three back-up copies of important data, two on site and one off-site.
  • A recovery plan in place to respond to a cyber-attack and any such attach should be reported immediately to the National Cyber Security Centre.
  • Conducting a Data Protection Impact Assessment which is important for reputation, confidence and safety.
  • Staff training in basic cyber security.

We have several pre-approved, quality suppliers who are all capable of meeting the DfE standards. If you wish to move quickly with your improvements, we offer a direct award option to get a supplier onboard at speed. Speak with Sam Schofield, our Framework Manager, who can put you in touch with our suppliers who will guide you through best practice and provide solutions to meet these standards.


What are the next steps for your school or MAT?

It is important your responsible person for IT reads through the standards on the government website in full, then review your current practices in line with these standards. Then if your processes require upgrading, get in touch with Sam Schofield to engage with our quality suppliers to ensure you can meet all the digital and technology standards.


View more information on our framework and see what suppliers we have available in your region below:

More information

User guide


Contact Sam about the ICT Solutions Framework below:

Get in touch

For more information on our frameworks and how they can support you, click below.
Discover our frameworks

Subscribe to our mailing list, to keep up to date with Pagabo news

Related articles