Last November I invited the Middle/Secondary School Network Managers in for a Q&A forum with Updata. Going forward, I am going to try and arrange this sort of thing on a fairly regular basis – maybe twice a year. The next one is scheduled for June 2nd and if you are interested in attending, can you please get in touch with me?
Updata will host this at their office in Reigate. The idea of it being there is to allow the attendees the opportunity to see Updata’s support staff in operation, meet key personnel etc.. I will look into transport options from Stevenage once I know what sort of numbers I am looking at.
There are problems accessing the Grid websites again today. This is happening regardless of what network you are using and subsequently is not an HICS/Updata issue. This has been logged to RM and they are investigating… Access to all other websites should be unaffected.
SITSS Service Desk Manager
The Twitter website has been accessible throughout the HICS network for a few years now. We always try to make sure that the web filtering policies reflect a consensus view of the schools that use them and permitting access to this was authorised by The ICT in Schools Partnership Working Group. Lots of schools use Twitter on their websites and as a means of communicating with parents. Some schools have also started to use it for various curriculum projects. That said, we do occasionally receive queries from schools asking for access to this website to be blocked. There are work arounds to do this, but as the question does get asked fairly frequently, we have arranged a brand new filtering policy to deal with this. WF4 has been created and will be in place alongside WF1, WF2 and WF3. The only difference between WF3 and WF4 is that Twitter is blocked on WF4. So if you currently use the WF3 filtering policy but you’d like access to Twitter to be blocked, you may want to look into deploying this filtering level. If you have any queries relating to this, please get in touch with the SITSS Connectivity Service Desk: email@example.com
Lots of staff use VPN to connect remotely into the HICS network, allowing them to work from home. VPN is delivered as part of the HICS package at no additional cost. If you currently do not use this service but wish to, please get in touch. If you already use VPN, with Easter holidays approaching then maybe this is a good time for you to carry out some housekeeping? Have some staff left yet their VPN access has remained in place? It is the responsibility of each school that uses the service, to let us know if any VPN accounts need to be disabled. If you wish to find out which staff at your school has VPN access, please get in touch with the SITSS connectivity service desk on firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently schools connected to the St Albans exchange will have no internet. UK Power Networks have advised that there are no issues in the area. An Updata engineer has been dispatched to the exchange. I will update this post with further information in due course..