New Broadband Internet Standards For Schools Set By DfE

The DfE has set out new standards to be used as guidelines as support when choosing the right digital infrastructure and technology. Meeting the guidelines will promote safer, more cost-efficient practices in schools and new learning opportunities for students.

The DfE advises the standards should be used by everyone involved in the planning and use of technology within schools and colleges including senior leadership teams, IT staff, suppliers, technical advisers and teachers.

The standards can help your school or college with budgeting for technology procurement and maintenance, buying technology equipment and services, renewing a contract with a technology provider to ensure their purchases meet your needs and correctly installing new equipment.

Click here for link to DfE Full Standards
Continue reading for new standards in a nutshell.

Schools should use a full fibre connection for their broadband service

A full fibre connection provides enough broadband capacity and speed for effective use of online learning tools.

A full fibre connection saves money by allowing use of cloud-based solutions instead of on-site technical infrastructure.

A full fibre connection supports bandwidth capacity for switching to cloud-based VOIP telephony when traditional phone lines are withdrawn.

A full fibre connection provides flexibility to future proof your school as demand for internet services increase.

When do schools need to meet the new broadband standards?

The DfE advises the standards should be implemented as soon as possible.
This is usually at the end of any existing contract term or as soon as full fibre is available.

Ensure new contracts or contract extensions using non-full fibre connection types provide the opportunity to change to fibre services when they become available.

How to meet the standard
  • Ask about the availability of full fibre broadband services (FTTP—Fibre To The Premises and Leased Lines)
  • Primary schools should have a minimum 100Mbps download speed and a minimum of 30Mbps upload speed
  • Secondary and all-through schools should have a 1Gbps connection
Backup and Failover broadband connections

As the internet is now an essential service in all schools, measures are required to mitigate against a single point of failure.

That means automatic failover to an additional backup connection service is now required to provide internet continuity if needed.

An additional resilient backup internet connection, of a different type to your main internet connection should be installed.

IT Security and Online Safeguarding

Schools should have appropriate IT security and safeguarding in place under both child and data protection legislation

Schools have a statutory obligation as part of keeping children safe in education to safeguarded children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material

You are required to protect and educate students, and staff in their use of technology

Your filtering service should enable identification, intervention and escalation where appropriate

Ensure your school’s content filtering meets the requirements outlined in the online safety section of keeping children safe in education, paragraphs 123-135.

More detailed information about online safety can be found at:

Keeping Children Safe in Education

Safer internet centre

UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS)

Online safety self-review tool for schools

You should also ensure that you have a firewall as part of your internet and network system.

For more information please call
01133 222 333
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