Servers and Storage: A Guide to the DfE Standards

The digital landscape of schools is constantly evolving, demanding robust infrastructure to ensure data security and system functionality. The Department for Education (DfE) has established vital guidelines to help schools navigate this ever-changing environment by developing the Servers and Storage Standards for Schools and Colleges

This blog aims to provide educators with a clear overview and practical advice regarding the DfE’s Servers and Storage standards for schools and colleges.

Understanding the Standards – A Summary

The DfE’s standards focus on four crucial areas:

All servers and related storage platforms should continue to work if any single component or service fails

This highlights how a resilient server and its related storage platform ensures reliability, helping to monitor performance and minimise the risk of your systems or data being unavailable. This can be achieved by employing several power sources, backup power systems, and a strong remote backup strategy. Additionally, using Cloud services can lessen the reliance on physical servers in your school and the constant need to update security measures and software.


Servers and related storage platforms must be secure and follow data protection legislation.

This emphasises protecting sensitive school data (e.g., student records, and staff information) from unauthorised access, accidental deletion, or malicious attacks. Robust password policies, encryption, and regular security audits are critical aspects.


All servers and related storage platforms should be energy-efficient and set up to reduce power consumption, while still meeting user needs.

Minimising energy consumption is a key consideration, as it translates to cost savings and a positive environmental impact. Schools are encouraged to adopt energy-efficient server configurations and implement power management strategies.



All servers and related storage platforms should be kept and used in an appropriate physical environment.

Servers and storage units should be housed in appropriate locations that are clean, well-ventilated, and meet specific temperature and humidity requirements to ensure optimal performance and lifespan.

To get you started and meet the standard, Dataspire recommends:

  • Conducting a Risk Assessment: Before making any changes, assess your current server and storage setup to identify potential vulnerabilities and areas for improvement. This helps prioritise your efforts and allocate resources strategically.
  • Seek Expert Advice: Don’t hesitate to seek professional guidance from IT specialists or consultants (Dataspire is happy to help). We can provide insights, recommend suitable solutions, and assist with implementation.
  • Develop a Clear Policy: Establish a clear policy outlining data security protocols, acceptable usage of school technology, and user access controls. Ensure this policy is easily accessible to all staff and students.
  • Invest in Training: As always, regular training for staff and students on data protection and cyber security best practices is crucial. This will empower them to identify and report suspicious activity and ultimately, strengthen your school’s overall security.
  • Stay Informed: Cybercrime is constantly evolving, so staying updated on emerging security threats and best practices is essential. Regularly review the DfE’s guidance and consider attending relevant workshops or conferences

Need help?

Meeting the DfE’s Digital and Technology standards is a continuous process that requires commitment from everyone involved. By embracing these guidelines, schools can create a secure and efficient digital environment that supports effective learning and teaching.

Dataspire is already helping hundreds of schools to meet these standards so why don’t you get in touch below to find out how we can help you to develop a safe and secure learning environment for all?

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