We’re continuing our series of summaries based on the Digital and Technology Standards published by the DfE, and this week the spotlight is on Wireless Networks.
By following these standards, schools can help to ensure that their pupils have secure and reliable access to the internet and other resources they need to learn effectively.
Schools must use the latest wireless standard approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
This is currently Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is faster and more reliable than previous wireless standards.
Schools are also advised to configure the wireless network to support network segmentation and QoS (Quality of Service).
- Network segmentation allows you to divide your wireless network into different segments. This can help to improve security and performance.
- QoS allows you to prioritise certain types of traffic, such as video and audio traffic.
You must have a fully functional signal from your wireless network throughout the building and externally where required.
It’s important to make sure there is strong signal coverage in all areas of your school where mobile devices are to be used. This is to support simultaneous use without reducing the performance. You should have wireless access points installed across the site. This could be up to one per classroom.
You should have a solution that can centrally manage the wireless network.
Centralised management and monitoring allow you to easily manage and monitor your wireless network. This can help you to identify and resolve problems quickly.
You should install security features to stop unauthorised access
Schools must prevent access by unauthorised users while providing access to regular and guest users. Without adequate security, unauthorised users can access secure information which could lead to:
- theft or misuse of sensitive school or student data
- loss of access to critical school systems
- significant disruption and cost
To meet the standards, Dataspire recommends…
- When choosing a wireless network solution, consider the needs of your school and pupils.
- When designing your wireless network, it is important to consider the layout of your school building. You may need to install additional access points to ensure that there is good signal coverage throughout the building. We can work with you to create a heat map and identify areas needing the most coverage.
- Regularly testing your wireless network to ensure that it is performing as expected.
- Having a plan in place for managing BYOD devices. External devices can pose a security risk to your wireless network, so your plan should include things like registering BYODs with the network and using a VPN when accessing sensitive resources.
- Your solution should be scalable to meet future growth.
- Staff should be trained on how to keep the wireless network secure. This includes things like using strong passwords and not sharing them with others.
- Students should also be educated on how to use the wireless network safely. This includes things like not clicking on links in emails or messages from unknown senders and being careful about what information they share online.
- Keeping your wireless network software up to date to ensure that it is secure.
- Monitoring the wireless network for suspicious activity such as unauthorised access attempts.
By following these tips, schools can help to ensure that their wireless network is secure and reliable for students, staff and data.
DfE Funding to Connect the Classroom is still available! In fact, the programme has been extended until 2025, so don’t miss out on your entitlement to modern, reliable and future-proofed wireless for your school.
What is Connect the Classroom?
Connect the Classroom is a programme funded by the Department for Education (DfE) that aims to help schools across the country to access an effective and secure, education-focused wireless networking solution.
To learn more about the programme and get a quote for your solution – let’s have a chat!
All you have to do is get in touch using the form below, we’ll arrange a call to learn more about your school and then we will do the rest.