Update on internet access and school services 15-3-2021

Update on internet access and school services

On Friday morning our CMAT trust IT team identified ransomware within our network. This situation has affected several businesses and organisations in recent days, We acted quickly to keep any disruption to a minimum for our students and staff. After a weekend of hard work, all of our schools are open as normal today; core services are either back online already or will be fully restored over the next few days.

This matter has been reported to the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre as is routine in this situation. We do not believe that any sensitive or personal information has been accessed.

As you can imagine, there are a significant number of school devices including admin desktops, student desktops and staff laptops that require checking and rebuilding. This will take some time.  Our expected timeline for restoring services is as follows:

  • All staff and student passwords have been reset – these will be shared with staff over the next 24 hours to restore access to email and cloud-based documents.  These will not be shared with students yet as they are unlikely to have access to school devices until next week,
  • Administrative computers will be restored and external communications should be back up to full strength through today and over the next couple of days.
  • Teachers’ computers will be restored through the week, but this is likely to have some impact on usual teaching and delivery throughout the rest of the week.
  • It is likely that school ICT classrooms will not be in use until next week at the earliest.

School actions

As a result of this disruption, we have put some immediate and short-term measures in place to support safeguarding and communication with parents.

  1. If you need to make emergency contact with us please call reception on 01767 220000. We will be able to pass messages on but are not able to put calls through to other phones until our regular lines are restored (hopefully later today or tomorrow).
  2. We are continuing with COVID-19 testing in school this week and will be issuing home testing kits to year groups over the course of the next week.
  3. As staff have limited access to MS TEAMS, there may be some disruption to teachers’ ability to set homework assignments online. Teachers will communicate to students where this is the case.
  4. Year 10 parents' evening - 18th March.  We are hoping to run this as planned, but will be in touch again if we are not in a position to do so by then.

Can I please thank you in advance for your patience and support at this time.  

 

Rosalind Hodges
Principal