Case Study

Safeguarding children across all aspects of their digital activity

Estimated Read Time: 10 minutes

Client: St Martins Church of England Primary and Nursery School

Key Vendor Partner: Securly

Project Date: 2019 ongoing

Safeguarding children across all aspects of their digital activity.

St Martins Church of England Primary and Nursery School recently opened in 2012 and was built around the new town of Cranbrook, just outside Exeter. The initial contractor supplied the school with Apple resources including a Mac X server, Macbooks for the teachers, iPads for the pupils, and non-interactive panels linked to Apple TVs for casting. This was supplemented with a part time ICT technician 4 years ago to help manage the resources as this had become difficult for the school. Their network was split with complicated VLANs and filtering routes that had become difficult to manage and report on.

The Challenge

With so many web filtering options, which one is the best one for our school?

Ever since the internet became a viable teaching and learning resource, we have always tried to protect our children from its more non-agerelated content. This has been a challenge as it has grown exponentially over time into the vast behemoth it is today. The web filtering industry has given us many ways of delivering safe content to different user groups in education.

With so many products available, how can a school decide which solution delivers the safest investment, yet is not a barrier to teaching and learning. 

St Martins had engaged with Computeam on previous procurement solutions and had asked for some advice on an updated solution to their web filtering. Their existing solution was up for renewal and they were keen to review new and progressive technologies and align any solution to their cloud first digital strategy of minimal onsite hardware.

The Solution

Securly Safety Cloud - End to end student safety and device management

Through initial consultation, it became clear that the school wanted a solution that had visibility on all pupil activity, not just web filtering. The school chose Securly Web filter with Auditor as both products working together provide a total safeguarding solution across their device estate. Iain Ollive, the schools’ ICT Lead said “We were keen to look at all products on the market and had engaged with a few suppliers. We liked the Securly approach for several reasons; namely it was device focussed, allowing us to monitor any account on any device, anywhere; It’s totally cloud based with no expensive hardware support contracts and it satisfies our digital safeguarding policy by protecting our children across all their activity with dailly reports and alert notifications.”

The initial works needed a complete network reconfiguration with a new firewall installed and configured, the Mac X server was removed, with all DHCP and DNS server services moving across to the firewall. This is a key managed component in the infrastructure with full enterprise SLAs for peace of mind for the school. This removed all the complication of different Wi-Fi codes for different networks with different filtering. 

The Securly web filtering solution was rolled out firstly on the school’s firewall, so any device on the network was filtered. The platform was connected to the schools G Suite domain and lastly, the Securly Chrome extension was then pushed out to the schools Chromebook estate, allowing for full visibility of online activity and auditing of the children’s G Suite accounts. Full training was delivered to key staff within the school, so this could then be  disseminated through the usual staff professional development channels.

The Result

A complete cloud managed effective safeguarding solution

Iain continued, “What sets this product apart from the competition is its complete integration with our G Suite learning platform, managing and reporting on all the children’s activities. It’s very easy to use as well, from the clear and intuitive user interface showing all activity to managing our own filters and class policies and scheduling reports.”

Iain noted, “We really like the effective simplicity of the Securly products. They are pure cloud solutions that fit perfectly into our digital strategy and as they are web based, the products are always being improved and updated with new tools and features. We went for the Auditor option in order to safeguard the children at all levels of digital engagement. As the children build their portfolio of work, we need to be assured that we have visibility on all communication and Drive contents. We get daily reports on our children’s activities, not only on the internet, but on all activities on their accounts."

“We feel safe in the knowledge that all our children are fully protected. We know that our Securly products are working all the time, in the background, keeping us safe and notifying us of any safeguarding issues that can then be sensitively addressed before they can escalate.” Iain added.

Our Statement

"It’s great to see a school understand the need for a complete safeguarding approach and St Martins have fully immersed themselves in the solution provided by Securly. They had a strategic digital plan and spent time looking for solution that was part of that plan and Securly delivered on those key objectives. The MDM solution came from our engagement with all parties and it’s helped the school save money too."

Charlotte Davies, Account Manager

Key Lessons

This project showed us that:

  • Filtering requirements has evolved with the evolution of cloud technologies and work/ learn anywhere but many legacy schools filters have not – consider a cloud only offering
  • Align your digital strategy with key education partners and vendors to get the best return from your investment.
  • Be open to new and emerging technologies which can dramatically improve the impact and educational return on investment.

Talk to us to see how Computeam can help your school today.

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