Successfully managing your multi-academy trust’s compliance with data security regulations is no mean feat.
To build robust data security policies and practices, you first need to ensure you have solid foundations in place. Unless you have the right infrastructure with the right specifications underpinning your systems and software, you could find yourself on shaky ground.
At Mid-Trent MAT, a data security audit carried out by Concero made it easy for senior leaders to see what needed to be done to improve its information governance systems.
Compliance built from the bottom, up
‘When we put together the development plan for Mid-Trent MAT, we identified that the existing servers could be a risk to the security of the Trust’s data,’ recalls Sam Russell, Quality Assurance Officer at the Wolverhampton-based ICT consultancy. ‘Due to the age of the servers, the warranties on them had expired so if one of them failed, the network would be compromised until a solution could be found.’
This could have resulted in network downtime across the Trust and – at worst – the loss of data.
Thankfully for the Trust, Concero – which always keeps cost-efficiency in mind – was able to come up with a budget-friendly solution. ‘We recommended that the Trust invest in new servers at two of its schools, but we were able to upgrade the third, which saved the MAT considerable additional expense,’ notes Sam. ‘The new servers have a five-year next-business-day support warranty, which means if there are ever any issues in the future, they can be quickly solved.’
Smart solutions for secure data
The MAT’s bespoke development plan also advised that its systems should be upgraded to Windows 10. This operating system features data encryption and password-protection to further bring the Trust in line with GDPR requirements. Concero project-managed the upgrade and provided teachers with training on using the new operating system so that the switch to Windows 10 did not disrupt teaching or add to their daily workload.
‘With Windows 10, we can keep the Trust’s systems up to date with security patches that protect against present threats and vulnerabilities,’ notes Concero’s Sam. ‘It also means we are able to encrypt the laptops that staff take off-site, as well as portable media such as USB sticks.’
Impartial advice for a secure future
The tailor-made strategic ICT development plan that Concero offers to all schools and MATs free of charge, sets out how their technology, infrastructure, curriculum and policies can be developed over a three-year period. Recommendations made by Concero always take into account the latest data security and privacy legislation and guidance from the DfE and OFSTED, taking care of due diligence for senior leaders and ICT decision makers.
With support from the experts at Concero, senior leaders can rest assured their systems and policies are fully compliant. This leaves schools, academies and MATs to get on with what they do best: creating enriching educational experiences and facilitating sustained progress for their students.
If your Trust or school could benefit from impartial advice on any aspect of information governance, presented with clearly-explained and individually costed options, call Concero today on 0333 111 0004 or visit concerouk.com to book a free development plan appointment.