Protecting your school’s data – three quick tips

With the news this week that the number of data breaches reported by schools increased by almost a quarter in just two years to 703, and further warnings about the increasing vulnerability of schools to cyber attacks, London CLC’s Krzysztof Jurek looks at three areas where everyone can help to keep their data more secure.


1. Passwords
How strong are your passwords? If you’re still using 1234 or ‘letmein’ then you really need to up your password game. Follow our step by step guide to choosing a good password and discover the easy way to come up with a secure phrase that should satisfy all password requirements. Once you’ve done that, never write down your password either physically or digitally (don’t keep your passwords on a digital post it for instance…) and don’t share it with anyone – even your colleagues. If that sounds too daunting a memory task, consider using a password manager.

2. Public displays of data
Don’t display sensitive information in public. This sounds simple but consider how working on a train or in a cafe can expose data and login details to observers. Use a special screen cover if you do need to work in public. Think about how and where you use your phone – what sensitive data can people overhear?

3. Emails
Be alert to phishing scams. Emails will often appear as though they come from a recognised source but by showing the details of the email address you can see where the email originated. Don’t assume that an email is sent by X Y just because the X Y is in the email subject or signature – check the sender email address carefully (look for typos in the email address such as HMCR instead of HMRC). Of course, if the email relates to money, check the email especially carefully and always double check account details with a phone call any if you are depositing any large sums of money.

These three tips are just the start – all schools need to have a good basic cyber-security measures in place, especially as they  are at a serious risk of large fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office if they fail to report data breaches, following the introduction of GDPR in May 2018.

The government’s Cyber Essentials scheme, is a good place to start for jargon-free advice to help make your school’s data more secure.

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Upcoming CPD

Summer primary school computing conference
Summer primary school computing conference

This event will build upon the Autumn computing conference by inviting subject leaders to reflect on their year in the role, sharing their successes and challenges. It will also introduce new ideas, tools and approaches through talks and practical activities led by members of the CLC team, with opportunities for attendees to share their own expertise and experience. Over the course of the conference activities will touch on the three main areas of the computing curriculum: computer science, digital literacy and information technology. We will also feature advice and examples illustrating the use of technology to support blended learning.

- 15:30
Computing subject leaders, Teachers...
Creative Arts, Digital and children – CLC meets More Than Robots online
Creative Arts, Digital and children - CLC meets More Than Robots online

Combining forces for the first time, the Connected Learning Centre and More Than Robots have created a session for teachers, youth organisations, researchers and policymakers interested in the digital provision of creative arts for primary aged pupils.


The Play Observatory - Prof. John Potter

“In their own words”: Westminster Abbey & CLC digital projects - Sian Shaw

Building (and maintaining) a city-wide primary arts curriculum to raise attainment - Kate Fellows

More to be added soon

This interactive and inclusive meet up will include inspiring examples of how technology can be used to support learning in music, visual art and drama in person and online at home drawing on our experiences as Tate Exchange associates and our partnership work with a range of cultural institutions.

This informal event is an opportunity to discuss real examples of what does/doesn’t work, meet colleagues from other sectors working on similar challenges and share useful research, news or updates

The morning will include case study presentations (details below) followed by a Q&A. There will also be an opportunity for a rapid sharing round for launches, project updates or requests for help and a short break to avoid zoom brain drain.

- 11:30
KS1, KS2
Subject leaders, Teachers...

Upcoming Special projects

The News Project
- 14:25

Special project in collaboration with First News Education

For a third year, building on two successful previous projects, we are once again partnering with the children’s newspaper First News, fellow member of the national Making Sense of Media and News Literacy networks. This special project with a literacy, PSHE and citizenship, as well as computing focus, highlights our specialist interest in this important aspect of digital and critical literacy.

The News Project will enable participating classes from year 5 to immerse themselves in news and current affairs using First News and the Bett award-winning First News iHUB, which will be provided free of charge during the school-based part of the project over a six week period. Under the guidance of their teacher, pupils will be supported in their development as a community of fully informed news readers. Classes will test their new critical skills and knowledge in the culminating virtual celebration event which will include a news competition and team-based critical literacy and editorial activities. After the event, schools will be able to use the resources from the day in their school.

The project will launch with an introductory CPD session for teachers to set the context, demonstrate resources and to plan for the school-based activities. 

Initial CPD session - Thursday 21st October 4pm-5.00pm. 

Project work undertaken in school - October and November.

Special event - Thursday 25th November 9.30am-2.45pm.

The Garden Museum

The CLC is once again partnering with the Garden Museum to offer a partnership project for KS1 pupils (primarily suited to Yr2). Located next to Lambeth Palace on the bank of the Thames, the museum has an inspiring collection that provides the ideal stimulus for young learners to explore the world around them.

Pupils will use technology alongside the museum’s collection to explore the wonderful world of seeds.

  • How are they planted?
  • How do they spread?
  • What is inside them?

 The Garden Museum has a large collection of seeds and tools that pupils will engage with.

These half-day sessions will take place at the Garden Museum.

There is a limited number of dates available, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

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