MP Visits Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School
Local MP Neil O’Brien visited Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School last week to see for himself the huge transformation that the school has made to its IT infrastructure and network security over the last few years.
When the school joined Learn Academies Trust (Learn-AT) in 2016 it was struggling with slow internet speeds and the technical challenges of having children and staff working in two separate buildings on different sites. The Trust’s IT Manager helped the school to install an internal network which reduced broadband fees by over £1000 a year. In 2019 the school was one of six Learn-AT schools selected to benefit from the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Programme to bring full fibre broadband to rural schools, which was funded by Department of Culture, Media and Sport and delivered in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, the Department for Education (DfE) and BT Openreach. As well as making a huge improvement to the connection speeds for the school, the new high-speed broadband is also available for local residents, benefitting the community at a time when many people need reliable internet access to work from home. The improved internet also made it much easier for the school to deliver remote learning during the COVID-19 lockdowns and for staff to keep in touch with colleagues in the Trust through online meetings held on MS Teams.
In 2021 Learn-AT made a successful bid for £250k of funding from the Connect the Classroom programme, funded by the DfE, which has enabled seven schools, including Husbands Bosworth, to upgrade their wireless network to the high specification required for new-build schools. This has improved the speed and reliability of the wireless connection in all areas of the school and enabled teachers to take advantage of the latest technology in lessons, such as iPads, laptops and interactive touchscreens.
In addition, in October 2021 the school became the first of Learn-AT’s schools, and one of only 50 primary schools in the country, to achieve Cyber Essentials certification. Cyber Essentials is a government-backed scheme run by the National Cyber Security Centre which helps organisations to guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate their commitment to cyber security. With schools increasingly becoming targets for cyber-attacks, eight of Learn-AT’s 11 primary schools successfully applied to take part in a pilot scheme run by the Department for Education which covers the costs of achieving the certification in schools. To achieve the required standard, the school had to ensure that all of its systems were secure by introducing measures such as multi-factor authentication on logins, setting up firewalls and ensuring that personal devices are used in a secure way when accessing school systems. This will help to ensure that the school’s systems and data are as secure as they can be and minimise the risk of malicious attacks.
In the space of just five years, Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School, with the support of Learn-AT, has completely transformed its network infrastructure and IT systems and is now leading the way as a school fully prepared for 21st century teaching and learning – a huge achievement for a rural village school!
Neil O’Brien MP said, “It was great to see the huge strides that have been made to improve the IT and connectivity across local schools on the back of this investment. I’d like to pay tribute to all involved in driving this important work forward, which will benefit pupils across much of the constituency.”