Practical advice from Schools ICT
As you prepare for the return of more staff and pupils we have the following advice and guidance for bringing your ICT out of lockdown. The whole of Schools ICT are ready to help including all of our Technical Support staff - on the phone and in the field, Network Managers, MIS Team, Web Development Team, Sales Team and the School Technicians.
Where we can, we have been monitoring your systems and servers remotely. So even if we have not been on site we have been checking in and looking after your ICT.
We have adapted our services to comply with all current advice and guidance. All of our technicians have completed the Council’s COVID 19 Health and Safety training and will carry council issue PPE. However when visiting, our technicians will take your advice on what specific PPE you require us to use in your school.
Re-start service – we can talk you through getting your equipment back up and running especially if you have fully switched everything off during closures. There is a right order do this which starts with your hubs and switches, and then your server.
Kit might have been removed from the School and will need linking back into your network. If required, we will work with you to join that kit back on to the network and put kit back in place to get you back up and running.
Because devices may not have been connected to your network for several weeks, some PCs and tablets will require software updates. Please be aware that when you do switch kit back on, they might start to install any updates and may take some time to reconnect. You will have to wait for this to finish.
Please do get in touch if you would like us to talk your through any aspect of restart.
Shared Devices - you do need to consider the cleaning of shared equipment - keyboards and mice especially. We have taken advice from the Council’s Health and Safety Team who advise the best product for use in schools is DC10. DC10 is widely used in the catering industry as it contains no bleach, no perfume, dye or other products liable to contaminate food but will kill all bacteria and viruses, so is ideal for cleaning and sanitising computer equipment.
Building and Cleaning Services will ensure the schools that they support have supplies of DC10 to use throughout the day. All that is required is that DC10 is sprayed on to a Micro fibre cloth and wiped over surfaces between use by different pupils or teachers.
We have been looking at a number of other solutions for schools such as keyboard covers and would be happy to provide advice on the options, but a keyboard cover will still need to cleaned between users. Please get in touch if you feel you need some advice on this.
Broken Kit – if you have kit that has been damaged or will not work due to a hardware failure, our hardware repair service is up and running. We can help organise repairs or replacements and our partners are offering flexibility for collections and deliveries. So for example, deliveries of ICT equipment can be re-routed to alternative or private addresses if this is more convenient than the school.
All of our suppliers are fully operational and able to source new kit. We appreciate there has been a slightly longer lead time for receiving equipment especially items coming from abroad. Our Sales Team monitors the progress of every order through weekly review meetings with our suppliers and can advise you on the progress of your orders.
ICT Development – Our ICT Development Team is looking at ‘lessons learnt’ from the COVID situation, and how Schools might develop their ICT going forward. If you are interested in having a discussion around this, then please do get in touch.
Over the summer holiday, we are offering a full installation service for new ICT equipment and dates can be booked through the sales team. The engineers will wear appropriate PPE as required by school and we understand that some schools will be open over the summer period so they will observe social distancing and be guided by school to the best times to access and work on site.
WEEE collections – good news, our contractors have now been able to resume the collection of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) for recycling. Contact the sales team to book a collection.
At your service - our priority is to help you get your ICT back up and running with the minimum of trouble. If you are signed up to our Software and Infrastructure SLA, then the coming out of lockdown help is included as part of your contract. But our help and advice is also available to all customers. We offer a one off “coming out of lockdown” support service for schools that do not take our SLA.
We realise that these are extremely difficult times for you and your school and would like to help make ICT one less thing you need to worry about. Please, just ask for help.