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  • The Department for Education has issued advice for schools on cloud software services and the Data Protection Act.

    The advice “outlines how schools need to consider data security when moving services and sensitive information to the internet-based facilities of cloud computing”, the DfE said.

  • What is Delve?

    Have you ever wanted to find all the documents around a particular subject? Or is there a member of staff you are about to have a meeting with, and you need to get up to speed on what they have been working on recently? Delve can help. It intelligently discovers and organises information from across all of your school's Office 365, and then displays it to you making everything easy to find and understand. Find work by particular people or search on a keyword or subject. And you'll only ever see the content you have access to. Finding content has never been so easy.

  • Overview

    You need to be running the Windows 10 Fall Creators update (v 1709) in order to have this feature.

    OneDrive Files On-Demand helps you access all your files in OneDrive without having to download all of them and use storage space on your device.

    The OneDrive sync client has always allowed you to synchronise files stored in Office 365 OneDrive to your local computer. This makes them easy to find via file explorer, like using a local drive. More recent versions of the OneDrive sync client (since December 2015 and called the Next Generation Sync Client) allowed you to also sync your personal OneDrive and any SharePoint Document libraries.

    However, the catch was that you has to actually download copies of the files to your local computer. These copies were then kept in sync by the client. The benefit of this was that you could always access your files, even when you were offline. The drawback was that it could lead to lots of network traffic, especially when users were performing initial synchronisations. And if you had many users synchronising a SharePoint library, that could lead to multiple copies of a single shared file being spread across many devices. Lots of unnecessary traffic and an increased chance of some sort of synchronisation conflict.

    Files on Demand solves these problems. When you turn on the feature, and choose to sync files from OneDrive or SharePoint, rather than actually downloading files, file explorer will just show the files that you have stored in those locations in Office 365. Not until you actually come to use a file will it bother to download it. If you are already using the sync client to synchronise your OneDrive, and for which you have lots of files downloaded already, these files will remain downloaded locally when you turn on files on demand. But you will now have the choice to 'free up space' by turning these into 'online' files; the local copy will be deleted and you will just be left with the indication that the file is available in OneDrive and SharePoint and can be accessed when required, just by double-clicking it.

    The video below explains how to use Files on deamnd from a user's perspective. It is taken from the Microsoft article Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand. This article is particularly good for users to help them understand how to use Files on Demand. Links to some other useful articles are also given below



    What's the difference between Locally Availbale Files and Always Available Files?

    Microsoft explain about the different statuses fairly well in their Learn about OneDrive Files On-Demand article, but you might appreciate a little extra clarification of the difference between locally available files and always available files.

    Your files will have these statuses in File Explorer:

    Conceptual image of an online only file

    Online-only files

    Online-only files don’t take up space on your computer. You see a cloud icon for each online-only file in File Explorer, but the file doesn’t download to your device until you open it. You can’t open online-only files when your device isn’t connected to the Internet.

    Conceptual image of a locally available file

    Locally available files

    When you open an online-only file, it downloads to your device and becomes a locally available file. You can open a locally available file anytime, even without Internet access.

    That means it is cached and available offline, but it might be removed if free disk space gets low. Unless you have a computer that is particularly short of disk space, or you intend to sync a huge amount of files in the future, it is likely these files will remain always available offline for you. However, if you want to be certain the file will always be available offline, you can right click on the file and choose Always keep on this device from the drop-down menu.

    If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Clear space.”

    Conceptual image of an always available file

    Always available files

    Only files that you mark as "Always keep on this device" have the green circle with the white check mark. These files download to your device and take up space, but they’re always there for you even when you’re offline. This is similar to Locally Available Files, but you are guaranteed these files will always be available offline and won't be removed if disk space is low, or for any other reason.

    You should mark files that you know you definitely want to be available always, online or offline, as Always keep on this device.

    If you need more space, you can change the file back to online only. Just right-click the file and select “Clear space.”


     If you still require further information, the following articles may prove useful:

    How to turn on Files on Demand Manually. Shows how users can turn on Files on Demand manually for themselves.
    How to Sync SharePoint Libraries with Files on Demand Shows how users can sync a SharePoint library to their computer.
    Transferring files to OneDrive or SharePoint Shows how users can transfer files that they may have stored on their local computer, or on a mapped network drive, into OneDrive or SharePoint.
    Windows 10 OneDrive Documentation in SharePoint Explains more about Windows 10 OneDrive and Files on Demand, including how to manage it with Group Policy. You'll need to login with your Schools ICT Office365 account to access this.








  • Files On-Demand works with all the apps you use today, including Windows desktop apps and apps from the Windows Store. Furthermore, Files On-Demand works with all your personal and work files from OneDrive and SharePoint Online team sites.

    Make sure you’re signed in to OneDrive on your device.

    If you are already using OneDrive, and are able to access your OneDrive files via File Explorer, as shown here, then you're signed in to OneDrive.

    If not, then either follow the Microsoft link above, or see the Schools ICT instructions Connect One Drive Client to Office 365

    onedrive in file explorer

    Right-click the white or blue OneDrive cloud icon in the notification area, at the far right of the taskbar, and select Settings.

    (You might need to click the Show hidden icons arrow ^ next to the notification area to see the OneDrive icon. If the icon doesn't appear in the notification area, OneDrive might not be running. Select Start, type OneDrive in the search box, and then select OneDrive in the search results.)

    onedrive right click menu

    On the Settings tab, select the Save space and download files as you use them box.

    Click OK

    You have now turned on Files on Demand. To learn more about using the feature please see Files on Demand 

    If this box is greyed out, then Files on Demand is being managed by your network administrator using Group Policy. You will need to speak to that person if you need to change the setting.



    NOTE: Files On-Demand settings are unique to each device, so make sure you turn it on for each device where you want to use it. Why don’t I see the Files On-Demand options in OneDrive settings?

    onedrive settings tab


  • So you've decided to make the move to Office 365. But there is one question you might be asking. Is my data safe? Rest assured that Microsoft takes the safety of your data very seriously.

    • Security - Office 365 uses a 'defence-in-depth' approach to provide industry-leading security for their datacentres and customer data. Microsoft also give you enterprise-grade user and administrative controls to further secure your data.
    • Compliance - Microsoft's data processing agreement details the privacy, security, and handling of customer data, which helps you comply with local regulations. A specialist compliance team continuously tracks standards and regulations, to ensure that Office 365 stays up to date with any changes, for example GDPR.
    • Privacy - When you entrust your data to Office 365, you remain the sole owner of that data: you retain the rights, title, and interest in the data you store in Office 365. Microsoft's policy is to not mine your data for advertising purposes or use your data except for purposes consistent with providing you cloud productivity services.
  • You might just know Office 365 as an e-mail system. But, believe me, it is so much more than that. Are you interested in being able to work easily from home, having the same access to all your documents as you do at school? Would you like to be able to easily share lots of information with staff, for example ensuring they always had the latest guidance to hand. Have you ever wished you could create professional looking presentations that are easy to share and can be viewed on any device? Are you worried about how you will meet GDPR compliance? Well, Office 365 might just be the answer you are looking for. Below is a quick summary of what you get with Office 365. And don't forget it is all FREE for schools!


    o365 onedrive tile

    OneDrive - Have you ever needed to work on a school document when you were at home? Are you fed up with copying files to and from memory sticks? Do you often collaborate with several colleagues on a report? Well, OneDrive is the answer. It is online file storage and sharing for each user, with unlimited storage. With OneDrive, your files are secure and available everywhere: home, school or on the move. Edit and co-author whether using a web browser, mobile apps, or desktop apps. Easily share files with colleagues, making collaboration a breeze. Even access files when offline using the OneDrive sync client.

    o365 onenote tile

    OneNote - If you're not using OneNote already, then you're missing out. This is probably the greatest program in the whole Microsoft Office suite. Organise everything; typed notes, handwritten notes, pictures, videos, files, audio recording and more all in one place. Add extra notebooks, sections and pages to keep everything just as you like it. And you don't even have to worry about saving work as you go along - it all happens automatically. A OneNote app is available for all devices and you can also work online directly via a web browser. And if you are using an app, then you can work in OneNote while you are offline, and everything will sync once you connect to the web again. Trust me, it's great. Try it.

    o365 immersive reader

    o365 forms tiles

    o365 sway tile

    o365 powerpoint tile

    Learning Tools - Immersive Reader, Forms, Sway, and Office Mix - There are a whole bunch of apps and tools available within Office 365 which can be used both to help with learning, and to just generally create more engaging and accessible content that you can then easily share with others.

    • Immersive Reader - Change font size, text spacing, background colour. Split up words into syllables. Highlight verbs, nouns adjectives and sub-clauses. Choose between two fonts optimised to help with reading. Read out text aloud. Change speed of reading.
      immersive reader example
    • Forms - Create surveys, polls and custom quizzes. Easily share via e-mail, a web link, or embed in a web page. Then sit back and wait for the response to come in.
    • Sway - Create interactive, digital presentations that can easily be shared on the web. Add text, pictures, videos, audio and more. View on your computer, phone or tablet. It is proper web content and so looks great on all devices!
    • PowerPoint Recording - Turn your PowerPoint presentations into interactive online lessons and share them with your students and colleagues. Add audio and video narration, real-time digital inking, and screen recordings that show actions you take on your computer.

    o365 mail tile

    o365 calendar tile

    E-mail and Calendars - OK, so you are already using this, but did you know:

    • Automatically filter out low priority e-mails using the Focused inbox feature. As move e-mails you rarely read into the "Other" folder, and out of your "Focused" inbox, the system will learn and start to do this automatically for you.
    • No excuses for missing emails. Use @Mentions to get noticed. @mention someone in an e-mail and they will automatically be added to the list of recipients. The person receiving the e-mail will see the @ symbol in their inbox.
    • Access e-mail and calendars via web browser, desktop or mobile apps. So you can stay in touch wherever you are and across all devices.

    o365 skype tile

    Skype for Business - Have you ever wanted to invite a subject expert to talk to your class, but they live too far away? Do you want to cut down on travel costs and time between different school sites for meetings? Then it might be time to give Skype for Business a whirl. Skype can give you instant messaging, video conferencing and screen sharing. See your colleagues status (presence information), so you know at a glance if they are available for a chat or quick meeting. Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption. The Skype for Business app is available for mobile, tablet, PC and Mac.

    o365 sharepoint tile

    SharePoint - Does your school have to share certain information and documents with all staff? Do you need to control who has access? Do you need to let some people update information, while letting others only read it? If the answer to those questions is yes, then SharePoint is for you. You might like to think of SharePoint as being a shared staff folder, but on the web. Actually it is much more. With SharePoint show important visuals, news, and updates with a team or communication site. Discover, follow, and search for sites, files, and people across your company. And not forgetting that you can sync and store your files in the cloud so anyone can securely work with you. SharePoint integrates with the Microsoft Office apps allowing you to work and collaborate on documents from PC, Mac or mobile device.

    sharepoint example

    o365 compliance tile

    Security and Compliance - Are you worried about GDPR compliance? Would you like to let your staff use their mobile phones to access e-mail, but you are worried about data security? Then you'll just love the Security and Compliance features that are built into Office 365. Just take a butcher's at these features:

    • Threat management - protect e-mail messages from malicious software.
    • Mobile device management (MDM) - unleash those phones.
    • Data loss prevention (DLP) - help to stop sensitive data leaving the organisation.
    • Data governance - Document labelling and retention policies.
    • Search and investigation including eDiscovery.
    • Service Assurance - Information about how Microsoft protects your data.
    • Office 356 Secure Score - Learn how secure your Office 365 is, and how you can imrpove.

    0365 delve tile

    Delve - Have you ever wanted to find all the documents around a particular subject? Or is there a member of staff you are about to have a meeting with, and you need to get up to speed on what have been working on recently? Delve can help. It intelligently discovers and organises information from across your whole school's Office 365, and then displays it to you making everything easy to find and understand. Find work by particular people or search on a keyword or subject. And you'll only ever see the content you have access to. Finding content has never been so easy.delve example

    o365 office online tile

    Office Online - Create and edit Word, OneNote, PowerPoint, and Excel documents from a browser. And if you have a school EES agreement you get all the desktop and mobile apps as well, which you can download and install on up to 5 different devices per user. So you can start a document in on your computer at school, then finish editing and reviewing it on your iPad at home that evening.

    o365 stream tile

    Stream - Do you have lots of videos that would like to share securely with the rest of the school? Then you'll like Stream. Easily manage and share videos across your school. Group videos of similar content together in channels. Embed individual videos or channels into other Office 365 services such as SharePoint or Teams. Control who can see which videos, and feel safe in the knowledge that only people with a login for your school's Office 365 will be able to see the videos.

    o365 planner tile

    Planner - Take the chaos out of teamwork and get more done! Planner makes it easy for your team to create new plans, organize and assign tasks, share files, chat about what you’re working on, and get updates on progress. Each plan has its own board, where you can organize tasks into buckets. You can categorize tasks based on their status or on whom they’re assigned to. To update the status or change assignments, just drag and drop tasks between columns.

    planner example

    o365 teams tile Teams - Do you feel a little overwhelmed by everything that Office 365 has to offer? Would you like to have just one application from which to work online and have access to everything you need to get your job done right there, in that one place. Then it's Teams to the rescue. Microsoft Teams is a chat-centred workspace in Office 365. It brings people, conversations, files, and tools into one place, so everyone has instant access to everything they need. Enjoy built-in access to SharePoint, OneNote, and Skype for Business.
    • Work on documents directly within Teams using the familiar office apps.
    • The persistent chat-based nature of the Teams means that everyone stays up to date with what is happening, even if they have been away for a few days.
    • Use Teams to create online classrooms. Hand out assignments or homework online. Children can complete and return them without ever going near a printer or a piece of paper.
    • Combine with Class Notebook for a truly any time, any place learning experience.
    • Teams is available via a web browser, PC and Mac, and mobile apps.
    o365 class notebook tile Class Notebook - If you have ever used OneNote, then you'll know what a great app it is for organising all your information, keeping all your notes in one easy to use place. Well, Class Notebook takes all that goodness and tailors it to the classroom. OneNote Class Notebooks have a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities.
    • Organize your lesson plans and course content in your own digital notebook.
    • Students can go to the content library to get their assignments. No more printed handouts for the class.
    • The collaboration space encourages students to work together as the teacher provides real-time feedback and coaching.
    • Provide individualized support by typing or writing directly in each student's private notebook.class notebook example
    o365 staffhub

    StaffHub - Do you have first line workers who don't spend their whole day sat in front of a computer? Do you need an easy and reliable way to manage their work schedules and get other important information to them? Would you like those workers to be able to easily stay in touch and communicate with each other? StaffHub is the answer, allowing you to digitally transform your first line workforce.

    • Easily create and manage schedules on the go, and stay informed when changes are made. Quickly assign and complete tasks to address customer and business needs in the moment.
    • Create spaces for meaningful conversation where workers can share ideas, learn from one another, and gain insight into larger, organizational initiatives.
    • Deliver employee resources and training content that workers need to gain the skills and confidence they need to do their best work.

    staffhub schedule example



  • OneDrive gives you one place to store, share, and sync your work or school files. As part of your organization's Office 365 subscription, you can save your files in OneDrive and then work with them from almost any device. Sign in to Office 365 with your work or school account, so you can:

    • Upload files from your PC or Mac.
    • Share files with others.
    • Give others permission to edit files and work on them at the same time.
    • Get to your files from anywhere, on your computer, tablet, or phone.
    • Sync OneDrive to your PC or Mac, so you can access your files even when you're offline.


    Why Use OneDrive?

  • What is OneNote?

    OneNote is your very own digital notebook. You might even describe it as an extension of your brain.

    • Jot down that idea before you forget it.
    • Make a check list of tasks to do the next time you are in the office.
    • Sketch out a concept and add some photos that will help get the point across in that next meeting.
    • Organise all your lesson plans so you can easily find them each term.

    Do this on any device - PC, Mac, phone or tablet; and wherever you happen to be. OneNote works offline and saves all your content automatically. Yes, say goodbye to remembering to click save every few minutes.

    And the next time you connect to the internet? Well, all that content is synchronised across all your devices. So the notes you made with your phone, on the bus, on the way home will appear on your PC when you log in that evening. And when you need those notes in a meeting the next morning, there they are in OneNote on your tablet. It's like magic. Which is probably the best way to describe OneNote. It kind of does everything. Which is kind of magic!

    Tell me a bit more. Why should I use OneNote?

  • What is Skype for Business?

    Have you ever wanted to invite a subject expert to talk to your class, but they live too far away? Do you want to cut down on travel costs and time between different school sites for meetings? Then it might be time to give Skype for Business a whirl. Skype for Business can give you:

    • Instant messaging (IM)
    • Voice calls
    • Video conferencing
    • Screen sharing.
    • Presence information - At a glance, see if your colleagues are busy or available.
    • Conversations are protected by strong authentication and encryption.
    • The Skype for Business app is available for mobile, tablet, PC and Mac.

    Skype for Business is the version of Skype that is included with Office 365. In terms of the core features such as IM, voice or video calls and screen sharing, it is basically the same as the free version of Skype that anyone can download. However, it has greater integration with other office products such as Outlook, enterprise grade security and more extensive conferencing, meeting and phone features.

    If you're just looking for some information on how to install the Skype for Business client and start using it, then please see the Learn More About Skype for Business section below.


    Tell me a bit more. Why should I use Skype for Business?

    There are lots of reasons you might use Skype, from better communication within the school between staff and / or students, to transformative learning experiences with schools and children around the world. The best way to get a flavour of what is possible is to watch the videos below.

    This first video provides a walkthrough of Skype for Business, from the very basics of understanding presence information and instant messaging (IM) to making video calls and scheduling Skype meetings. It's about 15 minutes long, but it does provide a great overview. Why not watch the first 5 minutes during a tea break just to find out how to get started?



    If you are more interested in finding out how Skype for Business can be used in the classroom, then the two videos below might provide some inspiration.

     Hear from these students how sharing with each other through video-calling has created transformative learning experiences.  Fabien Cousteau talks with classrooms around the world via Skype as part of the historic Mission 31 expedition


    Learn More About Skype for Business

    The following two links will provide basic training in how to get started using Skype for Business. You will be able to view videos that demonstrate how to use key features of Skype for Business, along with step by step instructions.

    Skype for Business Training - provides an introduction to Skype for Business, including how to install the client, sign in and configure audio and video.

    Communicate Your Way - provides further training on such topics as using Skype from within Outlook, and sharing your desktop.


    If you want to find out more about how Skype can be used in the classroom, then please take a look at the Skype in the Classroom section of the Microsoft Education Website. However, please be aware that this website is talking about the free version of Skype, available for anyone to download, rather than the Office 365 Skype for Business product. However, they are very similar products that basically do the same thing. So whether you choose to use Skype for Business, or just download and use the free version of Skype, hopefully the results will be just as rewarding.

    Skype in the Classroom

  • Immersive Reader is a free tool that implements proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people, regardless of their age or ability. Immersive Reader can improve reading comprehension and increase fluency for English language learners. It can help build confidence for emerging readers learning to read at higher levels, and offer text decoding solutions for students with learning differences such as dyslexia.

  • Create surveys, polls and custom tests. Send out the web link to the test in a variety of ways: in an e-mail; as a link in a shared OneNote document; or embed in a webpage or in OneNote Online.

  • Turn a slide presentation into a video recording that has narration. You record the presentation in PowerPoint 2016 and then share it with your audience, who can watch it as a PowerPoint Show or as a video. Some educators use recorded lessons as part of a 'flipped classroom'. 

  • Sway allows you to create interactive, digital presentations that can easily be shared and viewed on the web, on any device.