Misleading information regarding LGfL

A message from our colleague Brian Durrant, CEO of the London Grid for Learning Trust

To Schools served by London Grid for Learning

Dear Colleague

We have heard today from a number of schools who have kindly advised us they had been contacted by an Internet firm offering ‘a cheap broadband service to replace London Grid for Learning’. During the call, the caller claims, among other statements which we believe are misleading, that “LGfL is no longer supporting schools”.

Since this is most definitely not the case, the LGfL Board of Trustees are concerned that schools should not be misled in this way, hence this email.

Quite unrelated to, and unaware of the above, LGfL has been working since June on a new deal for schools, for which there has been a lengthy but recently completed negotiation with our suppliers (Virgin Media Business) – and rather earlier than intended, I want to let you know that we will shortly be writing to schools with a new offer – for 96% of schools we will be able to at least double your dedicated connection’s existing speed (e.g. schools which chose 10Mb will go up to at least 40Mb) and at the same time significantly reduce the future annual charge for the overall LGfL service package, which includes essential services such as industry-strength anti-virus protection for all your schools’ computers including those at home, (worth alone about £2,000 a year for an average sized school) plus LGfL’s vast library of premium learning resources and digital collections. If you are not entirely sure of all that is included with your LGfL connection, please do take a look at www.showcase.lgfl.net – and make the most of your LGfL.

We understand that the company making the calls is offering basic broadband products termed as ‘fibre-to-the cabinet’ (fttc) or xDSL. These products are cheaper than full broadband and for good reason. LGfL could offer cheaper services to schools using these products, but does not do so because in the considered assessment of a large team of experts who work with schools and make up LGfL Trust advisory boards, they are inappropriate and inadequate for schools’ use. Some IT companies who support schools are apparently being incentivised financially to sell the fttc type products to the schools they work with. LGfL does not spend schools’ money in this way, or in employing an army of sales reps, only on providing schools with high quality secure services and resources, procured at scale to achieve savings for schools. If you would like to know more about the difference between full broadband and fttc/xDSL, there is a simple infographic here: www.whyfibre.lgfl.net

For about half of school locations within the London region, fttc is not available, and for many where it is, the speed which can be achieved is significantly less than the stated ‘headline’ figure. This is because of the distance from the exchange and results in the upload speed (used for data backup or remote services like a learning platform) being much slower. However the main difference is that it is a contended (shared) connection, unlike LGfL’s ‘fibre-all-the-way’ which is entirely dedicated to your school, and connects directly to the huge capacity of LGfL’s ‘schools only’ secure regional network.

I hope this information is helpful to you, and look forward to the London Schools’ LGfL community continuing to benefit from this unique not-for-profit regional collaboration for many years to come. While writing let me mention for your diary that the date has been set for our 2016 London Schools’ Conference – 11th April 2016 – programme details to follow in due course. I look forward to seeing many of you there.

Best wishes for a good weekend.

Kind regards

Brian Durrant
Chief Executive London Grid for Learning Trust
CI Tower
St Georges Square
New Malden KT3 4TE
t 020 8408 4455 helpdesk 020 8255 5555 f 020 8408 6014
www.lgfl.net a school improvement partner
www.showcase.lgfl.net an array of content and services
www.trustnet.pro now available UK wide

Benhurst Primary’s Stella McCarthy shares exemplary practice at SMART HQ in Canada

SMART Exemplary Educators (SEE) Summit 2015

I was highlSMART Summity delighted and honoured when I was invited to attend the SMART SEE Summit 2015 in Calgary, Canada from the 18th to the 26th July.

As a teacher I never expected to be travelling to other countries for CPD. I arrived in Calgary on the 18th July and met some wonderful Smart Exemplary Educators (SEE’s) from all over Europe. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring the SAIT Polytechnic Campus and Calgary. On Sunday evening we were joined by SEE’s from America. This completed a group of 77 SEE’s from 22 different countries.

Naturally Inquire

On Monday morning the SEE Summit really began. Greg Estell. SMART’s President of Education welcomed all the SEE’s to the Summit. I could instantly feel the passion that SMART has for education. They are such a large global organisation, yet they listen so intently to their users and most importantly they want their products to collaboratively inspire learners of all ages.

Naturally Innovative

During the week we took part in many different sessions such as Trends in Education, Reflections of SMART amp, SMART Kapp in Education and SMART Notebook 15.1. The second day was truly amazing we all went to the SMART Headquarters. I cannot say too much about this day as lots of it was covered by a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Needless to say the Headquarters and the activities were phenomenal.

There were so many amazing things discussed and demonstrated throughout this week. SMART are very well known for their SMART Boards but there is so much more that they have to offer to the world of education. It is the software for example; SMART amp, SMART Notebook, SMART Kapp and SMART Response which make a huge difference to teaching and learning. I use these regularly in my teaching and they really do inspire natural, collaborative, innovative learning.

The Summit was truly motivating and inspirational; I learnt so much and met so many amazing educators.

By Stella McCarthy: Class Teacher, Computing Coordinator, SMART Exemplary Educator and SMART amp Champ; Benhurst Primary School, London Borough of Havering. @BenhurstPrimary

“Well done Stella!  You are a real asset to Benhurst, Havering and the UK.”  Havering Education Services’ Computing and Online Safety Team.

The new Ofsted framework – inspecting safeguarding

The new common inspection framework and handbooks for Ofsted inspectors come into effect from September 2015. Published on 15th June, one of the new inspection documents, Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills from September 2015, includes important information about e-safety provision in schools. Below is a summary of Ofsted’s expectations.

What is Ofsted looking for when inspecting a school’s e-safety provision?

The signs of successful safeguarding arrangements:

  • Leaders have well-developed strategies in place to keep children and learners safe and to support them to develop their own understanding of these risks and in learning how to keep themselves and others safe.
  • Leaders oversee the safe use of technology when children and learners are in their care and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or children’s well-being.

Evidence to look for when inspecting safeguarding arrangements:

  • Staff, leaders and managers oversee the safe use of electronic and social media and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or risky behaviours

Arriving at judgements about safeguarding arrangements:

  • Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of children and learners by evaluating, where applicable, the extent to which the provision is successfully promoting and supporting children’s and learners’ safety.
  • In order to make this judgement, inspectors will consider children’s and learners’ understanding of how to keep themselves safe from relevant risks such as exploitation and extremism, including when using the internet and social media.
  • Inspectors should include online safety in their discussions with pupils and learners (covering topics such as online bullying and safe use of the internet and social media).
  • Inspectors should investigate what the school or further education and skills provider does to educate pupils in online safety and how the provider or school deals with issues when they arise.

Safeguarding requirements for leaders and managers:

  • The responsibilities placed on governing bodies, registered providers, proprietors and management committees include making sure that children and learners are taught how to keep themselves safe.

What are the objectives for e-safety in the computing programme of study?

The computing programme of study also provides clear e-safety objectives.

Key Stage 1
Pupils should be taught to:

  • use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private; identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies.

Key Stage 2
Pupils should be taught to:

  • use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
  • use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; recognise acceptable/unacceptable behaviour; identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact

E-safety coverage in Switched on Computing

E-safety is embedded throughout Switched on Computing and it contains a handy e-safety road map at the start of each year group with support in every unit. Download these overview grids to see how Switched on Computing provides you with a complete e-safety framework.

E-safety coverage for years 1-6. 

E-safety competition!

If you haven’t already seen it, don’t forget to enter our e-safety competition and download your FREE e-safety poster! Find out more.

If you would like to receive useful information about primary computing, you can sign up to receive our half-termly computing updates. Simply create a My Rising Stars account and select computing as your subject preference. It’s free to sign up and you can unsubscribe at any time.

E-safety week!

E-safety is a crucial part of day-to-day life in primary schools. Children are always discovering new technologies and it is important that they are guided to use them effectively and responsibly. So this week, the Switched on Computing team are going to focus on all things e-safety!

FREE poster

Download your FREE e-safety poster to display in your classroom!

Competition time!

The Switched on Computing team is challenging primary school children up and down the country to design their own e-safety poster! All of the entries will be showcased on the website and the winning entry will be designed and printed so you can display it in your own classroom. The poster should:

  • provide advice about e-safety
  • be written for primary school children
  • be colourful and engaging!


1st prize
The winning poster will be professionally printed and presented to your school.
Your school will receive a £500 voucher to spend on any Rising Stars resources.
The children will win a set of Learn to Code practice books worth £300.

2nd prize
Your school will receive a £200 voucher to spend on any Rising Stars resources.
The children will win a set of Learn to Code practice books worth £300.

3rd prize
Your school will receive a £100 voucher to spend on any Rising Stars resources.
The children will win a set of Learn to Code practice books worth £300.

All entries submitted will be showcased on our online gallery.

How to enter

Entries submitted can be a jpeg, PDF, Word document, PowerPoint or a photocopy or photograph of a drawing.

All entries should be emailed to oliviatanner@risingstars-uk.com or tweeted to @switchedoncomp.

The closing date is 31st July 2015 and the winner will be announced 3rd September 2015.

Terms and conditions

Please ensure you have the pupils’ permission before submitting an entry.

If there are any photographs of pupils included on the poster, please ensure you have consent from the parent/guardian.

The closing date for entries is 31st July 2015.

Stay updated

Would you like a round up email of all the e-safety blog posts and information at the end of the week? Sign up to receive computing updates by simply creating a My Rising Stars account and select computing as your subject preference.

You will receive an e-safety newsletter including all the e-safety blog posts, free poster and competition information, as well as a termly email about all things computing including freebies, lesson ideas and more. It is free to sign up and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Sign up now!

Rising Stars also want to find out how confident teachers are in delivering e-safety sessions and teaching children about staying safe online and being a responsible digital citizen. There’s just 3 quick questions to answer and the Switched on Computing team will publish the results on our community site!

Free Havering Apple iLearning Festival – Wednesday 8th July 2015

Want to make better use of iPads and Apple technology to support teaching and learning?

On Wednesday 8th July 2015 the Havering Apple RTC Management Board are running, for a second year, a free iLearning Festival at CEME Conference Centre.

Following the same format as last year there are 2 sessions to choose from; afternoon (12.30 – 4pm) and evening (4 – 7.30pm). Each session will commence with registration and include presentations from Mark Jones, the Principal of Belmont Castle (Primary) Academy and Apple Distinguished Educator (Julian Coultas), followed by a series of workshops delivered by the Havering Apple Regional Training Centre Management Team.

Please see the flyer for full details.

To register for the event please email delegate name(s) and school to elizabeth.shrimpton@havering.gov.uk

E-safety – it’s a whole-school issue. Make sure you’ve got it covered!

Across schools, E-safety is a real concern affecting day-to-work work.  Issues with 18 rated games and social networks are at the forefront of comments emanating from conversations had with Head Teachers, computing leaders and teaching staff.  Tackling these issues in an informed manner is of the utmost importance. 

Where to go for effective support and advice? 
There are many sources of advice – including the UK Safer Internet Centre, CEOP’s ThunkUKnow and ChildNet International.

Curriculum Planning for E-safety
There is a strong emphasis on E-safety within the National Curriculum for computing.  E-safety is a golden thread throughout the Switched on Computing materials too.  Each Teacher’s Book has an ‘E-safety Roadmap’ which provides an outline of the E-safety requirements for each unit. This provides a clear pathway to addressing the requirements of the National Curriculum.  It is also very useful to share with Ofsted inspectors if and when they are reviewing the E-safety provision within a school.

E-safety Policy
E-safety is a truly whole-school issue.  Ensuring that there is a well-written, up-to-date E-safety policy in place is vital in terms of being E-safety compliant.

Many schools make use of the London Grid for Learning’s E-safety Policy.  This extremely comprehensive document provides schools with a set of guidance relating to E-safety practice.

Its contents is broken down into six sections, with associated appendices, as follows:

1. Introduction and Overview

  • Rationale and Scope
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • How the policy is to be communicated to staff/pupils/community
  • Handling complaints
  • Review and Monitoring

2. Education and Curriculum

  • Pupil E-safety curriculum
  • Staff and governor training
  • Parent awareness and training

3. Expected Conduct and Incident Management

4. Managing the ICT Infrastructure

  • Internet access, security (virus protection) and filtering
  • Network management (user access, backup, curriculum and admin)
  • Passwords policy
  • E-mail
  • School website
  • Learning platform
  • Social networking
  • Video Conferencing

5. Data Security

  • Management Information System access
  • Data transfer

6. Equipment and Digital Content

  • Personal mobile phones and devices
  • Digital images and video
  • Asset disposal

It also includes the vital appendices of Acceptable Use Agreements that should be reviewed and signed annually by all stakeholders.


  1. Acceptable Use Agreement (Staff)
  2. Acceptable Use Agreement (Pupils)
  3. Acceptable Use Agreement including photo/video permission (Parents)
  4. Protocol for responding to E-safety incidents – handling infringements – page 23 onwards
  5. Protocol for Data Security
  6. Search and Confiscation guidance from DfE

We regularly get asked by schools with whom we work ‘if it is OK to précis the policy?’  Our simple answer is, ‘No’. 

Having correct procedures and sanctions in place in case of any E-safety issues helps schools to ensure that they are following the correct routes to address the issues. The LGfL E-safety Policy is used by a very large number of schools. It is at hand when you need it most, to guide and advise accordingly. It is important that stakeholders are aware of the policy and time is taken to go through the content with them.  Once it is in place, put a recurring date in the diary to review it annually.

Next steps…
Finally, with E-safety being such an important part of all of our lives in school, clear curriculum plans and an effective policy are must haves.  If you have not yet got these in place yet, I suggest that now is the time to ensure that you do!

About the London Grid for Learning
The LGfL Trust is a consortium of the London local authorities and 2500 schools working together to provide extensive and cost effective ICT services.  The LGfL is a member of the NEN Education Network to ensure that all schools, colleges and universities are connected through a single backbone enabling a high quality e-learning experience in a safe and secure networked environment.

In addition, on the LGfL E-safety pages, you will find a range of documentation suitable for management of E‑safety, teaching and learning, and supporting parents and the community.  

An extract from the LGfL E-safety policy is reproduced with kind permission of the LGfL Trust.

Childnet’s Film Competition invites young people to get creative about E-safety!

National competition invites young people aged 7-18 to enter challenge to create a short film about internet safety.

Childnet is encouraging schools and youth organisations across the UK to enter their Film Competition, which showcases the positive and inspiring use of the internet.

 The competition offers three themes about young people’s digital lives:

The third category is new for this year! Childnet have joined forces with PhonepayPlus, offering a new PhoneBrain category within the annual Childnet Film Competition. Aimed at 11-18 year olds the category invites young people to create a 2 minute film to inform people about ways you can use your phone to pay for and use services safely without running up high bills. Watch Childnet’s film to find out more about this category.

Childnet’s judging panel will be looking out for films which are the most creative, are closest to the theme and have a clear message. These film-makers will be invited to a private screening at London’s BFI where they will be awarded great prizes for their creative achievements!

The prizes on offer this year are bigger than ever before, including the chance to win loads of brand new filming equipment including a Canon DSLR camera. 

Get involved

If you would like to register a group of talented young people or find out more, then please email film@childnet.com or visit www.childnet.com/film-competition for more information. 

Important dates:

  1. Competition Closes Friday 12th June 2015 at 5pm
  2. Finalists Notified Friday 19th June 2015
  3. Screening and Finalist Event at the BFI Monday 13th July 2015

In need of some inspiration? Then read Childnet’s top tips for film making or take a look at some of the films that made it to the final of last year’s competition.  

Find out more www.childnet.com/film-competition

BBC to give Secondary children mini-computers in Make it Digital scheme

The BBC will be giving away mini-computers to 11-year-olds across the country as part of its push to make the UK more digital. One million Micro Bits – a stripped-down computer similar to a Raspberry Pi – will be given to all pupils starting secondary school in the autumn term.

The BBC is also launching a season of coding-based programmes and activities, which will include a new drama based on Grand Theft Auto and a documentary on Bletchley Park.

The initiative is part of a wider push to increase digital skills among young people and help to fill the digital skills gap as the UK is facing a significant skills shortage, with 1.4 million “digital professionals” estimated to be needed over the next five years.

For the full article visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31834927

Scratch Your Nose coding event to raise funds on Red Nose Day!

Momentum is building for Scratch Your Nose – an interactive coding event for students, schools and coding clubs – with over 300 schools now signed up to be involved!

Taking place on Red Nose Day, March 13th, students and schools are invited to get involved by creating red nose inspired games using the free Scratch programming tool. Over 50 students will be attending a central event at Innovation Birmingham at the Birmingham Science Park where they will be guided and inspired by a variety of industry experts before showcasing to local businesses. Schools across the UK will also be running their own events in school with many of them already preparing games in anticipation.

Schools and students can find Scratch resources and video tutorials on the website. And, a livestream of the entire event will be broadcast from scratchyournose.com so students across the UK can benefit and be inspired by the expert talks.

Ray Maguire, CEO of Gazoob says “We are delighted to see how the Scratch Your Nose event is capturing the imagination of teachers and students across the UK. Not only will the day be fun and raise funds for Comic Relief, but for many students it may be their first experience of coding which can deliver a multitude of learning benefits encouraging creativity, problem-solving skills and team work. Ultimately, it might inspire students to consider a career in the games industry ”.

Students can continue to develop their games after the Scratch Your Nose event and enter into the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition. See ygd.bafta.org for details on how to enter and further game making hints and tips.

For Press Enquiries, please contact:
Claire Ridley
E: claireridley@gazoob.com
T: 07917428270

E-safety Survey 2015 – Please complete by Friday 13th March 2015





Over 10,000 respondents so far! Help make the richest source of E-safety data in the UK… 

Havering and London schools – Please promote the LGfL eSafety Survey for pupils

Is online bullying an issue at your school? Do you know? Do you have any information about pupils’ online behaviours?  This survey, developed by the London E-safety group, aims to support schools with E-safety data.  Ofsted will expect schools to have effective tools to support monitoring and evaluation.

The survey is primarily aimed at Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils, although pupils outside this age group can respond.

The last LGfL E-safety survey, carried out in 2013, secured 18,000 responses and generated a substantial and significant data set informing academic understanding of children and young people’s online behaviours.

All schools are encouraged to participate, in order to generate the most complete and authoritative data set. Please share the following link with colleagues: http://www.lgfl.net/esafety/Pages/E-Safety-Survey-2015.aspx

The survey is now open and will remain so until Friday March 13. The survey is anonymous and confidential; pupils are not asked to give any personal/identifiable details and are under no obligation to take part.

Schools will be notified by LGfL where a safeguarding issue becomes obvious through the answers given in the survey, but as described above, it would not be possible to identify individual pupils.  The full results will be collated, analysed by data experts from the National Foundation for Educational Research, and published in report form during the summer term.

Thank you for your support and assistance with this research, and in promoting E-safety safeguarding within your school.

Thank you for your support…

Havering School Improvement Services Computing and E-Safety Team