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15 May, 2023

DfE School Guidance – Meeting Cloud Solution Standards

15 May, 2023

Is your school meeting the DfE’s Cloud Solution Standards?

In January 2024, the Department for Education updated their guidance to schools regarding how to meet digital and technology standards. This standard specifies the minimum requirements you should meet when using or moving to cloud solutions, including managing access, availability, data protection and backup.

Cloud solutions or services are hosted and managed on the internet rather than locally in the school. They can be accessed from a wide range of devices at anytime from anywhere with an internet connection.

The DfE’s Cloud solution Standards set out five categories your school needs to meet:

  • Use cloud solutions as an alternative to locally-hosted systems, including servers.
  • Cloud solutions must follow data protection legislation.
  • Cloud solutions should use ID and access management tools.
  • Cloud solutions should work on a range of devices and be available when needed.
  • Make sure that appropriate data backup provision is in place.

The DfE set out five requirements your school needs to meet:

DfE Cloud Solution Standards for Schools- Tel Group

1. Alternative to Locally Hosted Systems

Utilising cloud solutions lessens the need for local servers and supports your school’s overall strategy, lowers costs, enhances business continuity, and boosts security and safety. The more cloud solutions you use, the more your school will benefit in the areas as described in this standard.

2. Data Protection

Your school must comply with data protection legislation, with all data handed legally. If you are storing or processing sensitive personal data, you might need extra security measures to make sure you meet statutory data protection and UK GDPR requirements.

3. Access Management

Many cloud solutions work independently from each other and need multiple logins and passwords. Therefore, you should utilise a central ID and access management tool to fulfil your data protection and safeguarding responsibilities. This will help to secure and safeguard data and increase cyber security by providing one centrally managed account.

4. Range of Devices

Cloud solutions should work on a range of devices and be available when needed. This will make it easy for staff and students to work with the data using different systems, from anywhere. Poor or unreliable availability of a cloud solution could have a significant impact on running your school.

5. Backup Provision

The most common risk of cloud data loss is accidental or deliberate data deletion by users. Loss of data can lead to a data breach or prevent critical operations. You must determine the data backup provision you require for each solution in order to comply with this standard.

When should you meet the standards?

For data protection and backup provision, your school should already be meeting these standards to help safeguard, protect and secure your data and systems as well as meet data protection legislation. You should be upgrading from locally hosted systems as well as utilise an access management tool as soon as possible to realise the benefits. You should meet the cloud availability standard for existing and new cloud solutions.

How can we help?

At Tel Group, we provide scalable on-demand cloud solutions to help schools on their cloud journey. We offer a range of cloud services tailored to your school’s needs and proactively support you to ensure the quality and reliability of our services, ensuring that you are not only meeting, but excelling these standards.

From a complete overhaul of your telephony systems to powerful cloud servers and storage for your school, we can offer a full suite of cloud solutions with the flexibility, security and efficiency you require.

The DfE set out eleven categories your school needs to meet:

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