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18 January, 2024

DfE School Guidance – Meeting Laptop, Desktop and Tablet Standards

18 January, 2024

Is your school meeting the DfE’s Laptop, Desktop and Tablet 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 for the devices your school uses and the software on them.

Having the right devices for students and staff will help provide more engaging learning environments and give students equal opportunities.

The DfE set out four requirements your school needs to meet in regards to your Desktops, Laptops and Tablets:

  • Devices should meet educational needs and support the digital technology strategy
  • Devices should meet or exceed the minimum requirements
  • Devices should be safe and secure
  • Make sure devices are energy efficient, and they are bought and disposed of sustainably

1. Meeting Educational Needs

This guidance emphasises that the provision of devices that cater to educational needs and support digital technology strategies can benefit curriculum planning, delivery, administration, including data and financial management, as well as flexible and cross-site collaboration.

To meet this standard, they advise a 3-step process to understand which devices are needed.

  1. Create a digital technology strategy 
  2. Identify the device needs of students and staff 
  3. Assess the security and technical requirements of the devices 

2. Safe and Secure Devices

Keeping devices secure is crucial for safeguarding data and those who use the network. This also makes it simpler to apply security measures and minimize the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches.

To achieve this standard, the digital lead of the SLT should ensure that all devices are protected against the risk of cyber security incidents and data breaches. For this purpose, IT support should collaborate with the designated safeguarding lead to verify that all devices comply with the KCSIE requirements for information security, access management, and filtering and monitoring.

  • Configuring devices securely 
  • Centrally managing devices for greater security 
  • Carrying out a data protection impact assessment 

3. Meeting and Exceeding Requirements

When evaluating devices for educational purposes, it’s important to consider the requirements of both students and staff. Furthermore, all devices should adhere to the minimum standards outlined in order to ensure their safety, security, stability, and reliability.

  • Enterprise or education-grade operating systems
  • 3 years of manufacturer support and security patches for tablets
  • Laptops and desktops should have 5 years of  support and security patches
  • 3 years warranty for laptops and desktops and 2 years warranty for tablets
  • Devices should support the wifi standard 802.11ac Wave 2

4. Environmental Factors

In schools and colleges, devices are often responsible for the highest energy consumption. By implementing an energy-efficient approach to purchasing, installation, usage, and disposal of devices, institutions can achieve cost savings and promote sustainability.

  • Existing devices are switched off when not in use  
  • Existing devices automatically power off when they do not need to be used out of hours 
  • Existing devices are only using the tools needed 
  • When buying new devices check whether existing ones can be repurposed
  • When buying new devices check whether they are rated with a low energy certification
  • When disposing of devices make sure WEEE regulations and data protection requirements are met  
  • When disposing of devices make sure they have certificates for WEEE, disposal and destruction of data   
  • When disposing of devices make sure the IT asset register is updated 
  • When disposing of devices make sure action is taken to prevent security incidents by removing or destroying any data on the devices 

When should you meet the standards?

You should meet these standards now, including when you are replacing your current devices.

How can we help?

At Tel Group, we can provide your school with devices that meet and exceed DfE standards. We are able to review your current devices and recommend replacements if needed.

DfE Digital and Technology Standards: