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18 January, 2024

DfE School Guidance – Meeting Digital Leadership and Governance Standards

18 January, 2024

Is your school meeting the DfE’s Digital Leadership and Governance 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 how your staff manage your technology within your school.

The DfE’s Digital Leadership and Governance standards identifies roles and responsibilities, establishes critical processes and ensures that up-to-date information is available to support decision making.

The DfE set out four requirements your school needs to meet in regards to your Digital Leadership and Governance:

  • Assign a senior leadership team (SLT) member to be responsible for digital technology
  • Keep registers relating to hardware and systems up to date 
  • Include digital technology within disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  • Have a digital technology strategy that is reviewed every year

1. Senior Leadership Team

In order to develop a comprehensive digital technology strategy that is led by the needs of staff and students, it is essential for schools and colleges to assign a member of their Senior Leadership Team (SLT) to oversee its implementation. This individual should ensure that digital technology is aligned with the institution’s development plan. Additionally, this person should manage the technology strategy and assist all staff in implementing digital technology that caters to the needs of staff and students.

They will be accountable for: 

  • The delivery of the digital technology strategy based on teaching and learning outcomes and organisational needs 
  • Encouraging and supporting the use of digital technology across the school or college 
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of IT support to inform decision making and taking action
  • Identifying and acting on digital technology training needs for staff and students 

2. Hardware and System Registers

Maintaining a contracts register, asset register, and information asset register can provide valuable insights into the digital data, equipment, and systems used in your school or college. This can facilitate effective management of these assets and help keep track of purchasing and licensing, ultimately saving money when renewing software and hardware.

To meet this standard, schools and colleges should include digital technology within their: 

  • Contracts register 
  • Asset register 
  • Information asset register 

3. Disaster Recovery

You should have a process in place to review and update the disaster recovery and business continuity plans, including those related to digital technology.  

  • Disaster recovery plan 
  • Business continuity plan

It’s always best to be prepared for the worst-case scenario when it comes to cyber incidents or other emergencies. To ensure business continuity, print out hard copies of your disaster recovery and business continuity plans, including summary documents. Additionally, keep these documents in a secure, shared folder in the cloud, and ensure remote access is granted to your disaster recovery team.

4. Digital Technology Strategy

Creating a digital technology strategy that is aligned with your development plan will help to make sure: 

  • The digital technology used meets the needs of staff and students 
  • Your budget, buying decisions and any risks are managed 
  • Staff and students receive the training they need to use digital technology safely and effectively 
  • You can assess the impact of digital technology against your strategy 

When should you meet the standards?

You should complete the first 3 standards before moving to the last standard on creating your digital technology strategy. This is so you can successfully build your strategy in line with your school or college’s development plan.

How can we help?

At Tel Group, we can provide your school with IT Support, helping to build your digital technology strategy to improve your digital leadership and governance, aiding in completing these standards accordingly.

DfE Digital and Technology Standards: