7 Hints to Help with Census Day Returns

As Census Day approaches we thought we’d take a moment to highlight some points that we hope will help expedite and ease the process of making your return. Of course the main thing to do is be organised and in the likelihood that you’ve done it all before you won’t need to read this anyway. If filling in your school’s Census Return is new for you, or if you think it could be easier we do offer SIMS Training Courses on a variety of subjects including this – information on each can be found here. We hope you find the below useful.

  1. Census day is Thursday 18th January , the deadline for Academies is Wednesday 14th February, maintained schools will be informed by their local authority of their deadline date
  2. Ensure you have access to guidance for SIMS to remind and walk you through the process. The DfE Census Guidance is also a great resource for details specifications https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-census-2017-to-2018-guide-for-schools-and-las.
  3. Check that your DfE Secure Access Account is active by logging into their site beforehand https://sa.education.gov.uk.
  4. Before Census day carry out a ‘dry run’ in SIMS to give you a heads up on any potential data items that need addressing beforehand.
  5. Ensure you have checked which pupils/students are eligible for Top-Up Funding.
  6. Find out if any of your pupils/students have Post Looked After Arrangements.
  7. Update all Free School Meal eligibility dates.

Good luck! Should you require any support we offer a dedicated, great value and comprehensive SIMS Support package would be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a quote. Just let us know.

01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com | www.atomwide.com/sims

The Bett Show 2018

We will be exhibiting this year at The Bett Show, 2018 at Excel, London from 24th – 17th January. We are sharing Stand D260 with our partners at London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and Netsweeper. Staff from each organisation will be on-hand throughout the show to discuss the the very many services we each provide that help keep children safe online and help schools save money.

Members of the Atomwide Team will be available to demonstrate our industry-leading tech services that are now in use in over 3,000 schools nationwide.

Web filtering – Email – Email filtering – Sophos Antivirus – VoIP Telephony – Managed Wireless – CCTV & ANPR – Audio Visual – Online Cashless Payments – ICT Support – SIMS Support – TRUSTnet Broadband and more…

We will also be demonstrating the latest in Promethean ActivPanels and InVentry Visitor Sign-In solutions.

For the full range of Atomwide products and services please click here.

If you’d like to speak to a member of the team about any of the above please let us know so we can ensure the best time during the show for you to visit and have a chat. Our stand does get very busy!

To book an appointment please email events@atomwide.com and let us know which service you’d like to discuss and we’ll get right back to you with a range of times to choose from.

To register to attend The Bett Show please click here.

New, free training courses are now available

New training courses are now available for nominated contacts from both LGfL / TRUSTnet connected schools to attend. The courses cover a wide range of the services included in the LGfL / TRUSTnet bundle and are available for both technical and non-technical staff alike to help ensure you are getting the best from your service.

Training Courses are now available to book via myUSO, not the support site as has been the case in the past.

If you are not already using myUSO in school why not consider attending the myUSO training course? Free for all staff (not just for Nominated Contacts) the myUSO course will help ensure you are using the myUSO range of cloud-based services and resources such as online storage, file sharing, secure file exchange and online homework apps to the fullest.

The training is hosted at Atomwide’s offices in Orpington, is free to attend, and also includes a complimentary lunch!

Please see below a list of the available dates for the Winter.

6th February 2018 – USO Basics for Nominated Contacts

7th February 2018 – How to use myUSO

21st February 2018 – Web filtering using WebScreen2.0 for Nominated Contacts

For further information on any of the courses or to reserve a place please click the link below.

https://my.uso.im/training/booktrainingnc.aspx

Many thanks,

The Training Team at Atomwide

Christmas

To all our customers, partners, suppliers and everyone who has helped make this such a great year. We wish you a joyous and restful break and look forward to getting back to work with you in the New Year.

Our offices are open throughout the holiday apart from weekends and bank holidays should you require any assistance.

Please note we will be open from 8am to 4pm on Wednesday 27th, Thursday 28th and Friday 29th December.

We will reopen from 8am – 6pm on Tuesday 2nd January.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

from all of us at Atomwide

 

 

OpenCheck

Let everyone know when school is closed.

Perhaps most helpful in times of poor weather, OpenCheck is a free service for all UK schools that allows them to quickly and easily let parents, pupils and staff know if school has had to close in the event of an emergency or unexpected circumstance.

The morning after a night of heavy snowfall, for example, might result in a flock of calls to the school office (which may not be staffed) or a flurry of hits to the school website, which may not be able to handle the sudden, increased traffic.

With OpenCheck these are not problems.

Via the OpenCheck website, nominated contacts from a school can update the school’s status from a list of templates, or create their own. For example:

‘The school has had to close due to icy weather conditions. Please look out for further updates’

Authorised staff can update this status without having to be in school, at the OpenCheck website or with their smartphone using the free ParentComms: Mobile app.

The school’s OpenCheck status is then published in three ways:

  1. As an automated phone answer message that can be listened to by calling the OpenCheck number – 020 8408 7508, and entering your school’s 7 digit DfE code (available here).
  1. On the OpenCheck website and/or as an update to an RSS feed on your website.
  1. As a free push notification to the smartphones of those who have downloaded the ParentComms: Mobile app and registered for OpenCheck updates from school.

Authorised staff using Unified Sign On (USO) can log in at opencheck.atomwide.com and start using OpenCheck right away. If you are a member of staff at a school not using USO, simply follow the instructions here on how to get set up.

Best wishes,

The Team at Atomwide

NASBM transitions to Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL)

The Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) has been unveiled – with a pledge to provide a voice to all school business professionals. The new Institute will succeed the National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) and has a more formal role as a representative body for the school business profession.

Since NASBM’s plans to become an institute were announced, the sector has been consulted on what should be the priorities of the new organisation and a clear mandate has emerged. School business professionals feel the priority for ISBL is to ensure they have greater professional status and credibility.

Speaking ahead of the official launch of ISBL, its chief executive Stephen Morales commented:

“School business professionals have rightly called for greater professional status, recognition and credibility.  This was clear in the feedback that we received since announcing the transition of NASBM to ISBL and, therefore, ensuring practitioners enjoy the status they deserve will be central to our role as an institute.

“The community of school business professionals is a critical yet diverse part of the education workforce. Some roles are well established, some are emerging, and some will undoubtedly experience significant change as the education system evolves.

“It is important, therefore, that we reach out to, and remain relevant to, all those operating as school business professionals, irrespective of existing or legacy job titles, role iterations, years of experience or indeed the context in which they operate. Inclusivity is central to our strategy and we will seek to provide development pathways both for those new to the profession as well as more senior education executives.”

School standards minister, Nick Gibb, added: “School business professionals have an important role in helping schools deploy their resources efficiently to ensure a maximum focus on delivering high quality education and a rigorous curriculum for their pupils. I welcome the work of the Institute of School Business Leadership to raise the status of business professionals in our schools, helping them deliver ever improving educational outcomes for young people.”

The consultation also found that more than 90% of school business professionals felt their roles were increasingly complex with greater levels of responsibility and accountability. Worryingly, despite this, only half felt that the senior leadership team (SLT) viewed their role as being essential within the school.

Stephen Morales concluded by commenting on the future focus of the institute and all those within it:

“This is perhaps the most significant period in the history of school business management; our move to institute status comes at a time when the role of the school business professional has become critical to the survival and sustainability of all state-funded schools.

“It will be important for us to take responsibility for our own knowledge creation and innovation and we’ll be encouraging practitioners to contribute to and share sector-led research as we build a repository of case studies, practice excellence and thought leadership content.”

ISBL officially launched on Monday November 20, 2017, following the final NASBM Annual Conference (November 16-17).

Atomwide are delighted to remain an Approved Partner of the ISBL supporting them in their efforts to improve educational outcomes for young people whilst providing great value, proven and designed-for-education IT services into UK schools.

For more information about the ISBL please click here.

Exclusive new offer on Hitachi Interactive Flat Panels

All your AV Needs Under One Roof

We’re proud to work with all the leading AV brands so we know that there’s a lot of choice out there. As part of our on-going to commitment to pass on as many savings to schools as we can, and to ensure they are equipped with the best tech, we are very happy to be able to offer this exclusive opportunity on state-of-the-art Hitachi touch screens.

We can now offer brand new 65″ Hitachi touch screens with 6-8 point touch and anti-glare glass along with the following great savings:

  • 5 years warranty
  • Free standard flat wall mount bracket
  • Full installation with 2 meter input plate (HDMI/VGA/USB/Audio)
  • 5 years installation warranty and help-desk support

All this for just £1,515+VAT per screen. Click here to enquire.

To qualify for the offer you must order at least 5 screens, and the order must be placed before Thursday 30th November 2017. Offer subject to site survey.

For all orders placed on this offer before the expiration date, your school will also be entered into a free prize draw to win a Yuneec Breeze Drone worth £350!!

If you’re interested in this opportunity, or would like to speak about your school’s specific AV requirements please get in touch. For all the info see our website or download our brochure.

Best wishes

The Team at Atomwide

We are officially ISO 27001 Certified

Following an audit by UKAS Accredited Auditors, the British Assessment Bureau, Atomwide have been awarded official ISO27001 accreditation.

ISO 27001: Why do we need it?

Cybercrime has become headline news. Stories about data breaches that compromise global names multiply (think most recently with the NHS), and the Government is planning to tackle the issue by investing £1.9bn into cyber security. It may feel as though this is a new issue, but in truth Information Security has always been a risk. The change is that the threat has become ever more real:

– 8m people were victims of online fraud across England and Wales in 2015

– 44% of consumers worry about how their personal data is handled

– 60% of small businesses are victims of a cyber breach

– Cyber crime costs UK businesses £34bn a year

Risks will only intensify as organisations focus more investment in the digital world. More than ever, not only do organisations need to protect themselves, they must also ensure they protect the trust of their customers. With ISO 27001 accreditation we can now demonstrate that we actively do both.

ISO 27001: What is it?

ISO 27001 is the standard created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) which deals with Information Security Management. It’s a way of making sure that you’re managing information security risks effectively. ISO 27001 isn’t new. It can be traced back to the British Standard 7799, published in 1995. Originally written by the DTI, after several revisions ISO turned it into an internationally recognised standard.

The aim of the ISO 27001 standard is to help companies to establish and maintain an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS), using a continual improvement approach. The organisation will systematically examine any risks to information security and put in place policies & procedures to manage those risks. The intention is that an organisation should design, implement, maintain and continually improve a set of controls and measures to manage any threats to its information assets.

ISO 27001 is an ideal approach to deal with Information Security because its requirements cover a crucial element – management buy-in. ISO 27001 expects organisations to demonstrate that they link overall business objectives to security priorities. Moreover, the standard recognises the importance of communication; everyone in the organisation needs to understand their role in preventing Information Security threats and communication needs to be in a common language.

Information Security is not just the IT team’s responsibility, which is why ISO 27001 recognises the approach has to be led by the Board Room in order to develop a security-conscious culture.

In reality, most data breaches are nothing to do with new technology or advanced viruses, and everything to do with a lack of policy and education. Looking at data for UK companies:

– 60% of security events are the result of an inside attack

– 39% of IT staff can get unauthorised access to sensitive information

– 11% could take sensitive information with them if laid off tomorrow

– 42% of confidential data loss is through staff

ISO 27001: What are the benefits?

While news stories about data breaches focus on the world’s biggest companies, all organisations are equally vulnerable. Atomwide customers can remain reassured that when it comes to handling their data Atomwide are officially accredited as being up to the task. ISO 27001 is the gold standard accreditation in data management and demonstrates that we take security threats to our customer’s data seriously.

For more information or to discuss in more detail please get in touch.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

 

Excellent news in helping with your school’s purchasing

We are delighted to have been awarded a Technology Services 2 Framework agreement by the Crown Commercial Service, the procurement arm of central government.

The agreement covers a broad range of services and Atomwide were successful in being awarded to supply in all lots including:

Lot 1 – Technology Strategy & Services Design

Lot 2 – Transition and Transformation

Lot 3 – Operational Services

a) End User Services

b) Operational Management Services

c) Technical Management

d) Application and Data Management

Lot 4 a) – Programmes and Large Projects

More information about the new Technology Services 2 Framework can be found here – http://ccs-agreements.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/contracts/rm3804

What does this mean for our customers?

The great news for both existing and potential customers is that they can now choose to ‘direct award’ for Atomwide services without having to go out and get further quotes saving time and procurement costs. The reward also demonstrates and recognises the value for money afforded by Atomwide services to their users.

To find out more about our services, now available on the Crown Commercial Service Technology Services 2 Framework, please visit our website or speak to a member of the team.

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

National Association of School Business Management (NASBM) Approved Partner

The level of complexity and autonomy in schools is ever increasing, matched with new levels of direct accountability. The NASBM aims to support and develop a fit-for-purpose professional workforce equipped to effectively manage diverse school operations.

The NASBM aims to be:

Impartial – apolitical, representing the breadth of views of our members and the wider profession

Authoritative – providing relevant and reliable information and insight

Collaborative – working with a range of stakeholders and partners to support and raise the profile of the profession

Sector led – drawing on the expertise of our members and the wider profession

Responsive – listening to and responding to the needs of our members

We are delighted to have become a NASBM Approved Partner for our ICT services and support and look forward to working in partnership with the NASBM to support both them and their members nationwide through the use of our designed-for-education technology.

Keep an eye on our events calendar to see where we will next be exhibiting alongside the NASBM to find out more about how we can help at school.

http://www.atomwide.com/events.html

To find out more about the NASBM please see their website.

https://www.nasbm.co.uk/

Many thanks

The Team at Atomwide

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

Exciting News and New Opportunities

On the 1st August 2017 AdEPT Telecom Plc, a London Stock Exchange listed company that provides telecom services to over 20,000 customers across the UK, purchased Atomwide.

AdEPT provide telecom services to county councils, town councils and Ministry of Justice probation services as well as universities and colleges. This means Atomwide can now offer more services and better value to both existing and new customers alike.

Ian Fishwick, Chief Executive of AdEPT, commented:

“We are delighted to have acquired such a high quality, well-run and profitable business with a strong management team and extremely pleased the highly experienced senior management team will remain to grow the business”

More details can be found out about AdEPT below:

http://www.adept-telecom.co.uk/

Email Filtering with MailProtect

As email is a common way to initiate cyber-attacks, it’s essential that all establishments have robust email filtering in place to keep their networks secure and their users safe. MailProtect is a powerful email filtering product that harnesses the power of multiple industry-leading scanning technologies to offer round-the-clock protection from email-borne viruses, malware, phishing attempts and other cyber-nasties, as well as filtering out general spam and unwanted bulk mail.

Each day, MailProtect scans over 2 million emails for harmful or unwanted content. By using multiple scanning engines in a coherent fashion, MailProtect is able to offer real-time protection on a global scale where users are protected from threats as soon as they are discovered, helping prevent the spread of ‘zero-hour’ attacks.

As well as providing safeguards against cyber-attacks, MailProtect also helps shield users from unwanted spam and bulk mail. Users can receive daily spam digest reports that inform them of any mail that’s been trapped in the filters and are able to ‘preview’ or ‘release’ depending on the threat.

Perhaps MailProtect’s greatest strength is in the scale of its deployment – hundreds of thousands of unique recipients (and growing) across the UK. When a new threat is discovered it can be categorised as such and immediately blocked across the MailProtect community of users.

While a strong email filtering platform is a good defence, it is only half the battle. User vigilance and understanding is also key, and an integral part of protection from not just email-borne threats, but all types of cyber-attack. Below are some top tips1 from our partners at Sophos to help you keep your guard up.

  1. Make sure you are running an up-to-date antivirus application and that it is enabled.
  2. Ensure your computer is up-to-date and fully patched. Not just your operating system, but your web browser and third party applications like Java too.
  3. A lot of malicious code is distributed via links in emails or social media messages, so don’t click on suspicious links or attachments in emails.
  4. Use web filtering to prevent you browsing to websites infected with malicious code.
  5. If you’re worried you aren’t secure, or think you may be infected, run a scan with a tool like the Sophos Free Virus Removal tool which will detect and remove any nasty code like Gameover.
  6. Keep regular backups of your important files and if you can, store them offline, where they can’t be affected in the event of an attack on your active files.

More information can be found in our MailProtect brochure.

Should you have any queries regarding MailProtect or any of our online safeguarding services please speak to one of our experts.

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

Staying secure against Gameover and CryptoLocker

1. https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2014/06/03/staying-secure-against-gameover-and-cryptolocker/

Making school-wide announcements in an emergency

An area sometimes overlooked when planning for a potential emergency at school is the making of school-wide announcements. Should the need arise for a school to communicate instructions with the entire school there needs to be a simple and effective solution in place.

Further to demand from some of our supported schools we have developed a couple of options for schools using the LGfL VoIP service to ensure that if a school needs to install or replace a communication system, we have something that will do the job.

1)      With an Atomwide supported VoIP telephony system, we’ve introduced a feature that allows a user to speak through the loudspeaker on each individual phone handset around the school to broadcast messages. An ideal choice for schools who are already using one of our VoIP systems, as it removes the need for any additional speakers. Importantly, announcements can be made from any phone, simply by dialling an extension and speaking into the handset meaning that in the event of an emergency, instructions can be laid out quickly and efficiently.

2)      Atomwide are now able to supply public announcement systems that link with selected VoIP telephony services. We’ll install a series of wall-mounted horn speakers throughout the building that you will be able to broadcast messages from using your VoIP handset, again by dialling an extension number. Though this solution does require the purchase of extra kit, the solution itself provides more widespread coverage and higher volume for both internal and external areas of the school.

To discuss either aforementioned provision or any of our school emergency or security solutions in more detail please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

www.atomwide.com | 01689 814700 | info@atomwide.com

Atomwide launches Audio Visual range

Due to an increased demand Atomwide are pleased to now provide a full range of Audio Visual equipment to our customers. As teaching and learning becomes more digital, having the right tech in the classroom and throughout the school is key when using resources that are often hosted online and encourage user interaction. Although something that we have provided for many years we have now officially partnered with a variety of leading AV hardware providers to fulfill the ever increasing demand for quality, affordable and supported AV products and services for our schools. With some older technologies such as interactive whiteboards and data projectors being replaced by more future-proof technology such as interactive flat panels it is very exciting to be working with schools on these refresh projects and seeing first-hand how other services we provide are being used to aid teaching and learning in the classroom.

 

Atomwide can now provide:

Interactive Flat Panel Displays
Digital Projectors
Sign-in Systems
Digital Signage
Projector Bulbs
Cabling and Accessories
Full Installation and Support
And more…

 

“From first contact with sales, to survey of our existing infrastructure and to the advice and support process to the implementation, the whole project was carried out smoothly, professionally and with great customer service. It was a joy to deal with all involved in this process, and the post installation support has been exemplar.” Network Manager, Westminster School

 

Installation, Support and Training

As with all Atomwide products our AV service is underpinned by our professional and accredited installation service and industry-leading support giving our customers peace of mind that we are there not only when hardware gets installed but also further down the line should there ever be any problems. We understand that the best tech can only be used to its full potential by those who understand how to use it which is why we also offer training and accessible resources to help ensure our customers are making the most of their investment and both teachers and pupils receive the best in teaching and learning outcomes.

 

For more information please visit our website at http://www.atomwide.com and if you have any AV needs don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Atomwide team on 01689 814700 or sales@atomwide.com