Summary of DfE Broadband and Internet Standards For Schools
The DfE set minimum standards in March 2022 as guidelines for schools when choosing the right digital infrastructure and technology to promote safer, more cost-efficient practices in schools.
They advise the standards should be used by everyone involved in the planning and use of technology within schools which can also help with budgeting for procurement and maintenance.
All schools should now use a full fibre connection for their broadband service. This allows broadband capacity for the use of online learning tools, a more cost-effective use of cloud services and bandwidth capacity to switch to digital based VOIP telephony when traditional phone lines are withdrawn.
A full fibre connection provides flexibility to future proof your school as demand for internet services increase.
Ensure new contracts or contract extensions using non-full fibre connection types provide the opportunity to change to fibre services when they become available.
Meeting Broadband Standards For Less
- Investigate the availability of FTTP – Fibre To The Premises. FTTP is the fastest available broadband at the lowest available price up to 1000Mbps
- Schools Broadband partners with many of the new AltNet providers, providing full fibre connections up to 1Gbps at very competitive rates
- Primary schools should have a minimum 100Mbps download speed and a minimum of 30Mbps upload speed
- Secondary and all-through schools should have a minimum 1Gbps connection
Backup and Failover Broadband Connections
As the internet is now an essential service in all schools, an automatic failover to an additional backup connection of a different type to your main connection is now required to provide internet continuity. You should also ensure that you have a firewall as part of your internet and network system.
IT Security and Online Safeguarding
Under both child and data protection legislation and a statutory obligation as part of Keeping Children Safe in Education, schools are required to safeguard children from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. Your Filtering service should enable identification, intervention and escalation where appropriate.
Read the full DfE Full Standards here.
More detailed information about online safety can be found at:
Keeping Children Safe in Education
UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS)