Management Information Sheet

Norfolk Schools Broadband Service for 2013-14

MI Sheet TypeInformation
MI Number:51/13
Publication Date:22/02/2013 12:00:00
LA Contact:Lynn Parvin (01603 475612)
Audience:Headteachers, Finance officers, Business Managers

Norfolk Schools Broadband Service for 2013-14

A number of schools have asked us recently about the changes to Broadband charging and for information about the Broadband service following marketing offers from a number of providers.

This MI sheet explains

  • the background to the funding and charging changes as well as
  • providing access to more information about the service to inform your buying decision.

Funding and Charging

The changes in funding and charging for Broadband relate to the Fair funding consultation and MI sheet 200/12 available here

ICT Shared Services changed the charging mechanism to reflect the funding changes required by local authorities to try to make sure that no schools are disadvantaged and to protect the service for the benefit of all schools, particularly those in rural areas where the costs of delivering the service are significantly higher.

So the fair funding consultation allocates as follows

  • a single lump sum for Broadband to all schools of £5500
  • plus for secondary's a basic per pupil entitlement.
  • £5500 will be included in the line 1.3 Lump sum element of the budget - it will not be ring-fenced for Broadband only and will not appear as a separate element as the new funding regulations require.
  • For Secondary schools the Basic Per Pupil Entitlement will appear in line 1.2

For primaries the charge will equate to the funding allocated so the nett effect is still £0.

More than Broadband

The Norfolk Schools Boadband service includes the following :

  • Up to 100Mb Broadband connection for Secondary schools
  • Up to 10MB Broadband connection for Primary and Special Schools
  • Smoothwall Internet filtering
  • Secure generic email accounts for Head@, office@ etc
  • Google email accounts for staff and pupils as well as Google Apps for Education
  • Norfolk Cloud Portal - enables users to access online services through a single point with one user ID and password to support effective learning and use of resources.
  • Access to Learning resources from E2BN and NEN
  • Securely hosted web space to host your school's public facing website
  • High End Video Conferencing facilities
  • Router
  • Fully managed service with BT

We have compiled the Broadband Comparator available on the front screen of our website to show the differences between Norfolk Broadband and the package most other competitors offer.

For example are you aware of the Norfolk Cloud Portal which we launched in November which gives your staff and pupils access to a range of applications in school including all the teaching and learning resources available from E2BN. This means all users can use their Google NSIX email address as their single log in to all of these systems. Despite letters that Church schools will have received from the Diocese, the content from E2BN is only available at no additional charge for schools through the Norfolk Schools Broadband Service. It is chargeable through any other Broadband service. This integrated Norfolk Cloud Portal service and resources are only available to Norfolk Schools Broadband users. More information is available here.

Independent Advice from NEN

The Education Network (NEN) have independent guidance for schools to support decision making for Broadband which is available from the front screen of our website here. All Norfolk Schools are connected via the East of England Broadband Consortium to the Education Network creating a secure private network with other schools in all regions of the UK. This means that when you collaborate with any other schools, colleges or universities in the UK that are also connected to NEN you are operating in a safe and secure environment. The options provided by competitors usually mean that transactions happen in the public internet and therefore are open to external threats.

Our market analysis shows that other alternative options offer the minimum levels of security and filtering and appropriate levels to safeguard your school are subject to additional charges. For example with most providers the filtering covers the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) legal minimum ie criminally obscene pornography and child sexual abuse content only.

Smoothwall Internet filtering

For 2013 ICT Shared Service as part of the Broadband contract is currently implementing Smoothwall filtering so schools can remain on the same filtering profile they have now or move to greater flexibility via an online portal at no extra cost. The pilot for Smoothwall filtering with schools commences week commencing 25th February and ends 8th March. Subject to the outcome of the pilot, the main project rollout will commence from 11th March - Secondary schools first and then by clusters with the aim for the rollout to be completed by 28th March.

The Smoothwall portal will allow different users, year groups or classes to access content appropriate to their use in school which could be a permanent arrangement or for a particular lesson or project period. This will give teachers far more flexibility over the range of material they can access for lesson planning than the current filtering model. For more information about the Smoothwall filtering options please click here

Internet Performance

As well as changing the filtering solution to Smoothwall because of the increased functionality and flexibility it offers schools, the second reason for the change was to improve the performance of the internet speed. Once the Smoothwall implementation is complete we will work with BT to review the available capacity of the service with the aim to move all schools to the available bandwidth of their link.

In the meantime we have been monitoring usage and performance with BT and have increased the bandwidth of many schools already to 40Mb for Secondary schools and up to 10MB for primaries related to their usage and size of school. If your school is experiencing internet performance problems then please log it with our Service Desk with a description of the problem and ideally the date and time when it happened. For schools that have reported problems we have been able to successfully improve the performance in school.

More information is available about the Broadband contracts and the services covered on our website at This information is currently being updated with fuller service specifications and description of each component of the service which should be available after half term.