Why UK Schools Are Choosing Securly

web filtering, online student safety, web filtering for schools, internet filtering

The end of UK Local Authority school networks

By: Richard Moore

In the UK, Local Authorities (LA’s) have been responsible for providing schools with fast, safe internet connectivity for the past 20 years. However, in 2000 the Academy program allowed schools to take control of their own finances and to operate as independent businesses funded by central government.

Many of the secondary academies found that they could procure connectivity more cheaply on the open market – and also take control of their own web filtering rather that suffer one size fits all policies.  By January 2015, over 60% of them had already converted according to data from the DfE.

Ofsted figures report that of the 31,000 schools in the UK more than 17,000 are primary schools.  Many of these primary schools have much simpler connectivity needs and no onsite technical staff. These are the schools that have been left clinging to their local authority networks, and less than 15% had converted to academy status by January 2015.

However, all that changed yesterday in the 2016 budget which stated that by 2020 all schools in the UK must have converted to academy status; LA’s will no longer be responsible for education. This is going to be a major headache for primary school head teachers.

Primary schools have always struggled to justify the cost and complexity of typical appliance based web filtering products, meaning that they were stuck with the LA network. Not any more!

With zero onsite hardware and a very simple, but effective web based control panel, Securly has become the web filter of choice for a growing number of UK primary schools. With pricing starting at less than £400 per year including unlimited support, it is also incredibly cost effective.

With features such as a unique parent portal, SSL filtering for search and social media, intelligent bullying detection, and support for any device you can be sure you have leading protection in place.

Securly offers free unlimited evaluations, and will partner with you to help transition you from the LA network to your own as you make the journey toward academy status.


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Why Choose Cloud Based Web Filtering?

cloud based web filtering, online child safety

Why Choose Cloud Based Web Filtering?

Web filtering is most widely known within the context of the Children’s Internet Protection Act of 2000 as a means of protecting students from harmful, explicit content found on the internet. However, web filters – especially those that are Cloud basedare capable of much more, in both home and school environments.  

PRODUCTIVITY

From a survey we conducted, about 50% of students reported being focused only half the time they spent studying or working on school assignments due to online distractions.  Cloud based web filtering services allow the admin to establish time restrictions on certain sites (social media, gaming, entertainment, etc.), impelling students to get back on track.

1:1

More than half of the US K-12 population will be involved in 1:1 computing programs by the end of this year, according to Education Week’s Market Brief.  1:1 refers to the practice of each student having their own device (usually a Chromebook or tablet) on loan from the school during the academic year.  Students are able to use these devices in class and at home; thus, schools are now seeking for 1:1 chromebook web filter solutions.  Hardware appliances previously limited web filtering to school grounds.   However, Cloud based web filtering for schools  ensures that students will be protected from harmful content wherever they are.

CYBERBULLYING

The term “cyberbullying” covers any sort of harassment via online communication.  Cyberbullying usually occurs on social media sites and public forums.  Blocking social media sites entirely may be too restrictive (especially for pre-teens) or unrealistic, as many schools use social media to communicate alerts to their students.  Cloud based web filtering provides a balanced solution via “Bullying and Self-Harm Detection”.  This technology analyzes student social media posts and alerts admins and/or school officials at any indication of cyberbullying, self-harm, or grief.  This approach addresses cyberbullying detection and works to prevent cyberbullying’s often fatal consequences.

SIMPLICITY

Until recently, web filtering solutions relied mostly on hardware appliance and routers.  These appliances are often complicated to set-up and require constant maintenance by IT admins.  The cost of mandatory updates and extra features can add up to an exorbitant amount.   Instead, cloud based web-filtering allows for easy, immediate set-up through a friendly user-interface.  It is also a simple way for parents to utilize parental control features.

MONITOR ONLINE BEHAVIOR

Lastly, cloud based web filtering allows parents and IT admins to track sites kids are visiting and how often.  While web restrictions vary from school to school and household to household, it’s important to be aware of your child’s web activity to promote online safety!

 

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