Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges

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Bradford Council's Innovation Services can assist schools in ensuring their broadband internet meets the standards set out by the DfE on connection type, connection speed, resilience and safeguarding.

In summary the DfE sets out the following standards in 3 key areas:

Broadband internet standards for schools and colleges

  • schools and colleges should use a full fibre connection for their broadband service
  • schools should implement this standard as soon as possible, usually at the end of any existing contract term or as soon as full fibre is available
  • primary schools should have a minimum 100Mbps download speed and a minimum of 30Mbps upload speed
  • secondary schools and all-through schools should have a connection with the capacity to deliver 1Gbps download and upload speed

Schools and colleges should have a backup broadband connection to ensure resilience and maintain continuity of service

  • with increasing reliance on internet-based services, broadband internet is an essential service, schools should ensure that appropriate measures are in place to mitigate against a single point of failure
  • resilient services should be implemented alongside, or as soon as possible after a new connection is installed
  • This standard requires a combination of the following:
    • multiple broadband connection services (of different service types)
    • multiple routers and appropriate associated router programming to provide automatic failover to backup services as and when required
    • redundant power options on core active network equipment

Schools and colleges should have appropriate IT security and safeguarding systems in place, under both child and data protection legislation

  • it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material
  • an effective whole school and college approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate students, and staff in their use of technology
  • it establishes ways to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns where appropriate
  • schools should talk to their supplier or in-house support team to ensure they have a content filtering system in place which meets the requirements outlined in the online safety section of keeping children safe in education, paragraphs 123-135
  • schools should ensure they have a firewall as part of their internet and network system. This could be an on premises device directly protecting the network and directly managed by the school or college. It also might be an ‘edge’ service provided and managed by a supplier or in-house support team

Full details f the DfE standards are available here:,1Gbps%20download%20and%20upload%20speed

The Innovation Service support all these areas - if you have any queries on the standards and how to meet them please contact


Published: 13/12/2022
Audience: Headteachers, Business Managers, Network Managers
Contact: Sarah Hawkins

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