Remote Working Service for school staff
Remote Working Service background
Many schools requested the ability to access their school IT systems from home in a secure manner. Hampshire IT undertook a a successful pilot with the following schools during 2006 Neville Lovett Community School, Oak Farm Community School, Hordle Primary and Foxhills Infant.
What does the Remote Working Service offer?
The Remote Working Service allows school staff to safely and securely connect into their school LAN and access everything that they would normally be able to access in school. This includes data, plus applications such as SIMS, SAP and Access BP (and its replacement, subject to testing).
At home, staff will need a PC and broadband connection. The only thing they will not be able to do is print at home, but they can print to the school’s printer and pick up the printing the next day. The service will be unavailable each day between the hours of 22.00 - 02.00 to enable the school's back up to run unhindered.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit is that staff can access school data and applications from home.
Feedback from the pilot schools has been very positive and all those involved decided to continue with the service:"The service is so fast and reliable that it seems that I am working on a PC in school… it helps me to manage my time and complete tasks in the quiet that would have run late. I could not now manage my workload without the service."
Typical activities that these schools have carried out using Remote Working include:
- Using Assessment Manager to complete the setting up of a whole-school reporting system.
- Entering a register on Lesson Monitor that had been missed during the day.
- Accessing software packages that were not available on the home PC.
How much does the service cost?
The cost of the serving depends on which option the school decides will work best.
Option 1 - This is suitable for schools that would like to use an existing workstation already connected to their network.
- For an annual subscription of £234, the school may have up to five users able to access their network remotely.
- Only one user will be able to access the school network at a time.
Option 2 - This is suitable for schools who would like to use an existing server, or purchase a new server. In either case, the server should not be used for any purpose other than accessing the school's network remotely.
- There is one-off installation charge to set up the service of £250.
- There is also an annual subscription charge of £226 per year per block of five users. For example, if the school has four users, only one block of five licences will be needed. If a school has six users, two blocks of licences will be needed.
- Depending on the specification of the server, up to 30 users may work remotely at once. Your Consultant can advise on the specification of server suitable for the number of users the school needs.
The school may need some additional licences. as shown below. Your Consultant will be happy to advise on licensing that the school may need.
|Licence required||Area to be accessed|
|Windows Remote Desktop 2008 CAL||This licence is required regardless of what areas are to be accessed.|
|Microsoft Office 2007 Professional licence||Office 2003 applications|
For both options, an estimation of total cost to school can be provided by our Consultancy Team, via the IT Help Desk.
Frequently asked questions
Q. What is Remote Working?
A. This is a new service which will allow school staff to access their school network from their home PC and work as if they were in school.
Q. How much does the service cost?
A. £230 per year, per block of five accounts. It is recommended that schools allocate all five accounts at the time of purchase. In order to do this we require the names and school email addresses of all staff who will be using the service.
Depending on the number of concurrent users, the purchase of an additional server for the school LAN may also be required.
Q. Why do I have to supply my school email address rather than a personal one?
A. To ensure the security of the school network, remote working accounts will only be issued to recognised school email addresses.
Q. Will we need to purchase new hardware?
A. If you wish more than one person to use the service concurrently, you will require a separate server.
Q. Why do we need a separate server?
A. Using a separate server provides the most secure and supportable solution for the school network and complies with the recommendations issued by Capita and Microsoft.
Q. Is the service secure?
A. Yes, the connection uses VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology to provide a secure ‘tunnel’ to ensure that the school network is well protected against interception. All traffic passing through the tunnel is encrypted to 128-bit encryption and a further layer of security is provided by the use of usernames and one-time passwords which are different each time the user connects.
Q. What applications can be accessed?
- SIMS modules
- MS Office applications, i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc.
- Access BP
Additional applications, eg in the curriculum may be available providing they support Terminal Services, but we cannot offer support for these.
Q. Can I print to my home PC?
A. No, you will only be able to print to school printers.
Q. Can I transfer files between the school system and my home PC?
A. No, as this could prove a security issue for your school network, but you can email files to yourself.
Q. Can I share my account details with my colleagues?
A. No, for obvious security reasons. Users are accountable for all transactions carried out on their Remote Working account and under no circumstances should they share them with colleagues.
Q. Can my third-party network supplier use Remote Working to support the school network remotely?
A. No, the Remote Working service is designed for staff employed by the school only. To arrange remote access for a supplier, please contact the IT Help Desk.
Schools signing up to the Remote Working Service are allowed three changes per year per block of five users. A change is:
- adding extra users (counted as one change per additional user)
- removing users (counted as one change per user)
- replacing users with a new user (counted as one change per user)
- password resets (counted as one change per user)
- IP Address (counted as one change per school irrespective of the number of users).
Once your account is set up you will receive an email which has instructions about how to login. Please do not delete this email as it contains important information.
If you have any problems with accessing the service please call the IT Help Desk on 01962 847007.
If you would like to discuss setting up Remote Working for your school, please contact the IT Help Desk who will arrange for a consultant to talk to you about your requirements.
For urgent issues, call the IT Help Desk on 01962 847007. For anything else, see our contact page.