2020/2021 Service Definition

Support for Remote Learning

About the Service

As part of its support to schools and vulnerable pupils, Lancashire County Council has made available to schools a large number of Chromebooks and Windows devices to support remote learning. The project to allocate these devices to schools for use with vulnerable pupils is being managed by Lancashire County Council.

Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services have worked with the County Council to offer schools an optional service to have web filtering and additional safeguarding restrictions installed on the devices, to ensure that pupils are safeguarded while learning remotely, before the devices are distributed by schools to pupils.

The Support for Remote Learning Service is a simple, safeguarding option which can be set-up by school staff on a self-service basis. The solution will ensure that the Netsweeper Continuity Web Filter is installed and that pupils can only access web-based services via a Google Chrome browser.

The Support for Remote Learning is an optional setup and configuration enforcement service. Schools will receive instructions on how to enrol the Chromebook devices (a quick non-technical process). Devices that are covered by this service will be enrolled in a Google Workspace for Education domain that is managed by Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services. This will enforce a collection of settings that will make the Google Chromebooks suitable for use at home by pupils. Users will not be able to amend these settings.

Some of the devices being supplied to schools have Windows 10 preinstalled. Schools receiving these devices will also receive a Neverware CloudReady USB device and instructions on how to use this to convert the devices to Chromebooks (a quick process that does not require technical expertise).

What are the benefits?

  • The device will be configured with the Chrome operating system and with the Netsweeper Continuity Web Filter. Pupils are unable to disable these, or to install an application or extension to bypass the filtering protection.
  • No user accounts (usernames/passwords) are required to log in and these devices cannot be used to log into any other Gmail account or Google Workspace domain.
  • Pupils will be able to access Office365 / Microsoft Teams and other web-based resources for online learning via a browser that loads when the device is switched on.
  • All devices will automatically enrol in a centrally managed GSuite domain for technical management, and to allow schools to benefit from reset functionality (should a pupil experience technical problems with the device).
  • Schools can self-serve 'repairs' to the Chromebooks by simply resetting it. By using a key press combination, users can force devices to re-build themselves to resolve problems.
  • If a school has requested the service to be installed on Windows devices, the configuration includes NeverWare Cloud Ready software, enabling schools to quickly reinstall a faulty device using a special USB key.
  • All rebuilt devices automatically re-enrol into the single central GSuite domain ensuring continued protection.
  • Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services can also offer onsite installation as an additional chargeable service if a school requires assistance, but the technology has been specifically designed to enable school staff to self-serve the setup.
  • Schools that subscribe to our Technical Support for Curriculum Networks can request their technician to setup as many devices as time allows in a future scheduled visit. Schools must request this in advance by submitting an online incident request using My Incidents.
  • The service is also available for schools who have received donated devices from other sources, in this case additional licensing charges will apply.

What's Included?

Service Features

Feature Description

Documentation to Support Self-Service Setup

School staff will need to follow a short simple setup procedure for each device which will enforce the settings, ensuring the device is ready to be handed to the pupil and taken home.

Management Software and Licences

Depending on the type of device this service either includes use of:

  • Devices that are designed as Chromebooks require a ChromeOS Management Software license to be used with this service. This includes the Google Workspace for Education Management license functionality and is included in this service.
  • Devices that have been converted from Windows 10 laptops to Chromebooks require a NeverWare CloudReady license (one year subscription) in order to be managed. This includes the Google Workspace for Education Management license functionality and is included in this service.

Web Filtering

  • Devices that use this service will receive the Netsweeper Continuity Web Filter (one year licence included).
  • This provides basic filtering suitable for primary age children to use for teaching and learning.
  • The filter settings are not configurable.
  • The devices will use the web filter at any location where they access the internet.
  • Reporting is not currently available with this service.

This service is not connected or integrated with the BT Lancashire Services Broadband Web Filtering Service (Netsweeper).

Secured Device – Setup and Configuration Enforcement

The configuration of the device will be enforced. This will apply a range of settings to ensure the devices are secure and cannot be amended by pupils. Licences to provide the management of the configuration are included in this service for each device. This includes settings such as:

  • Forced re-enrolment: This ensures that if the Chromebook is reset, it will automatically re-enrol into the Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services domain. The device cannot be used with any other GSuite domain, nor any other GSuite account.
  • Sign in for any other users disabled: Devices are configured to automatically log in using a 'managed guest session'. At the end of each session, the session is reset. Web browsing history is not reset.
  • Incognito mode is disabled to stop pupils bypassing filtering.
  • Google SafeSearch enabled to block inappropriate search results.
  • YouTube Restricted Mode is enabled to block inappropriate videos from being displayed.
  • Dangerous Downloads are blocked.
  • Installation of apps and extensions are blocked to ensure the device remains safe and secure for pupils.

Accessibility Control

The Chromebook will allow the user to control the accessibility settings on the sign-in screen.

Software Updates

The Chromebook will automatically download and apply upgrades to installed software.

Auto Log In / Log off

  • The Chromebook will automatically logon when you power on the device and log off when you close it. This makes it easy for pupils to access the Chromebook and closes the session without the need to log off.
  • Pupils will still need to log into the browser to access web resources such as Microsoft Office and Teams.

Service Support

Support Description

Self-Service Support

 

Once configured the Chromebooks should need little support. Should a software fault occur, schools and pupils are able to reset the Chromebooks, and all the pre-installed software and safeguarding settings will reapply automatically. Guidance is available on the Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services website in the Support section under "Remote Learning Set Up". 

Schools can self-serve 'repairs' to Chromebooks as follows:

Purpose-built Chromebooks:

  • By using a keypress combination, users can force Chromebooks to re-build themselves (known as a 'powerwash').

Windows laptops converted to Chromebooks with Neverware CloudReady Software:

  • Schools can quickly reinstall a faulty device using the supplied USB key.
  • Devices that are rebuilt (either via Neverware CloudReady or by a powerwash) will automatically re-enrol into the Lancashire County Council GSuite domain.

Hardware Failure

Hardware support is not provided with this service. Schools will need to contact the vendor directly in the event of hardware failure.

Support for Staff or Pupils 

This service provides setup and configuration enforcement option only and does not include support for school staff or pupils. Documentation, including user guides, are available for school staff to self-serve. Please see the support section of our website.

What's Excluded?

The following services are excluded from this service:

Feature

Description

Support for Schools

All support other than as described in the Support Section above is excluded.

Support for Pupils and Parents

The ICT Service Centre will not accept calls or online incident requests from pupils or parents/carers.

Google Workspace for Education Services

GSuite services are not setup or configured as part of this provision.

Reconfiguration

The devices will be configured as Chromebooks for use by pupils at home, reconfiguration for any other purpose is not included in this service.

Testing on Non-LCC Donated Devices

Please note that Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services has only tested this service on the range of devices purchased by Lancashire County Council for schools and cannot guarantee that it will work on other devices.

Schools wishing to purchase this service to install on other donated devices will need to test its suitability for their needs first, to check that their devices deliver the expected performance once installed with the management service.

Please only purchase the numbers you require for testing, on your initial order. Additional orders can then be placed once you are happy the service meets your requirements.

Additional Information

  • Once schools return to a more normal operation with pupils attending lessons in the school premises, schools may wish to have the Chromebook safeguarding restrictions and tools removed and have the Chromebook reset to default. This will be available as an additional chargeable service on request.
  • Lancashire County Council Education Digital Services is also working towards offering a managed Chromebook service for schools and will provide further updates later in the year.