Woodfield School Safeguards 1:1 Deployment with Lightspeed Systems

The Challenge: Chromebook Filtering During Remote Learning

Woodfield School in Surrey is a maintained day special school for children aged 11- 19 years. After deploying Chromebooks across the entire school in March 2020 to enable home learning during lockdown, Woodfield also needed to improve the infrastructure of their existing IT systems to support the rollout.

Andy Chase, Key stage 4 SENCo IT Lead at Woodfield, was responsible for ensuring that the 1:1 devices were filtered and monitored correctly. “The deployment gave us an opportunity to really investigate how we’re safeguarding our pupils by using filtering and how we can allow access to certain websites and resources safely,” Andy explained. “Our partner Vitalize recommended that we have a look at Lightspeed Systems solutions and after several calls with Lightspeed and a little bit of a trial period we invested in them.”

We now have YouTube open in school, but they don’t get the side adverts or comments pop up because of the SmartPlay agent and the algorithms that Lightspeed uses.

The Solution: Filtering YouTube with Lightspeed Filter™

The first piece of the safeguarding puzzle that Woodfield deployed was Lightspeed Filter™ ensuring they had KCSIE appropriate levels of filtering and monitoring with granular control. “Lightspeed [Filter] provides all the features we need to keep students safe. It’s also cloud-based and has a great management console that required staff can navigate,” says Andy. “We filter all devices in the school used by students and staff. If we need to whitelist a domain, we can do it easily.”

Woodfield needed to ensure the devices had the same level of safeguarding outside of school with home learning becoming more commonplace. “Being an SEN and a LAN school, our pupils are a lot more vulnerable online, but they still needed to access their work for remote or blended learning,” says Andy. “The beauty of Lightspeed is that the agent can be deployed on our Google domain or on the device. We are able to support the families and the pupils to make sure that they still have filtering in place even when they’re offsite.”

Since Lightspeed Filter was designed solely for education, Woodfield was keen to utilise the unique features of the solution to enhance learning throughout the school. “[Lightspeed Filter] has some really clever features,” says Andy. “For example: you can have Facebook open but in read-only mode. They can’t add posts, they can’t create posts, they can’t create a profile.”

Another feature that has given students access to more safe educational resources than ever is SmartPlay™, allowing customisable policy controls within YouTube. “We know YouTube can be a fantastic resource for teachers to look at, but there are also a lot of inappropriate videos,” says Andy. “We now have YouTube open in school, but they don’t get the side adverts or comments pop up because of the SmartPlay agent and the algorithms that Lightspeed uses. It’s just fantastic.”

We are able to support the families and the pupils to make sure that they still have filtering in place even when they’re offsite.

THE DIFFERENCE: Safeguarding Students with Lightspeed Alert™

Woodfield also discovered Lightspeed Alert was a key Lightspeed solution to ensure their most vulnerable students were safeguarded proactively. “We need to identify potential problems early, before they become tragedies,” explains Andy. “We needed a simple to use platform that provides an early warning for issues such as self-harm, suicide, and bullying. Alerts go to our designated team who take the required action.”

Emma Digby is the acting Deputy Head Teacher at Woodfield School and part of the safeguarding team dealing with alerts. “As a special school the most significant challenge that we’ve had over the last couple of years is the mental health and wellbeing of pupils,” says Emma. “During lockdown, moving to Google and having Lightspeed meant that there was a function that we would be alerted if pupils had tried to search for specific keywords.”

Lightspeed Alert uses AI and machine learning, so automated alerts are sent only when a risk is identified to school-designated personnel. “We had a pupil at 7:00 AM looking into ways to commit suicide and it came up as an alert. I was able to call the parent and they were able to talk to them,” says Emma. “What it’s enabled us to do is to be able to complete the circle between the pupils and the parents even when they’re not in school. That’s where it’s been most helpful from a safeguarding point of view.”

As well as keeping the devices safe, Woodfield had a class set of iPads that they needed to manage centrally. They soon discovered that Lightspeed Mobile Device Management™ (MDM) had all the device controls they needed as well as sitting in the same console as Filter and allowing them to save time on training staff and deployment within their existing groups. “We were already impressed with Lightspeed filter and the cost for MDM was very reasonable,” recalls Andy. “The ability to push out apps centrally is huge for time-saving. It’s very easy to use and support from Lightspeed has been excellent too.”

The Results: Filtering and Monitoring Chromebooks Efficiently

Lightspeed’s solutions are now a key part of the online education and safeguarding within Woodfield, ensuring their students are protected with the granular control they need. “There’s lots of benefits to Lightspeed but for me as an IT lead the biggest benefit is being able to teach what you want to be able to teach in a secure way,” concludes Andy. “It’s enabled our 1:1 Chromebook scheme to be successful by protecting our students online at home—during lockdown and also when their students are absent with covid or other reasons. With our 1:1 scheme and Lightspeed solutions we can continue to teach wherever the student is.”

There’s lots of benefits to Lightspeed but for me as an IT lead the biggest benefit is being able to teach what you want to be able to teach in a secure way.

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About Lightspeed Systems

Lightspeed Systems, based in Essex, England, is a leading online safety and effectiveness platform for trusts and schools. A proven partner for student safety and engagement, Lightspeed uses advanced AI to view and analyse student activity across the web. Lightspeed serves over 20 million students in 38 countries and 28,000 schools globally.


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