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DFE Digital Standards For Technology

The DFE have created a set of digital standards which cover a range of important areas to support schools making informed decisions with technology.

Being compliant with the standards provide schools with the best knowledge to support them making the right choices to ensure that their systems are safe, secure, cost effective and also provide the best learning opportunities for students.

We understand that not all schools will be able to afford to revamp their entire infrastructure to stay up to date with these requirements. So we are offer to support schools on this journey. Speak with a member of our team today to arrange a free DFE Digital Standards Audit. We will work with you to understand your current infrastructure and systems as well as provide you with the key steps and pricing to enable you to achieve the digital standards.


What are the DFE Digital Standards



Broadband Internet standards

  • Schools should use full fibre connection for their broadband
  • They should have a backup broadband connection
  • They should have appropriate IT security and safeguarding systems in place

Network Switching standards

  • Switches should provide fast, reliable and secure connections for both wired and wireless clients
  • Have a centrally managed controller
  • Switches should have security features to protect users and data from unauthorised access
  • Core network switches should be connected to at least one UPS

Network Cabling standards

  • Copper cabling should be Category 6A
  • Optical fibre cabling should me a minimum of 16 Core multi mode OM4
  • New cabling should be installed and tested in line with manufactures guidance, warranty and conditions

Wireless Networking standards

  • Use the latest wireless network standard approved by Wi-Fi Alliance
  • Have a fully functional signal from your wireless across the entire campus, including externally if required
  • Have a centrally managed solution
  • Install security features to stop unauthorised access

Cyber Security standards

  • Protect all devices on every network with a properly configured boundary or software firewall
  • Network devices should be known and recorded with their security features enabled, correctly configured and kept up-to-date
  • Accounts should only have the access they require to perform their roles
  • You should use MFA 
  • You should use anti-malware
  • An administrator should check the security of all applications
  • All online devices and software should be licenced and patched
  • You should have at least 3 backup copies of important data, on at least 2 separate devices. 1 must be offsite
  • You should have a tried and tested disaster recovery include a reguarly tested contingency plan
  • Serious cyber attacks should be reported
  • You must conduct DPIAs
  • Train all staff in basics of cyber security

Filtering and Monitoring standards

  • You should identify and assign roles and responsibilities to manage your filtering and monitoring system
  • You should review your filtering and monitoring provision annually
  • Filtering systems should block harmful and inappropriate content, without impacting teaching and learning
  • You should have effective monitoring strategies that meet the safeguarding needs of your school or college

Cloud Solution standards

  • Use cloud solutions as an alternative to locally-hosted systems including servers
  • Cloud solutions must follow data protection legislation
  • They should use ID and access management tools
  • Solutions should be always available on a range of devices
  • Data backup must be in place

Server & Storage standards

  • All servers and related storage platforms should continue to workif any single component fails
  • Servers and storage platforms must be secure and follow data protection legislation
  • All servers and storage platforms should be energy efficient and set up to reduce power consumption whilst meeting needs
  • All server and storage platforms should be kept and used in an appropriate physical environoment

digital accessibility standards

  • Include digital accessibility in relevant strategies and policies
  • Hardware and software should support the use of accessibility features
  • Communication should be accessible to all

leadership & governance standards

  • Assign a senior leadership team member to be responsible for digital technology
  • Keep registers relating to hardware and systems up to date
  • Include digital technology within disaster recovery and business continuity plans
  • Have a digital technology strategy that is reviewed every year

laptop, desktop & tablet Standards

  • Devices should meet educational needs and support the digital strategy
  • Devices should be safe and secure
  • Devices should meet or exceed the minimum requirements
  • Make sure devices are energy efficient, and they are bought and disposed of sustainably


find out how your school/trust compares to the dfe digital standards.

book a Digital Standards Audit today?