IT & Telephone Issue – Update 16th March 2021

Dear parents and carers,

On Monday afternoon our IT team identified a Ransomware threat which had begun to infiltrate our network. We understand that there has been a significant increase in prevalence of these attacks in recent weeks which have affected other local schools, businesses and public sector organisations.

This has caused considerable disruption to our network and IT capabilities, both as a result of the original attack and also as we have taken precautionary measures to isolate the issue and rebuild affected files and services.

We have of course reported this Ransomware attack to all relevant authorities including Action Fraud/National Cyber Security Centre. Although the attack has attempted to encrypt network data and systems, we do not believe that any data has been stolen or removed from our network.

Thanks to our IT team’s rapid action in addition to some specialist external expertise, we are confident that we have isolated the issue and can now work on restoring full functionality. This will however take some time, and in the short term we would be grateful if parents could support with the following;

• The schools phone system remains down at the the current time.  Please only contact the school by telephone if  absolutely required. The number to use is 07565106999

• If students are purchasing food in the canteen, we would be grateful if this could be paid for with cash as our catering card system is not currently operable. If using cash is not possible or desired, students may still take food, the cost will be recorded and then payment taken from catering cards as soon as the network returns. Students eligible to free school meals will continue to receive these as normal.

• During the period of network disruption, we will continue to post updates on the school website and will notify you as soon as relevant systems come back online.

• Email systems and Go4Schools remain operational, but are likely to be subject to delays and inaccuracies as staff will not have easy access when in the school building.

Thank you in advance for your support and we hope to begin bringing systems and services back online as soon as possible.

Mr James Birkett