Whole School Policies for ICT - # 1 - the infrastructure
There can be no exception to the principle that ICT must be an Whole School Policy. Unless the Leadership & Management Team are convinced of your vision (see 'Vision'), unless the Sponsors and Governors are equally convinced and unless every member of staff shares the same perception of the value of ICT in education, you will have problems.
Essential reading: the BECTA document, 'Making the Most of Your Investment in ICT'.
For the last 20 years I have been installing and managing networks and defining whole-school policies for ICT on the basis of an Open Access Policy. ie "That any member of staff and any student should have access to any appropriate software and files at any time throughout the working day and from any place throughout the campus." Admittedly, this definition should now be extended recognising the place of VLEs.
Such a policy inevitably has six immediate requirements:
that the LMT have a good understanding of Procurement strategies as advised by BECTA;
that there is an even distribution of workstations throughout all subject areas or Faculties;
that there is an appropriate licensing system for the access of software throughout the campus;
that the Network Manger or the Managed Service Provider can monitor and control the security of the network through a system of profiles, access rights and a robust and manageable firewall and filtering system;
that there is a clear and simple 'Acceptable Use' policy document which all students and parents must acknowledge (often by signatures in the student's Planner);
that Staff, as employees, should also be expected to sign up to a more detailed Acceptable Use Policy as part of their Terms of Employment.
As a common shared resource it is far too easy for the ICT facilities to become neglected or even abused. The section on Managing Resources goes into a little more detail, also the section on the Network Manager reflects on different Leadership styles. The bottom line, however, is that the declared ICT Policy should be followed by all staff, students and also any Adult or 'Community' users.