Sunday, 23 April 2017

Back to Work Bulletin


To start the new term, we’ve released a set of eleven short training videos covering a wide range of areas including using Microsoft Sway, Google Drive and eBooks.

The videos are at

eLearning Conference

This year’s eLearning Conference (which is free for DRET staff) will be held in Newark on 27th June. As well as some great speakers and the chance to learn from colleagues, there will be opportunities to start up and get involved in projects in 2017-18. Find out more and apply for a place here.

We’re also planning our first DRET coding cup on the same day with small teams of programmers from our academies in competition.

Revision Guides as eBooks

The eLibrary ( has a good range of eBooks including text books and revision guides you might want to suggest students take a look at (or use in lessons yourself). This website runs through a quick guide to getting access to the service if you don’t use it already.

IT Security and Data Protection Advice

Dealing with Dodgy Links

From time to time at work or at home you’ll get an email that pretends to be something that it isn’t. It will try to look like it came from your bank, traffic enforcement, a delivery service. The pattern is always the same – tell you something to alarm you enough to open the attachment or follow the link. This simple guide will help you spot them and tells you the best thing to do.

Encrypting Emails

When you are sending any confidential data by email it is possible to encrypt the message by putting the text [Confidential] in the subject line (including the square brackets).

The person receiving the message will have to either type in their password again to open it or request a passcode. This means that if their computer or phone is stolen, or if they forward the information to someone else, the data is more secure.

Please do only use this for things that are genuinely confidential as otherwise you’re asking colleagues to key in their password extra times for no reason, which might become slightly annoying…


You will soon be receiving a reminder to change your password. Please do not use the same password for work as for any other accounts you might have. Here is a short video that explains how to change your password quickly and easily.


We have had to stop filtering Dropbox in order to allow it to be used for Effective Maths. Please note however that Dropbox is not approved for staff use except for particular cases by finance and sport teams and using it otherwise for work purposes would be in breach of the Acceptable Use Policy. This includes use for teaching material.

Teamviewer and Logmein

Sometimes people use products like Teamviewer to allow a technician to work on their PC. After they have finished, always make sure the program is not left running. Leaving such programs on all the time is a serious security risk.

Paper Copies of Confidential Files

Much as we try to be paperless, inevitably we sometimes have to print things.

Please remember though that a confidential document on paper should be kept in a secure place, and shredded when no longer required. If you habitually leave any confidential documents in bags or on work-surfaces please make alternative arrangements.

Using External Hard Drives and Thumb Drives

A lot of people store all their work files on a portable storage device of some kind, to bring them to and from home. It’s a habit that once you’ve settled into it becomes hard to break.

Doing it poses some serious problems.

  • These devices are not intended for heavy duty use and a small number will inevitably fail at some point - we have had cases of colleagues losing all their teaching resources. If you keep things on these and do not have a backup you will eventually lose them.
  • They present a data protection risk. It is entirely possible that a colleague might store personal data about their students or their families inadvertently. This would be in breach of the data protection policy and our acceptable use policy. 

Good alternative arrangements (such as using OneDrive or Google Drive) are available. Staff are encouraged to stop using these devices. At some point soon we will place restrictions on our system that block them, so now would be a good time to find out about the alternatives (there are some good training videos on

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