A Cyber Response Plan should be considered as part of an overall continuity plan; schools need that to plan to ensure they maintain a minimum level of functionality to safeguard pupils and staff, and to restore the school back to an operational standard. If a school fails to plan effectively then recovery can be severely impacted, causing additional loss of data, time, and ultimately, reputation. Incidents may occur during the school day or outside of hours. The Cyber Response Plan should be tested, with input from key stakeholders, to ensure that in an emergency there is a clear strategy, which has fail-safes when key personnel are unavailable.

By clicking here you can access the Risk Protection Arrangement Cyber Response Plan template issued by the Department for Education. It states clearly what is expected, sets out key roles and responsibilities, model letters in case of school closure, forms to be filled in at each stage, and more!

As part of the RPA requirements for cybersecurity insurance, school staff now need to complete cyber security training and schools need to keep records to confirm they have completed the training.

OpenLearn offers a free course: Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

“This free online course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online, will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.” (OpenLearn)

“This course is endorsed by the CPD Standards Office.  It can be used to provide evidence of continuing professional development but is not accredited learning. We are unable to provide formal learner verification services for participation in our open online courses, which are provided freely by The Open University as self-directed CPD.”