How Durham County Council ICT School Services is delighting its schools with Smoothwall Filter
Durham County Council ICT School Services now procures Smoothwall Filter and Firewall for 233 schools across the region. Prior to 2017 each school had their own firewall and though filtering was managed centrally, it was very basic. With no content-aware capability, pupils were at risk of exposure to harmful content. A lack of granular controls also meant that if a URL was unblocked then all schools were affected. It was a one fits all solution and the Council recognised that this wasn’t in the best interests of anyone when schools have such a heavy reliance on web based content.
In 2017 they committed to improving this situation and embarked on a radical overhaul of their filtering provision.
John Taylor is the Managed Service Team Leader at Durham County Council ICT School Services. He comments: “Some of our secondary schools had purchased Smoothwall Filter independently and were reporting great success. Though the purchase was ultimately a Procurement decision with a full market review, the fact we had a number of schools already using Smoothwall reduced the perception of risk significantly.”
Whichever solution they chose had to work across the Council’s diverse network of schools and devices. From schools with one classroom and ten children in rural areas, to large flagship secondaries with 1700 students. Some had Windows, some had iPads, while others had Chromebooks. It was a myriad of need.
I can’t speak highly enough of Smoothwall. From our side, it’s been a breath of fresh air, a fantastic product for our customers.