Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

It has been some time since we published a school newsletter (the last one was in April 2019). This is largely due to the significant impact that the cyber attack, which the school was victim to in July 2019, had on our network. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on progress since that attack.

First of all I want to thank our network staff, who have worked incredibly hard to overcome what were some very significant challenges. This included working throughout the summer holidays to address issues and to build a new network for the school. I also want to thank all of the Giles Academy staff and students for their patience. I fully understand just how much concern this raised. I would like to assure you, however, that we have done everything that we can to minimise the impact of this criminal attack. We have also worked with a number of external bodies, including the Police, the Information Commissioners Office and the National Cyber Security Centre to try to help them in their investigations and also to look for what steps we needed to make to avoid any potential vulnerabilities to such attacks in the future.

Since the attack we have had to take some major steps. This has included replacing all of the school’s critical IT systems, which we rely on for the smooth running of the school.

Given that there was some data lost during the attack, which could impact on some student work towards their qualifications, we have liaised with all of the examination boards to look to ensure that no student is disadvantaged as a result of this incident.

We are proud that, given the serious nature of the attack, the school community was able to pull together to avoid having to close the school for any period of time. Most of the work has now been completed but there remain some elements which we will continue to work to replace. For example, one of the consequences of the attack was that we have had to move away from using the Giles App. We know how popular this was with students, parents and staff. We want to replace this with something which will provide similar functionality which is easily understood and easily accessible for all. You will be hearing details about a new application which we will be using going forward to communicate with students and parents called Show My Homework. We will be contacting parents with details of other developments in due course.