Brackenwood Infant School
Judicium Stories – Real people, Real Schools, Real advice
Brackenwood Infant School
"What I found from our first session was our consultant Marie was very supportive and understanding of our school, our situation, and what I needed as a new headteacher in order to move the school forward in a strategic way that allowed the process to remain manageable"
When Chris Mervyn stepped into the role as Headteacher for Brackenwood Infant School in September 2019, he knew there would be challenges he faced along the way.
With an Ofsted Outstanding rating, the community school had high standards and a vision for the future.
But one area Chris realised was not at the forefront of strategic decisions for the school was data protection.
Many people were aware of the concept but not fully trained or informed on how it would affect their day-to-day teaching and running of the school.
"Thankfully the Governors knew this and had set up the DPO service with Judicium so we could get everything in order," Chris said.
“Judicium was already working with the headteacher at another school in our cluster and the service came highly recommended.
“What I found from our first session was our consultant Marie was very supportive and understanding of our school, our situation, and what I needed as a new headteacher in order to move the school forward in a strategic way that allowed the process to remain manageable.
“We were introduced to the Jedu platform and the training and eLearning platforms, which were incredibly useful. Everything was made easier by all of the templates which were available to us.”
Within a few months the pandemic, with its repeated lockdowns and online learning, forced schools to take a very different approach to education.
But for Chris and his staff, it provided an opportunity to play catch-up.
“We were running with a skeleton staff, so I assigned eLearning modules for the staff that were at home,” Chris said.
“Marie and I discussed what were the most important modules that staff and the governors needed to complete based on their roles in school.
“It provided that solid base of understanding so the ongoing training moving forward is much easier.”
In January 2021 an annual review validated all the hard work Chris and the SLT had done and showed how successful their partnership with Judicium had become.
“What was great was that all of the things we prioritised for data protection were in place, were embedded," Chris added.
"There was a huge improvement for us as a school because of the support we received from Marie and Judicium.
“One point I feel is really important about Judicium is that there is an excellent level of understanding of how [data protection] should be used successfully within primary schools.
“I have worked with other providers before where the answer was always ‘no’ but what I felt when working with Judicium was that they have this great balance of the law, what your school needs to do for compliance, while also showing us how the law should look in a primary school so the running of the school will be successful.
“The teachers can still do their jobs, the children can be safe, and everyone has that really positive experience.
“I find working with Judicium is really a time-saver for me as a headteacher.”
And one thing that has been evident since the pandemic is that Headteachers and DPOs are dealing with more data breaches than ever. Cyber attacks are on the rise and although many assume schools are safe, Judicium has seen an increasing number of attacks on its clients.
"Just before the summer holidays we had a low-level breach," Chris explained.
"The Jedu platform was great for obtaining all the information and recording the required information.
“It was a good learning process, which was supported by the right advice and guidance from Judicium.
“Judicium really has provided a data protection cultural shift from Governance all the way to every member of staff, and it’s disseminated out to our parents.
“Even as we have become more skilled in [data protection], I have always said we will continue with Judicium because, for me as a headteacher, it’s that essential reassurance that I have expert, up-to-date advice and guidance available to me. It is irreplaceable.
“Our local authority has been depleted of resources and funds over the past few years, and we found by going through Judicium the expertise is very swift, clear, precise, and unlimited.
“Everything I have seen from Judicium has kept me wanting to remain a client.”
Brackenwood Infant School was so successful in creating and following its data protection policies it was awarded the Judicium Education’s School Data Protection Award, which recognises schools who have achieved a very high standard of data protection and security and taken significant steps to comply with legislation.
“We were really pleased when we received the award in 2021,” Chris said.
“We felt we worked really hard on data protection and it was wonderful to have that work recognised.”
If you’d like to learn more about Judicium’s services, please feel free to contact Georgina de Costa on email@example.com or 07399 185 443