Primary school achieves Cyber Essentials certification

Osgodby Primary School in Lincolnshire has become the first school in the UK to meet the requirements as set out in the government's Cyber Essentials certification.

This announcement is the latest in a line of impressive security achievements for the school, which was already the first of its kind to join the free Cyber-Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP), which is managed by CERT-UK. Young journalists from the school have, in addition, reported on cyber-security when attending a Cyber-Security Boot Camp earlier in the year.

Pupils at the school don't use CiSP, which at last count had some 700 members, but the school does continually monitor its cyber-defence capabilities.

“All our children are very proficient in using ICT in all forms” says Jill Fincham, Osgodby's head teacher. “Safeguarding is therefore vitally important to us all within the school and through the work that the children have done as a result of our activities and membership of the CiSP we've been able to develop a mature attitude to working online. We've even been able to work with parents and provide them with information that has helped develop their understanding too.”

Chris Gibson, director of CERT-UK, is delighted that the CiSP has helped Osgodby to attain this certification. “After they joined the CiSP, we've mentioned Osgodby Primary School's healthy attitude to cyber-security all over the UK and further afield. To see that they've now developed further is extremely encouraging.”

In addition to Cyber Essentials certification, Osgodby have also achieved another milestone by meeting the needs of the IASME standard. The IASME standard, based on international best practice, is risk-based and includes aspects such as physical security, staff awareness, and data backup.

Sarah Greig, senior administrator at Osgodby Primary School says: “We initially thought that Cyber Essentials would be difficult but as we were supported through the process, we found that it was something that, with a few tweaks here and there, we could achieve.”

The school's achievement could be seen as putting pressure on those UK companies who have so far failed to meet Cyber Essentials criteria themselves.