Bloxx Excels at Hampton School
“We can now easily permit access to blocked sites when they are requested, without having to rely on a third party to resolve these issues. This has reduced the time spent rectifying access problems by half, and the staff no longer complain about how long it takes to get a denied site working again, which is a big bonus!”
Ian Trevena, Network Manager, Hampton School
Middlesex-based independent school turns to Bloxx Tru-View Technology to solve its web filtering woes
Based in Richmond-upon-Thames, Middlesex, Hampton school educates boys between the ages of 11 and 18 years. Founded in the 16th century, it became an independent, fee paying school in 1975. The school has achieved significant academic success; in 2008, 79% of GCSE grades were awarded at A* or A, compared with the national figure for boys of 5.7%. Similarly, the school also achieved a 100% A-Level pass rate, breaking a new record of 94% A – B grades.
The school encourages the use of the Internet as a valuable learning resource and emphasises the importance of cybersafety. As part of creating a safe and secure online learning environment, Hampton school considers web filtering to be an important part of managing and regulating Internet access across the school’s IT network.
Previously, the school was using the London Grid for Learning’s managed service filtering solution. However, the school’s Network Manager, Ian Trevena realised the technology was not providing the sophisticated level of web filtering that the school required.
“When we discovered sites that needed to be blocked or allowed, we had to submit these to the managed service provider to be reclassified,” explains Trevena.
“This was time consuming for the IT team and frustrating for teaching staff. In addition, since the solution only had a single filtering policy, we could not create varying degrees of access for different age groups. This inflexibility made it extremely difficult to apply our Acceptable Use Policy effectively.”
Hampton school deployed a Bloxx Tru-View Technology web filtering appliance to monitor and regulate Internet access for its 200 staff and 1100 students.
“After evaluating a number of different web filters, we felt that Bloxx provided all of the functionality we required to more easily manage Internet access and implement and manage a more effective AUP,” says Trevena.
“We are now able to provide variable Internet access around Active Directory user groups dependent on the students’ year group or subjects. This gives us much more flexibility and control.”
Trevena has also been impressed with the reporting capability of the Bloxx appliance and now consults the reports on a weekly basis. He also has the Access Denied log emailed to him every day, as he explains.
“Bloxx’s reporting capabilities are incredibly useful. For example, we now know which sites are being requested at any given time, or if any single user is repeatedly attempting to access denied content.”
“One of the key benefits of Bloxx is definitely the ability to tailor access rights dependently on the user group,” continues Trevena.
“Although Tru-View Technology automatically scans and filters websites accordingly, we can now easily permit access to blocked sites when they are requested, without having to rely on a third party to resolve these issues. This has reduced the time spent rectifying access problems by half, and the staff no longer complain about how long it takes to get a denied site working again, which is a big bonus!”
“We would not consider moving back to our previous solution; Bloxx works out slightly more expensive over three years but the time saved and ease-of-use more than make up for this. Cheap is not always best – Bloxx is in a different league.”
“It is imperative that Internet access is properly regulated in an educational setting,” adds Bloxx’s CEO, Eamonn Doyle.
“Yet, many web filters have the tendency to ‘over-block’ and are not capable of allowing the flexibility that is often required for internet access in schools.”
“It is brilliant to hear how Hampton school is benefitting from the added functionality of Bloxx Tru-View Technology compared to its predecessor. The students and staff can now use the internet to their advantage, whilst the IT managers are confident that Bloxx is providing reliable and efficient web filtering across the school network – an all-round success!”