Village school near Harborough solves its problems of slow internet speeds and the technical challenges

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien made a visit to see the changes for himself

By Red Williams
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 10:33 am
Updated Thursday, 20th January 2022, 10:34 am
Harborough MP Neil O’Brien has praised Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School after supercharging its IT systems and network security.
Harborough MP Neil O’Brien has praised Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School after supercharging its IT systems and network security.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien has praised a thriving Harborough village school after supercharging its IT systems and network security.

The Conservative MP visited Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School to talk to staff and pupils and see for himself how the school has catapulted itself into the 2020s.

The school was struggling with slow internet speeds and the technical challenges of having children and staff working in two separate buildings on different sites when it joined Learn Academies Trust (Learn-AT) in 2016.

But the Trust’s IT Manager helped the school to install an internal network which slashed broadband fees by over £1,000 a year.

And in 2019 the school was one of six Learn-AT schools selected to benefit from the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Programme.

The project was launched to bring full fibre broadband to rural schools.

The bold blueprint was funded by Department of Culture, Media and Sport and delivered with Leicestershire County Council, the Department for Education (DfE) and BT Openreach.

As well as boosting the school’s connection speeds, the new high-speed broadband is also available for residents.

The much-faster internet also made it easier for the school to deliver remote learning during the Covid-19 lockdowns.

In 2021 Learn-AT made a successful bid for £250,000 from the Connect the Classroom programme, bankrolled by the DfE.

The cash has enabled seven schools, including Husbands Bosworth, to upgrade their wireless network to the high specification required for new schools.

And last October the school became the first of Learn-AT’s 11 schools, and one of only 50 primary schools in the country, to achieve Cyber Essentials certification.

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed scheme run by the National Cyber Security Centre.

It helps organisations guard against the most common cyber threats and demonstrate their commitment to cyber security.

Alan Eathorne, headteacher of Husbands Bosworth CE Primary School, said: “When I first started working at the school the broadband and IT infrastructure were in need of improvement.

“And thanks to the Learn-AT IT team and Government funding we are now able to use IT to enhance the curriculum for our children.”

MP Neil O’Brien said: “It was great to see the huge strides that have been made to improve the IT and connectivity across local schools on the back of this investment.

“I’d like to pay tribute to all involved in driving this important work forward, which will benefit pupils across much of the constituency.”