[plug] Student access to school networks

Michael Van Delft michael at hybr.id.au
Wed Mar 12 14:52:51 UTC 2014

I used to work in a school about four years back, so this might be out of
date, but from chatting with people still working in schools I gather
things have not changed much in SOE 4.

Most schools, including Independent Public Schools (IPS) will have two
networks (typically VLANs on the same hardware with a few points to jump
from one to the other) one staff network Department of Education network
that is very locked down, controlled by head office and the school has very
little say in. The other is the schools student network and the school is
pretty much given free reign over that with a few restrictions but OS is
not one of them, and OSX is specifically allowed for in the SOE so there is
no (Whole of Department) reason why they can't let the mac connect.

Making an educated guess I'd say the reasoning is laziness, diversity of
devices increases workload and a lot of the sysadmins in schools are
stretched pretty thin already with many schools having ~800 users and a
similar number of devices and just one guy to deal with it all. I know I've
had it where I've fixed peoples personal computers or allowed odd devices
that shouldn't be my responsibility only to end up needing to support them
later. So maybe the school IT is worried they will end up needing to
support the mac if they accept it. Obviously they might not need to go out
of their way to support it in this instance but I would generally say that
fear is justified and could understand an approach of "This and *only* this
is what we will accept on the network".

That said it could also be an ego thing, there seems to be something about
school environments that makes some people go on power trips.

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