Essential Info: Cyber-Security Breach and Return to On-Site Learning

College News and Communications
Monday, 15 March 2021 13:26

College Closure Essential Info for Students 1

Updated: Monday 19 April

On Saturday 13 March, the college experienced a cyber-security incident and found that a ransomware infection had made certain computer systems on our network inaccessible. This forced us to close our campus buildings, including the 14-16 Academy, during the week commencing 15 March. It also means that some IT systems on-campus still cannot be used.

Our IT team responded quickly and is now investigating the full extent of the attack and working hard to restore the damaged systems. These actions have made it possible for on-site teaching to start again, as we continue the gradual return of students to the classroom.

Gradual return to on-site teaching

We are currently organising a gradual return to on-site teaching and some of you may have already returned to college, including:

  • many students on practical vocational courses
  • students who cannot access online learning
  • many supported learning students

Please get in touch with your tutor if you are unsure of when you will return to on-site learning.

Studying from home

As our IT team continue to work on rebuilding our IT systems, we ask that students continue to study from home and access their lessons online, until they are asked to return for on-site lessons.

Your Microsoft Office 365 apps, including Outlook email and Teams, will still be available from home, as well as your Google Suite apps, including Classroom, Drive and Docs. E-books, online library resources, and Attain are also now available. Eduroam Wi-Fi is now available at all sites for students and staff who are in college.

Please get in touch with your tutor if you are having issues accessing your online learning.

Passwords and security

Our IT team is in the process of increasing security and you will have been asked to change your password for Microsoft Office 365. This password change became mandatory on Monday 29 March and applies to all students. If you haven't changed your password yet, please do so as soon possible. See your student emails for advice and more information from the IT team.


If you were due to take your exam, we are awaiting updates on when exams will be rescheduled for. Your tutor will be in touch as soon as soon as they have this information. Please keep an eye on your student email account for updates and advice on controlled assessments and exam times/dates.

Advice for stakeholders

We appreciate that our stakeholders may be concerned about their personal data being compromised. We are still in the investigation stages of this process and the incident has been shared with the relevant parties, including the JISC Security Response Team, Action Fraud, Information Commissioners Office (ICO), National Crime Agency (NCA) and tNational Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). 

As soon as we are able to give further assurances, we will be in touch.

Contacting us

The college continues to work hard on resolving this situation as soon as we can, and we would like to thank you all for your patience during this testing time. Further updates will be made via this page and across our social media channels.

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please get in touch.