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Easter update - How to contact the Academy
Dear Parents and Carers,
Last Tuesday 23" March, the government's National Cyber Security Centre issued an alert about a spike in so-called ransomware attacks affecting schools. Despite our software and systems being fully updated at the time, the Harris Federation's servers have been attacked.
A ransomware attack means that cyber-criminals have accessed our IT systems and encrypted, or hidden their contents. We are at least the fourth multi academy trust to have been targeted in March. The attack came to light on Saturday 27th March, and we have been working through the weekend to begin resolving it.
This is a highly sophisticated attack that will have significant impact on our academies, but it will take time to uncover the exact details of what has or has not happened and to resolve. In addition to using the services of a specialised firm of cyber technology consultants, we are working closely with the National Crime Agency and the National Cyber Security Centre.
Harris academies will remain open today and we will endeavour to keep them open until the end of term on Wednesday 31 March.
Our websites, which are hosted separately, are not affected but as a precaution we have temporarily disabled our email system. Our telephone systems, which run on the internet, have also been disabled but each academy switchboard has been diverted to a mobile telephone. Switchboard services are therefore very limited, and we would ask that you temporarily avoid telephoning us or any Harris academy other than to report absence or in emergencies.
Where pupils have Harris Federation devices, they have been disabled as a precaution and cannot currently be used.
We know that some families will have important individual concerns around data and that in these cases you will want to know more about the nature of the attack. Because we do not want to risk providing incorrect information, we will communicate further once we have clarity and liaise appropriate.
Important Additional Information
- The Academy @info is not available. Please either ring in or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- We are running Faculty Sports Days for years 7 and 8 on Tuesday 30th March and years 9 and 10 on Wednesday 31* March. On these days, students in these year groups should attend in HCACP PE Kit. The activities will take place on site and on the fields at South Norwood Lakes.
- The last day of term is Wednesday 31" March. Students finish at the usual time with the exception of years 9 and 10 who will finish slightly earlier at 14,30. They will be dismissed directly from our sports events and Sixth Form will finish at 15.45.
- We return after the Easter break on Monday 19 April at our usual times. Students in receipt of FSM vouchers will receive these either by email or they will be sent in the post.
- If you requested an Easter Care Package (we are no longer able to access this list), these will now be distributed on Wednesday 31" March. Please can you ask your son/daughter to come to reception at the end of the last day to collect.
- COVID 19: students will be bringing home test kits for the Easter holidays today. Students should continue to test twice a week and, on the Sunday 18h April, before they return following the Easter break Please email results to info email@example.com, in addition to reporting to the NHS Track and Trace website.
Thank you so much for your continued support, I really didn't think the end of term was going to end in quite this way! Once we are back online, we will get the newsletter out to you and in the meantime, please keep an eye on the website www.harriscrystalpalace.org.uk and Twitter @HCACP for any further updates.
Have a lovely Easter break