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December Microsoft issue affecting pupils could take 'weeks' to fix

BBC Technology 12 Jan 2021 06:33
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A Microsoft issue which is affecting school pupils in Scotland during their first days of home learning could take several weeks to resolve.

The firm is "a few weeks away" from implementing a permanent fix to the "join" button on Microsoft Teams, according to Education Scotland.

There was also reports of delays within the chat function.

It comes after a separate Teams issue affected pupils across Scotland.

Various schools reported the technology was running slowly or not at all on Monday. Education Scotland said this problem had resolved later that night.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the government was continuing to liaise with the company to resolve problems.

'National issue'

Microsoft Teams is one of the main platforms being used for remote learning with schools shut to most pupils until at least the beginning of February.

In December, the firm received complains about problems with the 'join' button and the chat update, which the Scottish government says still affects a "small number of users".

On Tuesday one primary school in Edinburgh sent parents a text saying: "Microsoft is still having some issues with Teams application. This is a national issue and will hopefully be resolved soon."

Education Scotland, the Scottish government agency responsible for improving education, said in an update on its website that it was continuing to work with the firm.

"We can confirm that Microsoft are a few weeks away from implementing a permanent fix for this. In the meantime please continue to use the manual workaround and where we can expedite any work we will do so.

"There are changes to operational use which can be implemented by our users to help improve their experience. Should anyone need assistance with this please contact the helpdesk for further information."

Ms Sturgeon reiterated during Tuesday's daily briefing that the issue was "not just affecting education or just affecting Scotland".

"We continue to be in discussions with Microsoft," she said. "Microsoft have given assurances that this is being resolved and hopefully will be resolved soon.

Glow gives users access to Microsoft Office 365 - which includes Teams - and G Suite apps such as Google Classroom. Local authorities decide which they use between Microsoft and G Suite.

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