We recognise online safety is a major concern for all professionals
We believe it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material.
The aim of our approach to online safety is empowerment to protect and educate pupils and staff in their use of technology and establish mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns where appropriate. We will ensure appropriate filtering and monitoring on school devices and networks. We aim to protect children from illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, and harmful online interaction with other users. We aim for our pupils to exhibit positive personal online behaviour and recognise inappropriate online conduct. We aim to protect children from commercial risks.
The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into four areas of risk:
- content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, for example: pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
- contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example: peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes’.
- conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying; and
- commerce: risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams. If we feel our pupils, students or staff are at risk, we will report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (https://apwg.org/).
We will ensure online safety is a running and interrelated theme whilst devising and implementing policies and procedures. This will include considering how online safety is reflected as required in all relevant policies and considering online safety whilst planning the curriculum, any teacher training, the role and responsibilities of the DSL (and deputies) and any parental engagement.
We take seriously our duties to assist parents and help them with on line safeguarding resources. As such, we will make them aware of relevant support services, including those listed on pages 157-158 of KCSIE 2022.
We accept that many children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via mobile phone networks. This access means some children, whilst in our setting, sexually harass their peers via their mobile and smart technology, share indecent images: consensually and non-consensually, view, share pornography, and other harmful content. Our management of this in included in our mobile and smart technology policy. These incidents will be managed in line with our child on child procedures.
Where children are being asked to learn online at home we will follow the advice to support schools and colleges do so safely: safeguarding in schools colleges and other providers and safeguarding and remote education. We recognise the NSPCC and PSHE Association also provide helpful advice.
Through our regular communications with parents, we will reinforce the importance of children being safe online and tell parents what systems we use to filter and monitor online use. We will make parents aware of what their children are being asked to do online, including the sites we asked them to access. We will always be clear who from our school/college (if anyone) a child is going to be interacting with online.
Whilst considering our responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and provide them with a safe environment in which to learn, we will do all that we reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to risks from our IT system. We will ensure we have appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place. The leadership team and relevant staff, such as online safety lead will obtain an understanding of the filtering and monitoring provisions in place and manage them effectively and know how to escalate concerns when identified. We will do this by considering the age range of our children, the number of children, how often they access the IT system and the proportionality of costs versus risks.
The appropriateness of our filters and monitoring systems have been informed in part, by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty. To meet this duty we will work to meet the digital and technology standards. We will:
• identify and assign roles and responsibilities to manage filtering and monitoring systems.
• review filtering and monitoring provision at least annually.
• block harmful and inappropriate content without unreasonably impacting teaching and learning.
• have effective monitoring strategies in place that meet safeguarding needs.
We have the appropriate level of security protection in place, in order to safeguard our systems, staff and learners and we will review the effectiveness of these procedures periodically to keep up with evolving cyber-crime technologies.
We will carry out an annual review of our approach to online safety, supported by an annual risk assessment that considers and reflects the risks their children face.
Our governing body will question school leaders to gain a basic understanding of our approach to keeping children safe online; learn how to improve this approach where appropriate; and find out about tools, which can be used to improve the approach.
Mentors of trainee teachers and newly qualified teachers induct mentees and provide ongoing support, development and monitoring on online safety.
As a maintained/controlled school/college we adhere to The Corporate Information Security Policy (CISP) including Acceptable Use of Equipment and the Social Media Policy-Acceptable Use for Employees. We will make all aware of its existence and importance. Where appropriate, intervention will take place when anyone uses e-technology in an unacceptable fashion.
Please see our policy on the safe use of mobile and smart technology in the school.