Online Safety within “Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings” updated September 2016

The Ofsted common inspection framework and inspecting safeguarding document came into effect from 1 September 2015 . This post is an update based of the “Inspecting Safeguarding” document updated in September 2016 following the publication of DfE statutory guidance, Keeping children safe in education 2016 (KCSIE).

A summary of the key online safety points within KCSIE 2016 is available.

The full Inspecting Safeguarding document can be found here

This post is part of a series which highlights online safety within Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework – available here. Please be aware that these posts should not be read in isolation as it will only highlight elements reflective of online safety.

Online safety is specifically referenced in the following places

  • Section 10 and 11 – Definition of Safeguarding
  • Section 13 – The signs of successful safeguarding arrangements
  • Section 18 – Inspecting how effectively leaders and governors create a safeguarding culture in the setting
  • Section 34 – Arriving at Judgements about safeguarding arrangements
  • Section 40 – Inspecting or reporting on safeguarding concerns

How to read this post:

  • Black italic font indicates a direct quote from the new guidance
  • Black Bold font indicates a specific reference towards online safety
  • Blue font is used to highlight recommendations, good practice and useful links from the Kent County Council Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection)
  • Red font indicates a possible action point for DSLs, Governing bodies, Headteachers, Leaders, Managers and proprietors to consider.

A PDF document of this content is available.

Online Safety within “Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings”, September 2016.

  • 10. Safeguarding action may be needed to protect children and learners from:
    • This may include failure to protect children from risk to content online which poses a significant risk of harm and  issues caused by problematic internet use by parents/carers.
    • sexual abuse. Will include online sexual abuse and exploitation.
    • emotional abuse. Will include cyber/online bullying.
    • bullying, including online bullyingand prejudice-based bullying. Explicitly references online/cyber bullying as a safeguarding issue.
    • racist, disability and homophobic or transphobic abuse. This may take place online.
    • gender-based violence/violence against women and girls. This may take place online and could link in with bullying, sexting etc.
    • radicalisation and/or extremist behaviour. This may take place online.
    • child sexual exploitation and trafficking.This may take place online.
    • the impact of new technologies on sexual behaviour, for example sexting and accessing pornography.This specifically highlights online safety as a safeguarding issue.
    • teenage relationship abuse. This may take place online.
  • 11. Safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act. It relates to broader aspects of care and education, including:
    • online safetyand associated issues.
    • Ofsted state that the term ‘online safety’ reflects a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user’s access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues. This is often referred to as “e-Safety”. This point highlights that online safety should specifically be considered to be a safeguarding issue. This is supported by KCSIE 2016.
  • Action Points:
    • Do your leaders and staff recognise online safety within your safeguarding responsibilities?
      • If so, how can this be evidence?

The signs of successful safeguarding arrangements

  • 13. In settings that have effective safeguarding arrangements, there will be evidence of the following:
    • Children and learners are protected and feel safe. Those who are able to communicate know how to complain and understand the process for doing so. There is a strong, robust and proactive response from adults working with children and learners that reduces the risk of harm or actual harm to them. Adults working with them know and understand the indicators that may suggest that a child, young person or vulnerable adult is suffering or is at risk of suffering abuse, neglect or harm and they take the appropriate and necessary action in accordance with local procedures and statutory guidance.
      • This will include children being and feeling safe in the online environment as well as offline and at school or within the setting.
      • This may also include considerations regarding the technology access children have within the school/setting, for example does the school/setting use an accredited internet service provider (ISP) and use appropriate filtering, monitoring and/or security systems to ensure that the school/setting network is safe and secure.
      • This may include working closely with parents/carers to ensure that the school/settings online safety ethos and approach is shared. Schools and settings should seek to ensure that parents/carers understand online safety issues and risks and their roles and responsibilities and may offer a range of opportunities to support them with this such as specific workshops, information on school websites/newsletters, child led education etc.
    • Leaders and managers have put in place effective child protection and staff behaviour policies that are well understood by everyone in the setting.
      • Schools and settings will need to include online safety either as a separate and specific policy or embedded within safeguarding.
      • Schools and settings will need to ensure online safety is appropriately covered within staff behaviour policies such as the staff code of conduct, Acceptable Use Policies etc.
      • Kent’s online safety policy templates (2016) can be found here.
    • Action Points:
      • Does the setting child protection and staff behaviour policy have explicit and appropriate references towards online safety?
        • If so, how can it be evidenced that they are understood by everyone within the setting?
      • All staff and other adults working within the setting are clear about procedures where they are concerned about the safety of a child or learner. There is a named and designated lead who is enabled to play an effective role in pursuing concerns and protecting children and learners.
        • The designated safeguarding lead (DSL) will act as the overall lead for online safety and coordinate whole school/setting online safety approaches (as indicated within KCSIE 2016) and act as the lead for dealing with online safety issues that arise.
        • If another member of staff is assisting the DSL then they must access appropriate safeguarding training to ensure they have the required level of expertise regarding safeguarding.
        • Is it recommended that the DSL/online safety lead is a member of the leadership or management team due to the requirements and expectations of the role (they need to be able to direct school/setting resources and attend appropriate meetings where there is a concern) and to ensure that online safety is given strategic consideration across all areas of the school/setting.
        • The DSL will hold ultimate responsibility for child protection concerns and therefore must always be made aware of and involved with any disclosures or incidents and capture and record online safety concerns, whole staff training etc.
        • Many schools/setting are choosing to support the role of the online safety lead by setting up online safety groups, teams or committees who can support the online safety lead and share workloads and tasks. These teams involve key stakeholders including relevant members of staff, children and parents. This means that key members of the community are involved in developing the ethos and in establishing a whole school/setting approach to e-Safety.
        • The procedure for children, parents and staff to use when reporting any online safety concerns must be clearly communicated – for example on the school/setting website.
        • Staff training must be specific to the settings procedures and must ensure that all members of staff are clear how to recognise, respond and refer online safety concerns.
      • Action Points:
        • Is the DSL aware of their role and responsibility regarding online safety?
        • Has the DSL accessed appropriate training to support them regarding online safety?
        • If other staff support the DSL regarding online safety, have they undertaken appropriate training to enable them to act as a deputy?
        • Is there a clear procedure to follow regarding online safety concerns?
          • NB this does not have to be different to other safeguarding issues.
          • How are these procedures communicated with the setting community?
      • Children and learners can identify a trusted adult with whom they can communicate about any concerns. They report that adults listen to them and take their concerns seriously. Where children or learners have been or are at risk, the trusted adult has been instrumental in helping them to be safe in accordance with agreed local procedures. Children who are unable to share their concerns, for example babies and very young children, form strong attachments to those who care for them through the effective implementation of the key person system.
        • This will include online safety. The fear of losing internet privileges or not being taken seriously (e.g. being told to not using the internet or that staff/parents don’t “understand” or see the point of social networking, gaming or chat sites and apps) can be a common reason why children and young people don’t speak to adults about problems online. If staff ignore or fail to acknowledge the advances in technology then they will be ignoring a major part of children’s lives. If schools/settings are to understand and help children effectively then they must acknowledge and understand the true nature of the world in which they live.
      • Written records are made in an appropriate and timely way and are held securely where adults working with children or learners are concerned about their safety or welfare. Those records are shared appropriately and, where necessary, with consent.
      • Any child protection and/or safeguarding concerns are shared immediately with the relevant local authority. Where the concern is about suspected harm or risk of harm to a child, the referral should be made to the local authority for the area where the child lives. Where the concern is an allegation about a member of staff in a setting, or another type of safeguarding issue affecting children and young people in a setting, the matter should be referred to the local authority in which the setting is located.
        • This will include formally reporting and recording online safety concerns.
        • Schools/settings should be aware of relevant contacts within local authorities (for example the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection)and e-Safety Development Officer based within the Education Safeguarding Team in Kent and should ensure these are communicated appropriately with their communities.
      • Action Points:
        • Does the setting record online safety concerns? NB this does not have to be different to other safeguarding issues.
      • Any risks associated with children and learners offending, misusing drugs or alcohol, self-harming, going missing, being vulnerable to radicalisation or being sexually exploited are known by the adults who care for them and shared with the local authority children’s social care service or other relevant agency. There are plans and help in place that are reducing the risk of harm or actual harm and there is evidence that the impact of these risks is being minimised. These risks are kept under regular review and there is regular and effective liaison with other agencies where appropriate.
        • This may include  online safety concerns. Schools/settings should ensure they are familiar with local safeguarding board procedures with regards to specific safeguarding issues e.g. kscb.org.uk
        • Leaders can register with the Kent e-Safety Blog and UK Safer Internet Centre newsletter to help enable them to keep up-to-date with emerging trends, new resources and content.
      • Children and learners are protected and helped to keep themselves safe from bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. Any discriminatory behaviours are challenged and help and support are given to children about how to treat others with respect.
        • This may include online bullying (cyberbullying) and also online discrimination, including homophobic, racist and sexist comments.
        • Schools/settings should ensure that their anti-bullying policy is robust and covers online bullying. Templates and links can be found here.
      • Action Points:
        • Does the anti-bullying policy include online bullying?
      • Adults understand the risks posed by adults or learners who use technology, including the internet, to bully, groom, radicalise or abuse children or learners. They have well-developed strategies in place to keep children and learners safe and to support them to develop their own understanding of these risks and in learning how to keep themselves and others safe. Leaders oversee the safe use of technology when children and learners are in their care and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or children’s well-being. Leaders of early years settings implement the required policies with regard to the safe use of mobile phones and cameras in settings.

Responsibilities and ethos for online safety

  • Online Safety is clearly identified as a leadership and management issue with a need for strategic oversight and awareness.
  • Leaders may wish to start by auditing current practice using tools such as the Kent Schools Online Safety audit tool, the SWGfL’s 360 safe tool (which can lead to an accreditation) or for other settings, Online Compass.
  • This highlights the importance of online safety being viewed as a whole school/setting safeguarding issue and not a technical concern. The means that whole staff training (not just for teaching staff) must be in place. This is also identified within KCSIE 2016.

Online Safety policies and procedures

  • This highlights the important role that leaders and managers have to play in ensuring that there are relevant, clear, up-to-date and effective policies (either specific to online safety or embedded within other policies) regarding the safe use of technology, inducing social media and devices.
  • Leaders should also work together with IT staff to ensure that all school/setting systems and devices are appropriately monitored and documented in a way which enables the settings to fulfil its safeguarding responsibilities. It must however be very clear that online safety is not solely the role of technical staff and sufficient support (especially regarding supervision and reporting concerns) must be in place to enable technical staff to fulfil this role. Many schools are involving technical staff within online safety groups to ensure this approach and role is clearly defined.
  • There should be clear procedures to follow regarding online concerns. These should apply to staff, children and families and could be included as part of the school/settings child protection and safeguarding practices.
  • This will include ensuring that all members of the school/setting community understand appropriate online behaviour and conduct. This should mean that the school/setting has a clear policy which includes a relevant, understood and respected Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The online safety policy and AUP should be reviewed regularly (at least annually) and be developed with input from pupils, parents/carers and staff. The AUP should include clear guidance regarding safe and appropriate online conduct, especially electronic communication between staff and pupils and their parents/carers.
  • Kent’s online safety policy templates can be found here.

Early Years

  • Leaders of early years settings have specific expectations to ensure that they understand and implement the required policies with regard to the safe use of mobile phones and cameras in settings. This will apply to staff as well as children and visitors/volunteers.

Online safety training for staff 

  • Online Safety training must be up-to-date, relevant and delivered regularly for all staff. KCSIE highlights the needfor school and college staff to be provided with training regarding online safety. It is good practice for other settings to implement this as well.
  • It is recommended that all settings ensure training enables staff to develop and build their online safety knowledge and understanding throughout the staff training calendar. Some schools/settings have found success by offering several shorter focused sessions throughout the year covering topics such as professional responsibilities and reputation which are underpinned by whole school/setting safeguarding training and staff induction.
  • Leaders and managers need to ensure that staff training is appropriate and specific to the settings needs.
    • External support (such as external agencies providing training either online or in person) can be beneficial but may not always sufficiently explore the settings own policies and procedures or have sufficient understanding of local safeguarding procedures.
    • If external support is used then it must be underpinned and extended by the leaders and managers to ensure that all staff are aware of the settings requirements, expectations and procedures.
  • Staff need to be able to discuss online safety with children in a confident and age appropriate way.
  • There should be an awareness of the role of mobile technologies and leaders must ensure that clear guidance is given to all staff  and students regarding expectations regarding use of personal devices. This should be highlighted within induction and staff training and also covered within the school acceptable use policy and safeguarding policies and wider education approaches.

Online safety within the curriculum 

  • Online safety is not the sole responsibility of the computing/ICT curriculum and must be woven throughout the curriculum .
    • One-off events/assemblies or lessons regarding online safety will not be effective or adequate practice.
  • Online safety education should start within early years and be developed throughout the year by all year/age groups. It is good practice for all staff to reference ways in which safeguarding and online safety can be reinforced within their lesson plans.
  • External support will be helpful to enable schools/settings to re-enforce key messages but must not be used in isolation to provide online safety education to children, young people and learners.
  • Curriculums should be flexible, relevant and engage children’s interests and encourage them to develop resilience to online risks.
  • The Digital Literacy Scheme of Work may be useful to enabling schools/settings to achieve this.
  • Settings should ensure they participate in national events such as Safer Internet Day. 
  • Online safety is not just about educating children about the risk of “grooming” by strangers and highlights that children can also be at risk of harm by their peers. A focus purely on grooming would be inadequate.
  • Action Points:
    • Is online safety understood and identified as a leadership issue?
      • If so, how is this evidenced?
    • Is there an appropriate policy in place regarding online safety which includes issues such as mobile phones and personal devices?
    • Do all members of staff access appropriate and up-to-date online safety training?
      • If so, how and when is this delivered and how is this evidenced?
    • Are children and learners taught about online safety as part of a broad, balanced, embedded and progressive curriculum?
      • If so, how can this be evidenced?
    • Leaders and staff make clear risk assessments and respond consistently to protect children and learners while enabling them to take age-appropriate and reasonable risks as part of their growth and development.
      • This will include clear risk assessments regarding the safe and appropriate use of technology such as when using tablets, mobile devices or social media. Risk assessments should be taken seriously and be used to promote online safety and resilience.
    • Action Points:
      • Does the setting have robust risk assessments in place regarding the safe and appropriate use of technology?
    • Children and learners feel secure and, where they may present risky behaviours, they experience positive support from all staff. Babies and young children demonstrate their emotional security through the attachments they form with those who look after them and through their physical and emotional well-being. Staff respond with clear boundaries about what is safe and acceptable and they seek to understand the triggers for children’s and learners’ behaviour. They develop effective responses as a team and review those responses to assess their impact, taking into account the views and experiences of the child or learner.
      • Risky behaviours will include children taking risks online; therefore all members of staff need to have an understanding of the online world and the range of risks posed as well as the potential benefits to children.
      • Staff and children should have a clear understanding of what is considered to be acceptable and unacceptable online behaviour and there must be a clear procedure to follow where there is a concern.
      • Positive behaviour is promoted consistently. Staff use effective de-escalation techniques and creative alternative strategies that are specific to the individual needs of children and learners. Reasonable force, including restraint, is only used in strict accordance with the legislative framework to protect the child and learner and those around them. All incidents are reviewed, recorded and monitored and the views of the child or learner are sought and understood. Monitoring of the management of behaviour is effective and the use of any restraint significantly reduces or ceases over time.
        • Schools/settings should positively reinforce good positive online behaviour and celebrate children’s successes. Many schools are developing digital leaders, ambassadors or champions to provide good role models for online behaviour.
        • This could also include working with children to develop school/setting policies and to educate and engage with families and the wider community in the online safety agenda.
        • Online safety incidents should be formally reported and recorded in line with other safeguarding concerns.
        • After any incidents or concerns schools/settings should review practice and identify any lessons learnt.
      • Action Point:
        • Does the setting recognise positive online behaviour?
          • If so, how is this evidenced?
      • There are clear and effective arrangements for staff development and training in respect of the protection and care of children and learners. Staff and other adults receive regular supervision and support if they are working directly and regularly with children and learners whose safety and welfare are at risk.
        • This will include recognising and establishing online safety as part of safeguarding and child protection training for all members of staff.
      • The physical environment for babies, children and learners is safe and secure and protects them from harm or the risk of harm.
        • This will include technology considerations with regards to devices and appropriate filtering which is monitored appropriate by the school/setting.
      • All staff and carers have a copy of and understand the written procedures for managing allegations of harm to a child or learner. They know how to make a complaint and understand policies on whistleblowing and how to manage other concerns about the practice of adults in respect of the safety and protection of children and learners.
        • This may include allegations or concerns regarding online behaviour, therefore clear guidance which supports the school/settings safeguarding culture should be provided to staff.
        • This should address (via induction, training and AUPs) the school/settings expectations regarding appropriate and professional behaviour and communication e.g. appropriate use of school equipment and using school/setting provided devices/communication channels so that contact takes place within clear and explicit professional boundaries which is transparent and open to scrutiny.
        • Kent’s online safety (e-Safety) policy templates can be found here

Evidence to look for when inspecting safeguarding arrangements

  • 15. Inspectors should look for evidence … of the setting’s safeguarding arrangements:
    • the extent to which leaders, governors and managers create a positive culture and ethos where safeguarding is an important part of everyday life in the setting, backed up by training at every level.
      • This will include online safety, therefore is essential that leaders, governors and managers are aware and engaged in online safety.
    • the content, application and effectiveness of safeguarding policies and procedures, and safe recruitment and vetting processes.
      • This may include online safety policies.
      • Kent’s online safety (e-Safety) policy templates can be found here.
    • the quality of safeguarding practice, including evidence that staff are aware of the signs that children or learners may be at risk of harm either within the setting or in the family or wider community outside the setting
      • This will include online safety.
      • This will include the school/setting response to online safety concerns both internally by staff and safeguarding leads and also with regards to external reporting.
    • the quality of work to support multi-agency plans around the child or learner
      • This could include online safety concerns.

Inspecting how effectively leaders and governors create a safeguarding culture in the setting.

Please be aware that some points have not been included in the section as they are not relevant to online safety.

  • 16. Inspectors should consider how well leaders and managers in early years settings, schools and further education and skills providers have created a culture of vigilance where children’s and learners’ welfare is promoted and timely and appropriate safeguarding action is taken for children or learners who need extra help or who may be suffering or likely to suffer harm.
    • This may include vigilance towards online safety risks.
  • 17. Inspectors should evaluate how well early years settings, schools and colleges fulfil their statutory responsibilities and how well staff exercise their professional judgement in keeping children and learners safe.
  • 18. Inspectors should consider evidence that:
    • leaders, governors and supervisory bodies (where appropriate) fulfil statutory requirements, such as those for disability, safeguarding, recruitment and health and safety
      • Many children and indeed some staff use the Internet regularly without being aware that some of the activities they take part in are potentially illegal so governing bodies, leaders and managers must be aware of the wider legal framework when addressing online safety concerns
      • Examples could include the Sexual Offences Act 2003, Criminal Justice Act 1988, Protection of Children Act 1978, Malicious Communications Act 1988, Data Protection Act 1998, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, Obscene Publications Act 1959 and 1964, Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and Education and Inspections Act 2006. Please note this list is not exhaustive.
    • child protection and staff behaviour policies and procedures are in place and regularly reviewed to keep all children and learners safe.
      • This will need to include online safety.
      • Kent’s online safety (e-Safety) policy templates can be found here.
    • staff, leaders and managers recognise that children and young people are capable of abusing their peers and this risk is covered adequately in the child protection policy.
      • This will need to cover issues such as online bullying  and sexting.
      • Kent’s online safety (e-Safety) policy templates cover these issues and can be found here.
    • Action points:
      • Does the child protection policy cover peer on peer abuse issues such as online bullying and sexting?
    • the child protection policy reflects the additional barriers that exist when recognising the signs of abuse and neglect of children who have special educational needs and/or disabilities
      • This may include online safety.
      • Kent’s online safety (e-Safety) policy templates cover these issues and can be found here.
    • children and learners feel safe
      • This will include feeling safe online.
    • staff, leaders, governors and supervisory bodies (where appropriate) and volunteers receive appropriate training on safeguarding at induction, that is updated regularly. In addition, they receive information (for example, via emails, e-bulletins and newsletters) on safeguarding and child protection at least annually. They demonstrate knowledge of their responsibilities relating to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults.
      • This will include online safety awareness and  training being in place for all members of staff.
    • staff are supported to have a good awareness of the signs that a child or learner is being neglected or abused, as described in ‘What to do if you’re worried a child is being abused’
      • This may include online abuse.
    • there is a designated senior member of staff in charge of safeguarding arrangements who has been trained to the appropriate level and understands their responsibilities relating to the protection of children, young people and vulnerable adults and the safeguarding of all learners. Designated members of staff in schools and colleges should undertake safeguarding training every two years and their knowledge and skills should be refreshed at regular intervals, but at least annually. During term time, or when the setting is in operation, the designated safeguarding lead or an appropriately trained deputy should be available during opening hours for staff to discuss safeguarding concerns.
      • The DSL holds overall responsibility for safeguarding which includes online safety. The DSL may wish to be able to demonstrate that they have accessed appropriate and specific training regarding online safety.
      • DSLs can contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) to discuss local support and training available.
    • the setting identifies children or learners who may be at risk
      • This will include those at risk online.
    • action is taken to ensure that children are taught about safeguarding risks, including online risks
      • This specifically highlights that settings should be able to evidence how children are taught about online safety.
    • there is a clear approach to implementing the Prevent duty and keeping children and learners safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism
      • This will include the risks of radicalisation and extremism online
      • The DfE has published advice to clarify the role of schools and childcare providers under the new ‘prevent duty’, and to help protect children from radicalisation. The advice and social media guidance for school leaders has been issued to schools to ensure children and young people are safeguarded and schools can carry out the prevent duty, introduced as part of the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015, which legally requires a range of organisations including schools, local authorities, prisons, police and health bodies to take steps to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.
      • Also see the following link from SWGfL for more information.
    • the setting takes effective action to prevent and tackle discriminatory and derogatory language – this includes language that is derogatory about disabled people and homophobic and racist language
      • This will include online behaviour.
    • children and learners are able to understand, respond to and calculate risk effectively, for example risks associated with child sexual exploitation, domestic violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism, and are aware of the support available to them. This also includes risks associated with e-safety, substance misuse, knives and gangs, relationships (including sexual relationships), water, fire, roads and railways.
      • This explicitly highlights the need for settings to teach children to understand, respond to and calculate a range of online safety risks.
    • Action point:
      • How is this evidenced?
    • staff, leaders and managers understand the risks posed by adults or young people who use the internet to bully, groom or abuse children, young people and vulnerable adults; there are well-developed strategies in place to keep learners safe and to support them in learning how to keep themselves safe
      • This specifically highlights the need for staff, leaders and managers to have increased awareness and knowledge of online safety and the need to develop children’s resilience via the curriculum.
    • Action point:
      • How is this evidenced?
    • staff, leaders and managers oversee the safe use of electronic and social media by staff and learners and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or risky behaviours
      • This clearly identifies the need for leaders to be aware of devices and social media and benefits as well as risks.
    • Action point:
      • How is this evidenced?
    • appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place to protect learners from potentially harmful online material
      • This highlights the needs for settings to ensure that appropriate filtering and monitoring is in place.
      • The specific details about how this can be achieved will depend on the setting type, the age/ability of children, and what technology is available. Decisions will also need to be proportionate. 
        • What is appropriate for a large secondary school is likely to be different to a small early years provision.
      • Leaders should evidence that they understand how internet use takes place on site and  what filtering and monitoring is in place
        • This could include there is no internet access  for children (likely to be the case in some early years settings), learners only access devices under direct supervision,  the setting uses an appropriate filtering provider.
      • The UK Safer Internet Centre have written guidance about appropriate filtering and monitoring which may be helpful to inform leaders decision-making.
    • Action Points:
      • How do learners access the internet within the setting?
      • How does the setting filtering internet access?
      • How does the setting monitor learners internet access?
    • appropriate arrangements are made with regards to health and safety to protect staff and learners from harm
      • This may include teaching physical safety regarding use of technology e.g. correct posture etc.

Inspecting the Quality of Safeguarding Practice

  • 28. Inspectors should look for evidence that the early years setting, school or college is implementing its safeguarding policy and processes effectively and keeping them under review. As well as ensuring that children and learners are safeguarded while on the premises, the setting should be proactive about anticipating and managing risks that children and learners face in the wider community. The setting should adhere to any locally agreed arrangements for safeguarding children. All concerns and the action taken in response should be clearly recorded.
    • This will include online safety within policy and processes.
    • Settings should anticipate online safety as a risk which needs to be managed in the wider community.
  • 29. Where a child is currently receiving services or support from children’s social care services and is subject to a multi-agency plan, inspectors should explore the role, actions and participation of the early years setting, school or further education and skills provider in working in partnership with external agencies regarding any concerns.
    • This may include online safety risks.

Inspection arrangements for handling serious incidents and allegations

  • 30. On all inspections, the lead inspector must check whether there have been any safeguarding incidents or allegations since the last inspection that have either been resolved or that are ongoing. This should be done early in the inspection, if possible. The purpose of this is to establish whether there is any information that could impact on the judgement of the effectiveness of safeguarding or any other aspect of the inspection that needs to be included in the report. Of particular relevance are the questions as to:
    (a) whether the early years setting, school or further education and skills provider has responded in a timely and appropriate way to concerns or allegations
    (b) how effectively the early years setting, school or further education and skills provider has worked in partnership with external agencies regarding any concerns

    • This may include online safety concerns.

Arriving at judgements about safeguarding arrangements

  • 33. Inspectors will consider the extent to which leaders, managers and those responsible for governance ensure that arrangements to protect children and learners meet statutory requirements, are compliant with guidance, and promote their welfare – including the prevention of radicalisation and extremism. The evidence for this will contribute to the inspectors’ evaluation of the effectiveness of safeguarding. Evidence gathered in relation to attendance, behaviour – for example bullying – and how well children and learners understand how to keep themselves safe may also contribute, to a greater or lesser degree, to this judgement. In line with statutory guidance, inspectors will gather evidence as to whether staff in all settings are sensitive to signs of possible safeguarding concerns. These include poor or irregular attendance, persistent lateness, or children missing from education.
    • This will include online safety.
  • 34.Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development, behaviour and welfare of children and learners by evaluating, where applicable, the extent to which the provision is successfully promoting and supporting children’s and learners’ safety. In order to make this judgement, inspectors will consider, among other things, children’s and learners’ understanding of how to keep themselves safe from relevant risks such as exploitation and extremism,including when using the internet and social media. Inspectors should include online safety in their discussions with children and learners (covering topics such as online bullying and safe use of the internet and social media). Inspectors should investigate what the school or further education and skills provider does to educate pupils in online safety and how the provider or school deals with issues when they arise.
    • Inspectors will be speaking to children about online safety, therefore it is important that schools/settings can be confident that their online safety education is appropriate to the needs of the children and that all staff understand and promote the school/settings e-Safety ethos and culture throughout the school/setting.
    • Schools/settings should be able to demonstrate that their online safety approaches are proactive and seeks to prevent harm by building resilience through an embedded and progressive scheme of work, as well as being reactive, by responding to specific concerns as and when they arise.
    • This means that online safety expertise should be shared within the school/setting  (not just in one-off subjects or assemblies) and that schools/settings need to be able to demonstrate internal capacity to enable children to build resilience and respond to risks.
      • Schools/settings should not rely solely on external partners to developer online safety education to children and families. Schools/settings must be able to demonstrate ownership of any online safety concerns and their own practice and therefore work in partnership with external organisations.
    • 35. In relation to early years, inspectors should consider how staff promote young children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe from relevant risks and how this is monitored across the provision
      • This will include online safety.

Inspecting and reporting on safeguarding concerns

  • 40. Inspectors should ensure that they are aware of any information about safeguarding at the setting that is available to the public, reported in the press or accessible on the internet, including that available on the early years setting, school or further education and skills provider’s website, if available. As part of their pre-inspection planning, the lead inspector should run an internet check to see whether there are any safeguarding issues that the inspection team may need to follow up during the inspection. All information that is considered when planning for the inspection should be recorded as evidence.
    • Schools and settings should be aware that any public searching may highlight stories from local or national press as well as potentially revealing content posted by parents, staff or children on unofficial sites and forums or social networking sites which references the school/settings name. This content may have been shared or posted deliberately or accidentally and could include content which can be misread or misinterpreted.
    • It could also highlight positive practice and celebrations and demonstrate that the setting is using technology to engage with the wider community, locally and globally.
    • Leaders may wish to regularly check their settings “digital reputations” via public search engines or other tools such as reputation alert systems so they can respond as necessary (e.g. request removal of content, speak with those involved or share good news).
    • By being aware of the settings digital reputation this means that leaders are more likely to be prepared to discuss the effectiveness of their safeguarding approaches and can be open and effective in such discussions with inspectors.
    • Leaders may wish to raise awareness of professional conduct with staff as part of induction and ensure that this is reinforced through regular staff training. Parents/carers and children should also be made aware of online safety and digital reputation as part of the home school/setting agreement etc. and be encouraged to consider how they can act positively online to safeguard themselves and the community.
    • It is recommended that settings include appropriate technology and social media use in the  acceptable use policies (AUP) which must be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate and up-to-date. Settings should be able to demonstrate that the AUP is effective and understood and are in place for all members of the  community.

Summary

Online Safety should now be embedded throughout all school and settings safeguarding practice and should clearly identified as an issue for leaders and managers to consider and address.

Key issues for leaders to consider based on the “Inspecting Safeguarding” document are:

  • The DSL should be appropriately supported regarding identify and responding to online safety concerns (this may include support from other staff as deputies or accessing appropriate training)
  • All members of staff should be provided with appropriate online safety training (in line with KCSIE guidance) which should include safeguarding learners as well as ensuring staff understand and manage their own reputation online
  • Clear policies and procedures for responding to, reporting and recording to online safety concerns must be in place
  • Peer on peer abuse issues such as online bullying and sexting should be clearly identified as safeguarding issues with appropriate systems in place to reduce risk and respond to issues as required
  • Policies regarding safe and appropriate use of mobile phones and personal devices are in place
  • There is appropriate filtering and monitoring in place which reduces risks of learners accessing unsuitable content online
  • There is a proactive, robust,age/ability appropriate and embedded curriculum which enables learners to identify, understand and respond to online safety risks

Useful links

(includes template policies, staff training resources, curriculum content etc.)

Kent settings can contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer directly for advice, support and guidance regarding online safety and to find out out what training is available locally.

The post has been written by Kent County Councils Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) Rebecca Avery and was first published on the 26.8.2016.

Please contact us for any additional recommendations of content or if you wish to use/adapt this material.

Posted in 2016, Colleges and sixth forms, e-Safety, Early Years, Education Leaders and Managers, Independent Schools, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016, Ofsted, Schools | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Smartie the Penguin – Childnet’s EYFS and KS1 resource has been updated

Childnet have updated their  EYFS and KS1 resource, “Smartie the Penguin” to reflect how young children today are using technology. The resource is an e-Safety story for 3 to 7 year olds which follows the adventures of Smartie the Penguin as he uses his new tablet and learns how to be safe on the internet with help from the grown ups in his life and indeed the children listening to the story.

Smartie covers 3 themes for EYFS and KS1 children:

  • Pop ups and in app purchasing
  • Inappropriate websites for older children
  • Cyberbullying

The resource contains a fun song to help children remember how to keep safe and is supported with lesson plans, presentations (which vary based on age) and recommended discussion content.

Smartie contains a range of age appropriate issues and content for EYFS and KS1 children and is an ideal way for early years settings and schools to ensure that even the youngest children are learning about keeping safe online as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.

Media preview

Posted in Childnet, e-Safety, Early Years, Early Years Resources, Primary Resources | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pokémon Go: links for schools to share with parents

Following recent enquiries from schools and settings regarding safety concerns about the ‘Pokémon Go’ app, the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer have collated a list of useful links for schools and settings to share with parents/carers. These links explore the Pokémon Go app in more depth and provide practical advice for parents/carers on how to keep children safe when playing.

What is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a game where users can collect and trade creatures called Pokémon (Pocket Monsters). It uses ‘augmented reality’ (AR) to make it look like Pokémon have appeared in real life places by using the GPS and cameras on phones/devices.  In the game players can collect  Pokémon by walking around their local community to capture them as they appear. They can also visit ‘PokeStops’ to collect new items and visit ‘gyms’ to train their Pokémon and compete. PokeStops and Gyms are located in public places.

Why should schools and settings be aware of Pokémon Go?

There are a range of risks for Pokémon Go players which have been featured in the global media which includes physical safety concerns (people walking into secluded, dangerous or busy areas), stranger danger (users may feel encouraged to speak to and meet strangers when collecting Pokémon), in-app purchasing (using real money to buy virtual goods), privacy risks (access to personal data), age restrictions (users under 13 require parental consent), data use implications (the game uses mobile data to access maps) and the impact on battery life (the game can quickly drain battery which could mean users are unable to use their device).

It is however important to be aware that the potential risks identified are not new risks to children (or indeed adults who may play the game) either online or in the “real” world so in most cases the response will be to ensure that players understand how to keep safe and for parents/carers to ensure that appropriate support and supervision is in place for children when using the app. Arguably the game brings many benefits such as encouraging children and families to be active and social and some reports suggest it may have benefits to mental as well as physical health.

If parents/carers are engaged with their children’s internet use then the potential risks can be minimised and managed appropriately through regular discussions and appropriate supervision. Pokémon Go can provide a useful way for parents (and indeed schools) to explore important on and offline safety messages and reinforce safe behaviours.

As long as appropriate safety steps are taken, Pokémon Go could be viewed as an opportunity to engage in a fun family activity which encourages children and parents to go out together and be active and explore their communities in new and engaging ways.

Links for schools/settings to share with parents/carers

The following links may be helpful for schools and settings to share with their parents to help families ensure that Pokémon Go is kept fun and safe.

If schools/settings are concerned about PokeStops and/or gyms located in unsafe places then they can be reported here

News stories about Pokémon Go 

Some schools have reported using Pokémon Go as a great way to explore on and offline safety by discussing risks or situations highlighted in the media and working with children to produce posters, leaflets and videos to help others keep safe.

The following news stories may be helpful to discuss and explore the risks and benefits.

NB schools will need to check the content and links are suitable before using with children.

Teaching Resources

Last updated 25.8.16

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New CEOP video and Campaign: “The world changes. Children don’t”

Helping young people navigate growing up has always been challenging, but now young people are exploring their relationships both online and off. This can leave them open to risks such as having nude images shared without their consent, being exposed to pornography and bullying, or being contacted by a child sex offender.

CEOP are running a new online safety education and awareness campaign aimed at parents and carers in the form of a short animation, ‘The World Changes. Children Don’t’. On 10th August 2016, CEOP are highlighting online dangers for children and young people and supporting parents and carers to have important conversations with the children they look after.  Kent County Council would like to encourage schools and settings to help engage parents/carers and to emphasise how important it is to talk to children and young people about appropriate online conversations and relationships to help guard them from online dangers.

If your school/setting uses social media to engage with parents/carers or the wider community then you can register to join in with the Thunderclap and share the campaign and its messages with your followers by registering here

For more information visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents or visit the CEOP YouTube, Facebook (@ClickCEOP) and Twitter (@CEOPUK) social media channels. If you would like more information please contact the CEOP education team.

Thinkuknow (TUK) is led by the National Crime Agency’s (NCA’s) Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) command and offers a wealth of tips and resources to support parents and carers to have these vital conversations. TUK also provides:

  • Free education resources, including films, cartoons and lesson plans, designed for schools and community groups to use with children and young people from age five upwards and their parents and carers. You can set up a free Thinkuknow account and download all the resources at www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers.
  • Training for teachers and other professionals:
    • A one-day ‘CEOP Ambassadors’ course providing detailed training and information about online safety, child sexual abuse and exploitation and using education to keep children safe. It also enables delegates to deliver TUK materials to fellow professionals – as well as the whole school community.
    • Keeping Children Safe Online (KCSO), is an e-learning course developed in partnership with the NSPCC.
    • See www.thinkuknow.co.uk/teachers/training for more information.
  • A website with honest, realistic and practical advice for children and young people on all aspects of their online lives, presented in age-appropriate and engaging ways. There is also a section for parents and carers, providing detailed advice on how to keep children safe, together with advice about what to do if you have concerns and where to go for help if things go wrong. See www.thinkuknow.co.uk.
  • In partnership with Parent Zone, CEOP have  created ParentInfo, a free newsfeed service for school websites which offers articles by leading experts on every aspect of children and young people’s lives. Any school can sign up and take a few simple steps to integrate ParentInfo into their own website for free at www.parentinfo.org.

 

Posted in 2016, CEOP, Parents | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Safer Internet Day 2017 theme announced!

The UK Safer Internet Centre have announced that the theme for Safer Internet Day 2017 taking place on the 7th February is ‘Be the Change: Unite for a better internet’

Last year’s celebration saw over a thousand organisations get involved in Safer Internet Day (SID) to help promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Find out what happened last year in a campaign that reached 2.8 million children.

Safer Internet Day 2017 offers the opportunity to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community. It calls upon young people, parents, carers, teachers, social workers, law enforcement, companies, policymakers, and wider, to join together in helping to create a better internet.

The day will be celebrated globally, coordinated by the joint Insafe/INHOPE network, with over a hundred countries getting involved.

Make sure you mark the date in your diaries now and start planning your activities and subscribe to the blog to receive updates about SID 2017 in Kent and beyond!

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New Report into exposure and impact of pornography on young people

Today the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England, the NSPCC and Middlesex University are launching a new report, ‘…..I wasn’t sure it was normal to watch it…..’  A Quantitative and Qualitative Examination of the Impact of Online Pornography on the Values, Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviours of Children and Young People’.

Research has been conducted with over 1000 young people, aged 11-16, exploring their exposure to pornography and feelings towards it, as well as the impact of pornography upon their wellbeing and attitudes. Key findings include:

  • Of the sample, over half had been exposed to online pornography, with almost all (94%) of this group having seen it by age 14.  Worryingly, they are as likely to have been inadvertently exposed to pornography (e.g. via a pop-up), as they are to have actively searched for it.
  • Pornography can give young people ideas about the type of sex they want to try: 42% of 15-16 year olds said that pornography has given them ideas of sexual practices that they would like to emulate.
  • Pornography may have a desensitising effect on young people: whilst many young people reported feeling shocked or disgusted after initially viewing pornography, an increasing number experience arousal and excitement the more that they view.
  • Just over half of boys (53%) believed that the pornography they had seen was realistic compared to 39% of girls.  A number of girls said they were worried about how porn would make boys see girls and the possible impact on attitudes to sex and relationships.
  • Only 13% of young people have taken a topless picture of themselves and 3% a fully naked picture. However, 50% of these young people have sent the photo to someone else, and of this group 35% have sent it to someone that they do not know.

The NSPCC have some useful graphics which may be helpful for schools to share and discuss within thier communities.

Useful links to resources to use and share with parents can be found here

This report represents the most comprehensive study, looking at children’s attitudes towards pornography and sexting, and schools may find it helpful when looking at their SRE curriculum and to create discussion and debate.

Posted in 2016, NSPCC, Pornography | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Secondary Schools – Join Childnet’s study!

Childnet are working with the University of Central Lancashire on a research study of children’s experiences online.

UK secondary schools are invited to join the research study, which will explore young people’s digital experiences and risk-taking and help-seeking behaviours.

As a participant, your school would get a tailored report about the experiences of your pupils to help you shape your e-safety work over the coming year.

What does it involve?

As part of the study, you would need to deliver the following activities before the summer holidays:

  • Headteacher completes a consent form, and parents are informed so they have the opportunity to withdraw their child
  • Pupils are briefed and then complete 15-minute survey online
  • Teacher completes a short school audit survey

After the study has received your responses, Childnet will produce a personalised report for your school. Please note, your contribution will form part of a wider analysis and responses would not be attributed to your school.

How can I take part?

Please email Childnet Deputy CEO Hannah Broadbent at hannah@childnet.com to find out more information and to express your interest in taking part.

Childnet will select 5 schools across the UK to take part.

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Online Safety within ‘Keeping children safe in education’ 2016

This article was published on the 6th June 2016 (last updated 8.6.16 at 15:00) and will be subject to review and amendment as required.   

On the 26th May 2016 the DfE published the updated ‘Keeping children safe in education’ guidance ready for implementation in September 2016.  ‘Keeping children safe in education’ is statutory guidance from the Department for Education issued under Section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015. All schools and colleges must have regard to ‘Keeping children safe in education’ when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and schools and colleges should comply with the guidance unless exceptional circumstances arise.

‘Keeping children safe in education’ contains information on what schools and colleges should do and sets out the legal duties with which schools and colleges must comply in order to keep children safe. It should be read alongside statutory guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’ and the DfE departmental advice ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused – Advice for practitioners’.

This post will focus on elements of the document which are relevant to online safety and will be highlighting additions and changes regarding schools and colleges statutory duties and responsibilities. It is strongly recommended that Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) read the entire document when looking at their current safeguarding practice and considering any required actions for September 2016.

Key Terms:

  • ‘School’ describes all schools whether maintained, non-maintained or independent, including academies and free schools, alternative provision academies, maintained nursery schools and pupil referral units.
  • ‘College’ describes all further education colleges and sixth-form colleges as established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and relates to their responsibilities towards children under the age of 18, but excludes 16-19 academies and free schools (which are required to comply with relevant safeguarding legislation by virtue of their funding agreement).
  • ‘Staff’ describes all members of staff working within a school or college setting including teaching and non-teaching staff and volunteers. This may include staff working on site even if they are not employed directly by the school/college for example catering staff etc.

How to read this post:

  • Black font indicates a direct quote from the new guidance
  • Blue font is used to highlight recommendations, best practice and useful links from the Kent County Council Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection)
  • Red font indicates a possible action point for DSLs, Governing bodies, Headteachers and proprietors to consider in readiness for September 2016. 

Be aware that this guidance is to be implemented from September 2016.

Part one: Safeguarding information for all staff

What school and college staff should know and do

  1. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families and carers has a role to play in safeguarding children. (p.5)

This highlights that safeguarding and therefore online safety is identified as a responsibility for all members of staff in schools and colleges.

  1. All school and college staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn. (p.5)

This highlights that all members of staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn, and this will include the online environment in which today’s children now live and learn.

  1. All staff members should receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training which is regularly updated. In addition all staff members should receive safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins and staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. (p.6)

This will include school and college leaders ensuring that all members of staff access appropriate safeguarding training, which will need to include online safety.

Types of abuse and neglect

  1. All school and college staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and safeguarding issues are rarely standalone events that can be covered by one definition or label. In most cases multiple issues will overlap with one another. (p.11)

This will include online safety abuse and safeguarding issues.

  1. Emotional abuse: the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve … serious bullying (including cyberbullying)… (p.11)

This specifically identifies that online or ‘cyber’ bullying can result in emotional abuse. It is therefore essential that schools anti-bullying policies are up-to-date and include schools approaches to dealing with all forms of bullying.

Kent County Council provides advice and guidance for schools and colleges regarding cyberbullying and responding to concerns and curriculum resources. The DfE preventing and tackling bullying guidance (which includes cyberbullying) can be found here.

Other useful documents include:

Action point:

  • Does our school/college anti-bullying policy identify cyberbullying and outline the school/college’s response to any concerns reported?
  1. Sexual abuse: involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit acts of sexual abuse, as can other children. (p.11)

This specifically identifies that sexual abuse can occur via the internet and can involve a range of activities, including but not limited to online grooming and exploitation, exposure to pornographic content and engaging a child in sexual activity online. This also identifies that perpetrators can be male or female and may include children themselves (such as in cases of sexting). Schools and colleges must ensure that safeguarding and child protection policies and procedures cover online sexual abuse.

Kent County Council provides an Online Safety Policy template and guidance as part of our Safeguarding Policies templates and also template Acceptable Use Policies which can be used by schools and colleges to develop staff behaviour policy which is relevant to their own needs.

Other useful links to access template policy documents include:

Action point:

  • Does our school/college safeguarding and child protection policy clearly identify the use of technology as a potential risk to members of the community?

Specific safeguarding issues

  1. All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues… Staff should be aware that behaviours linked to the likes of …. sexting puts children in danger. (p.12)

All members of staff must be aware of range of safeguarding issues, and specifically highlights the need for staff to be aware of sexting. Sexting can be defined as ‘an increasingly common activity among children and young people, where they share inappropriate or explicit images online…’. This can include sharing indecent images of themselves or others via mobile phones, webcams, social media and instant messaging. Although viewed by many young people as ‘normal’ and part of ‘flirting’, by sending an explicit image, a young person is producing and distributing child abuse images and risks being prosecuted, even if the picture is taken and shared with their permission. They can also be at increased risk of blackmail, bullying, emotional distress and unwanted attention. Whilst it is usually more common with teenagers, sexting behaviour can impact on younger children, for example risk taking behaviour or natural curiosity so all schools must consider how to respond. (NSPCC)

Sexting is likely to be an issue which could be highlighted within staff safeguarding training. DSLs should also take action to ensure that all members of staff know how to respond to sexting concerns appropriately and in line with the school/college policy e.g. confiscate devices and report concerns to the DSL immediately. For example, are all members of staff aware that if a child discloses they have sent or received a “sext” then these images should not be printed, copied or forwarded. 

Kent County Council includes links to national guidance and support regarding responding to sexting within the Online Safety Policy template and guidance. The KSCB procedures also include responding to harmful behaviours and underage sexual activity. More guidance regarding sexting will be published by the KSCB in line with national guidance when it is made available.

Useful links regarding responding to sexting:

Action point:

  • Does our school/college policies identify sexting as a possible risk for children?
  • Does our school/college provide training and appropriate information to members of staff regarding identifying concerning behaviours which may be linked to sexting?
  1. All staff should be aware safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but not limited to: bullying (including cyber bullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Staff should be clear as to the school or college’s policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse. (p.12)

This specifically highlights that all members of staff must be advised that abuse can also be perpetrated by children themselves and again specifically highlights cyberbullying and. Training should ensure that all members of staff are aware that not all online abuse is committed by strangers and the education provided to children should reflect this.

Action point:

  • Does our school/college provide training to members of staff regarding peer on peer abuse, including cyberbullying and sexting?
  1. Expert and professional organisations are best placed to provide up-to-date guidance and practical support on specific safeguarding issues. …bullying including cyberbullying… child sexual exploitation (CSE) and Annex A….preventing radicalisation – and Annex A….sexting.(p.12)

This specifically highlights specific forms of online abuse.

  1. Annex A contains important additional information about specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues. School leaders and those staff that work directly with children should read the annex. (p.13)

Annex A specifically highlights forms of abuse which may involve the internet, including Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) and radicalisation.

Part two: The management of safeguarding

Legislation and the law

  1. Governing bodies and proprietors (in Part two unless otherwise stated this includes management committees) must ensure that they comply with their duties under legislation. They must have regard to this guidance to ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools or colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times (p.15)

This will include ensuring that governing bodies and proprietors are aware of relevant legislation with regards to online safety concerns. Further information about some of the relevant legislation can be found within the Kent Online Safety Policy template and guidance.

Action Point:

  • Do our school/college leaders have an understanding of the relevant legislation which applies to online safeguarding?

Safeguarding policies

  1. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place in order for appropriate action to be taken in a timely manner to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. (p.14)
  2. This should include:
  • an effective child protection policy; and
  • a staff behaviour policy (sometimes called the code of conduct) which should amongst other things include – acceptable use of technologies, staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media. (p.14-15)

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. These policies, along with Part one of this guidance (Keeping children safe in education) and information regarding the role of the designated safeguarding lead, should be provided to all staff on induction. (p.15)

This highlights the need for schools and colleges to have robust safeguarding policies, including a staff behaviour policy, which covers the school’s expectations and approaches towards online safety and also regarding professional online practice. This will include child protection and safeguarding policies and the staff behaviour policy.

All members of staff will need to have read and understood the relevant  online safety policies and procedures, and we would recommend that this is provided to all members of staff (including volunteers) as part of induction and that these policies are updated and shared with staff on a regular (at least annual) basis.

Kent County Council provides an Online Safety Policy template and guidance as part of our Safeguarding Policies templates and also provides template Acceptable Use Policies which can be used by schools and colleges to develop a staff behaviour policy which is relevant to their own needs and requirements.

Other useful links to access template policy documents include:

Action Point:

  • Does our school/college child protection policy include online safety (either within the policy itself or references a separate online safety policy)?
  • Does our school/college staff behaviour policy (or code of conduct or Acceptable Use Policy) cover the acceptable use of technology, including communication via social media?
  • How do we ensure that this information is communicated with and understood by all members of staff?
  • How do we communicate any changes or updates in our policies with staff?

The designated safeguarding lead

  1. Governing bodies and proprietors should appoint an appropriate senior member of staff, from the school or college leadership team, to the role of designated safeguarding lead. The designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection. (p.15)
  2. It is a matter for individual schools and colleges as to whether they choose to have one or more deputy designated safeguarding lead(s). Any deputies should be trained to the same standard as the designated safeguarding lead. (p.15)
  3. Whilst the activities of the designated safeguarding lead can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection, as set out above, remains with the designated safeguarding lead. This responsibility should not be delegated. (p.15)
  4. The designated safeguarding lead and any deputies should liaise with the local authority and work with other agencies in line with Working together to safeguard children. (p.15)
  5. The designated safeguarding lead and any deputies should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. The training should be updated every two years. (p.15-16)
  6. In addition to their formal training, as set out above, their knowledge and skills should be updated, (for example via e-bulletins, meeting other designated safeguarding leads, or taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments), at regular intervals, but at least annually, to keep up with any developments relevant to their role. (p.16)

The ultimate responsibility for online safety falls within the remit of the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) as online safety is a safeguarding issue. Some schools and colleges may delegate some of the activities regarding online safety to other members of staff, for example due to individual knowledge and experience, especially regarding curriculum content or specific technical knowledge and skills. As online safety is clearly identified as a safeguarding priority it will not be appropriate for the online safety lead to be another member of staff, for example a computing lead,  unless they have also accessed appropriate training (e.g. DSL training). 

Staff with appropriate skills, interest and expertise regarding online safety should be encouraged to help support the DSL(s) as appropriate, for example when developing curriculum approaches or making technical decisions. However schools and colleges must be clear that ultimate responsibility for online safety sits with the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

It is important that DSLs access appropriate online safety training to ensure they are aware of the specific online concerns which children, young people and adults may encounter and are able to take appropriate steps to ensure that practice in their settings is in line with national and local policy and procedures.

In Kent, specific training for DSL is available via Kent CPD online. Information about online safety is also provided for DSLs through the Kelsi e-Bulletin, the Education Safeguarding Team’s Child Protection Newsletter, the e-Safety pages on Kelsi, the Kent e-Safety Twitter feed and the Kent e-Safety blog.  DSLs are able to access specific online safety consultations  via the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer. 

Action Point:

  • Is the school/college DSL considered to be the lead person responsible for online safety?
    • If not, have any other persons responsible had appropriate training to enable them to support the DSL?
  • If appropriate, has the school identified other members of staff who may have skills, expertise or interests that may enable them to support the DSL?
    • If so, who are they and have they had appropriate training to enable them to support the DSL?
  • Has the DSL (and any other appropriate members of staff as identified by the school/college) had appropriate training to enable them to respond to online safety concern?
    • Does this training include developing an up-to-date awareness of both risks and benefits of technology and an awareness of both national and local policy and procedures.

Staff training

  1. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training should be regularly updated. Induction and training should be in line with advice from the LSCB. (p.17)
  1. In addition all staff members should receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings), as required, but at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. (p.17)
  1. Governing bodies and proprietors should recognise the expertise staff build by undertaking safeguarding training and managing safeguarding concerns on a daily basis. Opportunity should therefore be provided for staff to contribute to and shape safeguarding arrangements and child protection policy. (p.17)

Safeguarding and child protection training provided to staff, on induction (and at least annually), should include online safety. This is highlighted further in annex C.

Schools and colleges may wish to integrate online safety within current safeguarding and child protection training or provide separate and specific sessions.  Some good practice examples identified within Kent include schools and college which cover safeguarding (including online safety) as a standing item at all staff meetings and schools and colleges which provide specific online safety trainings sessions as part of an annual staff training calendar of events. 

Staff should be involved in the development and construction of online safety (including acceptable use policies) policies to promote ownership and understanding. This may involve including staff in development via discussions at staff meetings or reviewing policies with staff working groups.

Action Point:

  • How does our school/college provide appropriate, up-to-date and relevant whole staff training which includes online safety?
  • How does our school/college involve staff in developing and contributing to online safety policies and procedures?

Online safety

  1. As schools and colleges increasingly work online it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. As such governing bodies and proprietors should ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place. Additional information to support governing bodies and proprietors is provided in Annex C.

This identifies that online safety is viewed as part of schools and colleges safeguarding responsibilities. This should encourage schools and colleges to recognise the increasing role of the internet within safeguarding and child protection concerns as well as the need  to ensure appropriate systems are in place to filter and monitor internet activity.

Action point:

  • Does our school/college clearly view online safety as a safeguarding concern?
  • Has our DSL, governing body/proprietor etc. read and understood annex C?

Opportunities to teach safeguarding

  1. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials (in FE colleges) and/or – for maintained schools and colleges – through sex and relationship education (SRE). (p.17-18)

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that online safety is specifically covering within the curriculum. The responsibility for teaching children about online safety is clearly identified as not being the sole responsibility of the computing curriculum and therefore must be woven throughout the curriculum. Online safety education should start within early years and be developed throughout the year and across all age groups.

One-off events, lessons or assemblies regarding online safety or a reliance on external speakers to educate children will not be effective or adequate practice. External speakers can be useful as a catalyst to a discussion or to reinforce learning but cannot be the sole source of education or sanction for children, as they will not be effective in the long-term or enable schools and colleges to develop internal capacity to respond to concerns.

Online safety education may occur explicitly, such as within specific lessons in PSHE and computing, however it should also be taught discreetly.  It is recommended that schools and colleges ensure that all members of staff consider how online safety can be taught within their own curriculum or subject, for example when other subjects use technology as a teaching and learning tool. It is good practice for all staff to reference ways in which safeguarding and online safety can be reinforced and developed within their lesson plans.

The school/college online safety curriculum should be flexible, relevant and engage pupils’ interests, be appropriate to their own needs and abilities and encourage them to develop resilience to online risks. Schools and colleges should ensure they use a range of relevant resources and be mindful that online safety educate content can date very quickly due to the rapid pace of change within technology.  

Best practice would involve schools and colleges ensuring learners have an input into the online safety curriculum, this could involve use of student/pupil councils or use of peer education approaches.

The SWGfL and Common sense media have produced a progressive digital literacy scheme of work which may be useful to enable schools and colleges. Childnet have identified ways to teach online safety within the computing curriculum.

The Kent Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer have compiled a list of a range of curriculum resources for schools and colleges here.

Action point:

  • How does our school/college current teach children about online safety?
    • Are all year groups receiving online safety education that is relevant, up-to-date and appropriate to them?
    • Is there a clear scheme of work which identifies relevant and appropriate teaching resources?
  • Is the online safety curriculum differentiated to our learners needs, ages and abilities?
  • How does the school/college identify and target children who may require more specific educational approaches to enable them to build online safety skills?
  • How are children and young people involved in the development of the online safety curriculum?
  • Is the online safety curriculum integrated throughout the academic year?
  • Is the online safety curriculum integrated throughout all subject areas?
  • How does our school/college use external speakers to complement our own internal education approaches?
  1. Whilst it is essential that governing bodies and proprietors ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place; they should be careful that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding. (p.18)

Governing bodies and proprietors should be making informed decision regarding filtering and monitoring systems and ensure decisions are appropriate to the school’s technology provision as well as the needs of the learners. A reliance on filtering to safeguarding children will not be appropriate, and children will need to be taught critical thinking skills which are appropriate to their age and ability.  

Schools and colleges may wish to consider developing a risk assessment approach or other process to ensure filtering decisions are made from a safeguarding, technical and educational perspective.

The UK Safer internet Centre have put together excellent guidance for schools and colleges about appropriate filtering and monitoring and it is recommended that governing bodies and proprietors read this guidance fully. 

Action point:

  • How does the governing body/proprietor make informed decisions regarding the school/college filtering and monitoring systems and associated decisions?
    • How is this captured and recorded?

Inspection

  1. From September 2015 all inspections by Ofsted have been made under: A new common inspection framework: education, skills and early years. Inspectors will always report on whether or not arrangements for safeguarding children and learners are effective. Ofsted has published a document setting out the approach inspectors should take to inspecting safeguarding: Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings. Individual inspectorates will also report on safeguarding arrangements and have published frameworks which inform how they inspect the independent schools that are not inspected by Ofsted at: School Inspection Service and Independent Schools Inspectorate. (p.18)

The Ofsted Common Inspection Framework and supporting “Inspecting Safeguarding” document specifically highlights online safety. Additional guidance regarding this can be found here 

Schools/colleges may wish to audit current practice to identify strengths and areas for improvement. Tools which may be helpful to support schools and colleges will include the 360 safe tool and the Kent self-evaluation document

Action point:

  • Are all members of staff (especially leadership staff) aware of online safety within the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework?
  • Has the school/college reviewed current practice and identified areas for improvement?

Allegations of abuse made against other children

  1. Staff should recognise that children are capable of abusing their peers. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their child protection policy includes procedures to minimise the risk of peer on peer abuse and sets out how allegations of peer on peer abuse will be investigated and dealt with. The policy should reflect the different forms peer on peer abuse can take, make clear that abuse is abuse and should never be tolerated or passed off as “banter” or “part of growing up”. It should be clear as to how victims of peer on peer abuse will be supported. (p.19)
  2. Peer on peer abuse can manifest itself in many ways. Governors and proprietors should ensure sexting and the school or colleges approach to it is reflected in the child protection policy. The department provides searching screening and confiscation advice for schools (link). Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) has recently updated their sexting guidance: NOTE: We will add this advice when it’s available. (p.19)

This identifies that abuse can be perpetrated by children. It specifically highlights the need for governors and proprietors to ensure that schools and colleges safeguarding and child protection policies include responding to sexting concerns. This is essential to safeguard children and staff and also to ensure that any criminal investigations are undertaken promptly and appropriately and also to ensure that Local Safeguarding Children Board and child protection procedures are followed.

An update to national guidance regarding sexting is expected over the summer and will be linked to here when made available. 

Kent County Council provides an online safety advice, including policy template and guidance which covers responding to sexting concerns.  The Kent Safeguarding Children Board specifically highlights sexting within its procedures and DSLs can access the Education Safeguarding Team for advice and guidance regarding responding to sexting concerns. A selection of useful resources regarding sexting are highlighted within the “specific safeguarding issues” section 41. above. 

DSLs should ensure they are familiar with local and national (when updated) guidance.

Action point:

  • Is the DSL familiar with local and national guidance for responding to allegations of abuse against other children?
    • How has the DSL communicated this information to other members of staff?

Annex A: Further information

Further information on child sexual exploitation

Child sexual exploitation is a form of sexual abuse where children are sexually exploited for money, power or status. It can involve violent, humiliating and degrading sexual assaults. In some cases, young people are persuaded or forced into exchanging sexual activity for money, drugs, gifts, affection or status. Consent cannot be given, even where a child may believe they are voluntarily engaging in sexual activity with the person who is exploiting them. Child sexual exploitation does not always involve physical contact and can happen online… (p.52-53)

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) may involve the role of the internet to identify potential victims or as a tool to coerce and blackmail children into performing sexual acts, both on and offline. The internet may also be provided to children as a “gift” by perpetrators, for example in the form of new mobile phones and devices.   In some cases CSE can entirely take place online, for example children being coerced into performing sexual acts via webcam, and may not always result in a physical meeting between children and the offender. DSLs should be aware of national and local policy and procedures regarding CSE. 

The Kent County Council online safety policy template and guidance covers responding to online CSE concerns.  Further information about local approaches, including the CSET team and Operation Willow is available. The KSCB CSE toolkit is available to enable DSLs to consider possible risks. Multi-agency CSE training is also available via the KSCB.  

Action point:

  • Does the safeguarding and child protection policy include responding to the risk of CSE?
    • Does this include the use of technology as a tool for CSE within all appropriate policies?
  • Has the DSL had appropriate training regarding CSE?
  • How does the DSL communicate awareness and understanding of CSE (including online CSE) to staff?
  • How are children educated to be aware of CSE (including online CSE) appropriately to their age and ability?

Further information on preventing radicalisation

Protecting children from the risk of radicalisation should be seen as part of schools’ and colleges’ wider safeguarding duties, and is similar in nature to protecting children from other forms of harm and abuse. During the process of radicalisation it is possible to intervene to prevent vulnerable people being radicalised.  (p.54-55)

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism. There is no single way of identifying an individual who is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. It can happen in many different ways and settings. Specific background factors may contribute to vulnerability which are often combined with specific influences such as family, friends or online, and with specific needs for which an extremist or terrorist group may appear to provide an answer. The internet and the use of social media in particular has become a major factor in the radicalisation of young people.  (p.55)

Schools must ensure that children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in schools. (p.56)

This highlights the role of the internet as a tool in the radicalisation of young people and also in the potential accidental and deliberate exposure of young people and adults to extremism views and content. This section highlights that procedures for responding to radicalisation may be set out in existing safeguarding policies and separate policies are not necessary. DSLs should be aware of national and local policy and procedures regarding radicalisation. 

The Kent County Council Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy template and online safety policy template and guidance covers responding to radicalisation concerns.  Further information about Prevent Duty and the Kent approach (including procedures, tools and training) can be found on Kelsi .

The Department for Education has also published advice for schools on the Prevent duty. The Government has also launched a website called educate against hate, which is designed to equip school and college leaders, teachers and parents with the information, tools and resources they need to recognise and address extremism and radicalisation in young people and this includes online issues. 

Action point:

  • Does the safeguarding and child protection policy include responding to the risk of radicalisation?
    • Does this include the use of technology as a tool for radicalisation within all appropriate policies?
  • Has the DSL had appropriate training regarding radicalisation and Prevent?
  • How does the DSL communicate awareness and understanding of radicalisation (including online) to staff?
  • How are children educated to be aware of radicalisation (including online) appropriately to their age and ability?

Annex B: Role of the designated safeguarding lead

This section (p.58-60) highlights the roles and responsibilities of the DSL(s) including managing referrals, multi-agency working, training, record keeping, awareness raising and availability. These roles and responsibilities will also apply to online safety concerns, especially as some online issues may require referral to other agencies and schools/colleges will need to raise awareness of recognising, responding, recording and referring online safeguarding issues with all members of staff.

Annex C: Online safety

The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation – technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate. (p.61)

This clearly identifies online safety as a safeguarding responsibility and highlights the need for schools and colleges to ensure that all members of their communities are able to develop appropriate understanding and skills to prepare them to respond to online safety issues.

The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm (p.61)

It is essential that schools and colleges develop a curriculum that is appropriate to the needs of their learners and that which covers a range of online safety issues (e.g. not just covering “grooming” by strangers). Online safety messages shared with staff and children should be appropriate and up-to-date and empower them to be able to respond to a range of online threats as well as opportunities.

Action point:

  • Does the online safety curriculum cover the full range of potential online risks which children may encounter?

Filters and monitoring

Governing bodies and proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school or colleges IT system. As part of this process governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their school has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place. Whilst considering their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and provide them a safe environment in which to learn, governing bodies and proprietors should consider the age range of their pupils, the number of pupils, how often they access the schools IT system and the proportionality of costs Vs risks.

The appropriateness of any filters and monitoring systems are a matter for individual schools and colleges and will be informed in part by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty.

The UK Safer Internet Centre has published guidance as to what “appropriate” might look like: UK Safer Internet Centre: appropriate filtering and monitoring 

Guidance on e-security is available from the National Education network (NEN). Buying advice for schools is available here: buying for schools.   (p.61)

Governing bodies and proprietors must make informed decisions regarding the safety and security of the internet access and equipment available in their settings. Governing bodies and proprietors must ensure that the welfare of children and young people is paramount at all times. Any decisions taken regarding filtering and monitoring systems should be taken from a safeguarding,  educational and technical approach and should be justifiable and documented. When reviewing filtering and monitoring systems and approach some governing bodies and proprietors may wish to undertake an approach which includes robust risk assessments and a through comparison which identify both the benefits and limitations of the services.

Schools may also wish to approach their broadband provider to consider the range of tools available to them which may enable them to develop strategies to control and supervise their internet use and systems appropriately. Kent schools and settings using the EIS School Broadband system will be using the LightSpeed system which already has a range of tools which may enable schools to be able to demonstrate they have an understanding of appropriate filtering and monitoring and have systems already in place. Further information about LightSpeed can be accessed via EiS

The UK Safer internet Centre have put together excellent guidance for schools and colleges about appropriate filtering and monitoring : UK Safer Internet Centre: appropriate filtering and monitoring. It is recommended that governing bodies, proprietors and DSLs read and consider this guidance when considering their filtering and monitoring systems and any associated decisions. 

Action point:

  • Does the governing body/proprietor understand the current school/college filtering/monitoring systems?
    • If not, how can this be developed?
  • How do the governing body/proprietor work with the technical team (e.g. broadband provider, IT Technicians, Network Managers or IT service providers) to make filtering and monitoring decisions?
    • If so, how is this documented?
  • Has the governing body/proprietor accessed the UK Safer Internet centre (and any local guidance) material regarding appropriate filtering and monitoring?

Whilst filtering and monitoring are an important part of the online safety picture for schools and colleges to consider, it is only one part. Governors and proprietors should consider a whole school approach to online safety. This will include a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school. Many children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via 3G and 4G in particular and the school and college should carefully consider how this is managed on their premises.  (p.61-2)

Whilst it is essential that governing bodies and proprietors ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place; they should be careful that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding. (p.62)

No filtering or monitoring solution can offer schools and colleges 100% protection from exposure to inappropriate or illegal content, so it is equally important that they can demonstrate that they have taken all other reasonable precautions to safeguard children and staff. Such methods may include appropriate supervision, requiring children and staff to sign an acceptable Use Policy (AUP), a robust and embedded online safety curriculum and appropriate and up-to-date staff training etc. A reliance on filtering and monitoring to safeguarding children online could lead to a feeling of complacency which may put children and adults at risk of significant harm.

It is vital for all Governing bodies , proprietors  and members of staff to recognise that even with the most expensive and up-to-date security systems and filtering, children or staff can potentially bypass them either via using proxy sites or by using their own devices e.g. mobile phones or tablets which would not be subject to the school/colleges filtering. This is why appropriate supervision, policy and procedures and education and training is essential. The Kent County Council online safety policy template and guidance has specific content for schools and colleges regarding filtering and also use of personal devices and mobile phones.

Action point:

  • Does the school/college understand that filtering and monitoring will not always be effective as removing risk?
  • How do all members of staff ensure that technology in the classroom is used as safely and effectively as possible?
    • Does the school provide all members of staff with clear expectations regarding use of technology e.g. supervision, pre-checking content before use, use of age appropriate tools, understanding of data protection concerns, clear risk assessments etc.
  • Does the school/college have a policy regarding safe and appropriate use of mobile phones and personal devices?

Staff training

Governors and proprietors should ensure that as part of the requirement for staff to undergo regularly updated safeguarding training (paragraph 64) and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online (paragraph 68), that online safety training for staff is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach. (p.62)

This identifies that all members of staff must have access to appropriate, regular and up-to-date online safety training as part of their safeguarding training. Schools and colleges will need to consider how this is implemented within their own settings (e.g. integrated within existing safeguarding and child protection training or as separate and specific online safety training).

Frequently during online safety training provided by the Education Safeguarding team, school leaders and non-teaching staff are absent. Whilst ensuring a whole staff group presence is difficult due to demands on time, resources and other commitments, a failure to identify online safety as a whole school issue could potentially undermine the school/colleges safeguarding practice, ultimately leaving children and adults vulnerable.

Online safety training should be accessed by ALL members of staff, not just teaching staff. A child could disclose an online safety concern to any adult, therefore all members of staff (including external staff and volunteers) should be made aware of how to recognise, respond to, record and referral all safeguarding concerns, including online issues. School leaders must also access this training to ensure that messages are appropriate and consistent and also to demonstrate to staff that safeguarding is a key propriety at the school.

Kent schools and colleges can access the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) or the e-Safety Development Officer who provide centralised training as well as consultations and support for DSLs or can provide schools and colleges with bespoke whole staff training. 

Other useful links to support staff training  include:

Action point:

  • How does the school/college provide all members of staff with appropriate and up-to-date training regarding online safety?
    • If so, is it embedded within safeguarding training or is it separate and specific?
    • Is it provided to ALL members of staff, including non-teaching staff, school leaders and volunteers?
  • Does staff training cover safeguarding children online as well as expectations for professional practice?

Information and support

There is a wealth of information available to support schools and colleges to keep children safe online. The following is not exhaustive but should provide a useful starting point:

The Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and the e-Safety Development Officer are located within the Kent County Council Education safeguarding Team and provide schools with advice, guidance and training regarding online safety.

Information about online safety is also provided for DSLs through the Kelsi e-Bulletin, the Education Safeguarding Team’s Child Protection Newsletter, the e-Safety pages on Kelsi, the Kent e-Safety Twitter feed and the Kent e-Safety blog.  

Kent schools and colleges can contact the Education safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer directly for advice, support and guidance regarding online safety.

Action point:

  • How does the school/college (specially the DSL) keep up-to-date with developments within the online safety agenda?

Summary

The online safety agenda has evolved significantly over recent years and it is essential that schools and colleges (especially DSLs, governing bodies and proprietors) recognise the role of online safety within their safeguarding responsibilities towards all members of the community.

It is essential that schools and colleges review their current online safety practice and consider changes required ready for September 2016.

Kent schools and colleges can access the Education Safeguarding Team if they require further support and guidance.

Please add any useful links or suggestions in the comments below.

Posted in 2016, Department for Education, DfE, e-Safety, Education Leaders and Managers, Keeping Children Safe in Education 2016, Safeguarding | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Is there an age limit for kids on social media? – Infographic from the Australian Children’s e-Safety Commissioner

The Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner provides Australians a range of up-to-date information and resources, many of which are useful to schools, parents/carers and young people in the UK.

The office has recently published this new Infographic about age restrictions of a range of popular apps compared with the app store rating which is based on content and usability.

This may be helpful to use to spark a discussion in the classroom or to share with parents/carers when looking at safe and responsible use of social media.

eSafetyageguidelinestable26516

Posted in Age limits, apps, e-Safety, esafety, Gaming, Parents, Primary Resources, Resources, Schools, Secondary Resources, Social Media, Social Networking | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Parent Zone Digital Parenting Facilitator Training – New Dates Available

Parent Zone has released new dates for their  Digital Parenting Facilitator Training: the next date is 5th July at Dulwich College. Further information can be accessed on the Parent Zone website.

Other information about Parent Zone training can be accessed here

Posted in 2016, Parent Zone, Parenting in the Digital Age | Tagged | Leave a comment