NFER Report: “Protecting Children Online: Teachers’ Perspectives on e-Safety”

The NFER have published a report “Protecting Children Online: Teachers’ perspectives on eSafety


The report provides an analysis of the responses to questions from a bespoke NFER online teacher survey, using NFER’s Teacher Voice Panel, for the DfE’s Vital Programme (delivered by the Open University).

The survey data shows that the majority of teachers feel that they can deal with most e-Safety issues and can support their pupils to do so. Teachers also acknowledged that technology is useful to their pupils, for learning, communication and socialisation. However, the findings also showed that technology is creating challenges for teachers in relation to issues around e-Safety and cyberbullying as well as managing pupils’ usage of particular technologies, such as smartphones and social networking sites.

The survey found that:

  • 87% of  teachers said that their school has an e-safety policy, but only seven in ten (72%) indicated that it is reviewed regularly (this figure was less in Secondary schools)
  • 77% of primary teachers and half (54%) of secondary teachers felt that staff had received adequate e-safety training.
  • 87% of teachers feel pupils are e-safe at school, but only 58% think their pupils have the knowledge and skills to stay e-safe at home
  • 59% of teachers said that they had a social networking profile themselves, and less than 1% had experienced pupils leaving inappropriate comments on their profile.
  • 74% of teachers think that the prevalence of smart phones among their pupils is making it easier for them to access inappropriate material at school, with nine out of 10 secondary school teachers finding this difficult to manage
  • Cyberbullying continues to be a problem, with 91% of secondary teachers and 52% of primary teachers saying pupils at their school have experienced cyberbullying, and that most of it is perpetrated via social networking sites.


These figures highlight some concerns with e-Safety practice in Secondary schools, especially around policies and staff training. This may be due to the size of the school, however it is important that all schools view e-Safety as part of their essential safeguarding responsibilities and equip all members of staff to manage e-Safety concerns accordingly.  

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