When it comes to filtering online content in schools, what is the approach advised by the DfE?
Giving children access to the internet and protecting them at the same time is a balancing act. The over-blocking of websites is not recommended as children’s access to learning can be compromised. Filters should be flexible and appropriate for learning, age and maturity. Remember that illegal websites are not the only harmful websites out there and children need protection from inappropriate contact, content and conduct online.
Where are the rules on filtering for every school to follow?
Whilst there are no specific rules as each school is different, there is guidance provided by the DfE and this is highlighted in ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSiE) which obligates schools and colleges in England to “ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place”. The UK Safer Internet Centre details the criteria that companies should adhere to. Remember that no filtering system is 100% effective and needs to be supported with a whole school approach to online safety.
What type of websites would be considered to host illegal content?
Child abuse images and terrorism (a list of unlawful terrorist content, produced on behalf of the Home Office) are examples of illegal content which must be blocked. A website promoting or displaying suicide (deliberate self-harm) is one example of inappropriate, but not illegal, content though schools will still want to block this type of content. Schools should decide which areas of social media (e.g. Facebook) are made accessible to various age groups from a teaching and learning point of view.
Which of the following is a feature of an appropriate internet filtering solution?
An appropriate internet filter solution will have the ability to report inappropriate content for access or blocking, plus be able to report on the history of web visits. Concealing an internet user’s identify is not appropriate as all users should be identifiable, especially on external devices, for the protection of others and themselves. Control of the system should be maintained by the school’s designated safeguarding leads, which may or may include the head teacher, but control does not have to stay with one person.
Which of the following is essential when choosing an internet filtering solution?
The DfE, within Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance, states that appropriate internet filtering solution providers must be Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) members. It also references the UK Safer Internet Centre guide to what appropriate filtering looks like (a self-assessment form is on their website to help schools assess the compliance of their filtering providers). It does not specify where the provider should be based nor that you should change provider regularly, although it is advisable to reassess at intervals that the internet filtering system is providing adequate protection and flexibility, at the right price, for your school.
Approximately how many web requests does filtering system
RM SafetyNet deal with daily?
RM SafetyNet deals with over 580 million web requests daily, helping over 3,000 schools stay safe.