Hello Nigel Baxter,

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1 of 9

Does your school or academy have an up-to-date online safety policy?

Why an online safety policy is so important

Online safety is part of safeguarding and it is recommended that there be some inclusion of online safety within the safeguarding policy.

With regards to the online safety policy; it is suggested that a structured, modular approach be adopted. Having an overarching online safety policy (which is short and easy to review) with separate but linked individual short sub-policies/Information Advice and Guidance (IAG). It will be these latter ones that are likely to need frequent updating.

Once in place it is important that your policies and IAG are well managed and that all stakeholders are familiar with them to apply them appropriately, this may include specific training or just advisory sessions.

It may be useful to include student representation in the review process thereby helping the whole school to own and understand why policies and guidance are in place. Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) may need revising and signing by the parties involved, this may include any home/school agreements that refer to the use of technology.

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Identify what online safety guidance government has with regard to policies and inspection.
 
 
Create a ‘top down’ structure of policies, sub-policies and Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) in modular form, which will help with ongoing review and maintenance (particularly with regard to emerging technologies e.g. Apple Watch). Also, go through review and approval process.
 
 
Articulate the vision in a short strategy document and get this approved by the senior leadership team. Consider the use of a risk/benefit register.
 
 
Create any other necessary policies, especially online-bullying, sub-policies and Information Advice and Guidance (IAG) including incident management. Also, go through review and approval process.
 
 
Share ideas and discuss with the strategic stakeholder group about the strategy of online safety for the school and a risk/benefit approach to the use of technology.
 
 
2 of 9

How often does your school or academy update your online safety policies?

Dealing with safeguarding issues and updating policies

Any safeguarding issues that occur which include online safety should be dealt with according to the safeguarding policies in place currently. These policies may need to be amended/cross-referenced as necessary.

Sometimes incidents arise from a number of smaller issues that start occurring more frequently. It can be beneficial to continue to record such issues in the current way and perhaps look at established pattern of incidents and seeing if more serious incidents can be prevented from happening by adding interventions with all school stakeholders.

The implementation of Whisper from the BOOST package will give parents and students another way of reporting issues to the right people within school. You can download detailed information on the BOOST package from www.rm.com/boost

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Review and amend the online safety policy.

Also, go through review and approval process.
 
 
Review safeguarding procedures, reporting and referral to assess whether online safety can form part of these.
 
 
Consider adding Whisper from the BOOST package to the school website and review how this can be added into the incident management flowchart.
 
 
3 of 9

Does your school have clear Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) for all school community members?

Why having a robust Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is important

Having a robust AUP is important and all community members need to have read and understood this document. It is important to look at how you can demonstrate that staff have understood the document, we suggest the following ways:

  • Online survey
  • Scenarios in a training workshop
  • Videos/online training to support the document

It is important that this document is reviewed annually and also if any incidents happen in school that cause the document to be changed. For example, the introduction of new technologies or approaches to students learning environments.

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Ensure all participants sign any revised AUPs and are fully aware of what they are committing to – this may require some awareness sessions with students and parents.
 
 
4 of 9

What training is offered to staff to support online safety issues?

Give your staff the tools and support they require, through regular training

Following on from your online safety training it may be worth canvassing all staff to understand their training needs. Particularly, with regard to the issues listed in the RM online safety questionnaire and arrange training accordingly. By doing this you will be able to provide not only good evidence but also helps to pinpoint further training gaps.

Have you thought about accrediting your staff in relation to online safety? This will ensure your school has staff who are up to date and have certification in this area.

Sometimes incidents arise from a number of smaller issues that start occurring more frequently. It can be beneficial to continue to record such issues in the current way and perhaps look at established pattern of incidents, seeing if more serious incidents can be prevented from happening by adding interventions with all school stakeholders.

Using a risk register to record all possible activity can illustrate that the school proactively considers the use of technology and makes informed decisions as to what level of risk to accept.

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Do a training needs assessment for staff.
 
 
Create a training schedule for all staff, including awareness-raising and introduction of the online safety policy and other policies such as Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs).
 
 
Explore the options of online safety accreditation for staff, this could be CEOP Ambassadors programme, EPICT or PitDA facilitators programmme.
 
 
Continue with the ‘issues’ list identifying any online safety concerns so that patterns can be established, early interventions taken and recorded.
 
 
Review the curriculum resources available for online safety, e.g. Childnet (http://www.childnet.com), SWGfL http://swgfl.org.uk/products-services/esafety/resources/Digital-Literacy

Integrate messages across all classes and aspects of the curriculum (not just ICT).
5 of 9

What education is offered to students to support online safety messages?

Embedding online safety in school, and in the community

Embedding online safety in school, and in the community is an ongoing objective and every opportunity should be taken to give online safety messages to students, promoting good behaviour and discussing issues as they arise. This should be tackled in many ways, through all curriculum lessons and through an assembly programme which also leads to intervention assemblies when there are incidents which need to be tackled.

Creating a school council for its input may help to highlight specific issues that students are concerned about.

Additionally, a questionnaire for students to complete may also provide information to base further guidance on. Termly or half-termly themed messages could be used to engage all students and this could be integrated into the curriculum as well as allowing students to be creative about how they interpret and pass this information on to their family.

Lastly, making full use of the resources provided nationally for Safer Internet Day (SID) every February and anti-bullying week in November to all year groups will help enforce important messages and give opportunity for consultation and discussion

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Consider how to consult with students for example, School Council about their particular issues with online safety, and how they may want to take messages home for their families.
 
 
Do a training needs assessment for students particularly relating to the list of incidents.
 
 
Identify half-termly themes with specific online safety messages that can be promoted in and out of school and through the curriculum, e.g. things to think about when buying Christmas presents (games – age specific, tablets and smartphones).
 
 
6 of 9

How does the school educate and support the wider school community, for example parents?

How to influence parents/carers successfully

At times it can be a challenge to engage with parents/carers successfully. The school can continue to use every formal and informal opportunity to raise issues and discuss concerns as well as signposting to the numerous parent resources available. As suggested this may include information sessions as part of a parent evening, QR codes at locations where parents congregate for example, Reception etc. Alternatively, a section within the school newsletter could be focused on online safety.

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Explore ways to engage parents/carers both in and outside of school, formally and informally e.g. the school newsletters.

Make parents aware of the new CEOP Parent Zone (www.parentinfo.org), NSCPP (www.net-aware.org.uk) and other quality online resources.
 
 
7 of 9

What reporting mechanisms does the school have in place to support young people and staff facing online safety issues?

Why having clear reporting mechanisms in place is important

Any safeguarding issues that occur which include online safety should be dealt with according to the safeguarding policies in place currently. These policies may need to be amended/cross-referenced as necessary.

It is recommended that all schools use an incident management flowchart diagram. This can be displayed in the staff room, making sure staff are familiar with what they need to do in the event of an online safety incident.

Having anonymous reporting tools on your school website can also be used to give students, parents and staff another avenue to report incidents, such as ‘Whisper’ which can be found in an online safety toolkit called BOOST. You can download detailed information on the BOOST package from www.rm.com/boost

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Place the incident management flowchart in the staff room, making all staff aware of their involvement and actions.
 
 
8 of 9

Does your internet filtering enable you to differentiate filter rules for different users?

Why it is so important to provide age appropriate filtering

It’s really important to offer age appropriate filtering in school, ensuring the lower end of the school have more protection online than your older pupils.

The Department for Education recommend that “overblocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding. So, it’s vital that every school has the recommended filtering in place to meet this requirement.

Action
Assigned to
Assigned to
Review school-based filtering policies.
 
 
9 of 9

How does your school currently monitor online behaviour?

Why it is so important to have appropriate monitoring in place

Due to the revised Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) statutory guidance which came into effect on 5th September 2016, schools are now obligated to ensure appropriate filters are in place.

It is essential that schools have monitoring in place to compliment the filtering (Please refer to the DfE and Prevent guidance). Monitoring will highlight themes that can then be addressed through online safety training with staff, students and parents.

Action
Assigned to
Completed by
Review monitoring solutions currently in place, look at an alternative provision to ensure that all members of the school are safe online and create a training programme based on any incidents.
 
 
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