filtering review

Answer eight quick questions from RM SafetyNet experts about your school’s approach to internet filtering to see which areas need further support or guidance.

This is a confidential self-review tool that will help you consider your whole school approach to protecting your students online.

    It will:
  • Offer you advice and tips that can improve your current filtering provision
  • Provide knowledge for your safeguarding leads and network managers
  • Identify options you may not have yet considered

It’s not a test. It’s a benchmark for your own purposes, so try to answer accurately. We won’t publicly share or publish your details, and any quiz results that we do publish will not identify individuals or schools.

1 of 8

As a school, do you consider internet filtering as part of your safeguarding strategy?

Advice, tips and knowledge

The DfE’s latest guidance on Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) confirms that schools have a duty of care for the provision of an appropriate internet filtering solution.

The UK Safer Internet Centre specifies the principles that a filter system should meet. It’s advisable you read the latest version of KCSiE and check your internet filtering solution is adequate.

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2 of 8

How do you perceive the role of an internet filtering solution in keeping children safe at school when online?

Advice, tips and knowledge

A proficient internet filtering solution is essential for schools but it’s not a ‘means to an end’. It provides the technology that enables your safeguarding strategy to be executed, managed and adapted over time.

The DfE guidance states that governors and proprietors should consider a whole school approach to online safety – remember that no system can ever be 100% effective.

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3 of 8

How do you report on website browsing activity?

Advice, tips and knowledge

An appropriate internet filtering solution is able to report on historical data of websites requested, served, accessed and blocked. Schools should choose a system that provides the right level of reporting so that it is not overwhelming or technical, nor scant.

Reporting gives you the ability to identify which, if any, users have been attempting to access inappropriate content online and helps you to meet the statutory requirements for appropriate filtering as set out in the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) guidance.

Reports and statistics can be useful to shape future policy making and give insight into browsing trends, broadband consumption and evidence that your safeguarding is effective.

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4 of 8

How do you ensure that external devices brought into school are subjected to filtering?

Advice, tips and knowledge

Staff and students may need to bring laptops, tablets and mobiles into school as part of effective teaching and learning and your internet filtering solution should provide for this.

With user-based filtering technology, an option offered by RM SafetyNet, external device users are required to log on to the school internet or WiFi via their own username and password so your internet filter controls will apply. Browsing activities can be identified at user level should you need to follow up with the individual, parent or staff member.

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5 of 8

How much control does your school have over its filter settings?

Advice, tips and knowledge

Each school will have their own interpretation of appropriate content for age groups and it is beneficial to take a whole school approach when setting and controlling filters (abiding by the rules of what is deemed illegal content, e.g. radicalisation and child abuse images). With RM SafetyNet, it is possible for schools to appoint a main administrator and several user accounts so that filtering control is shared by non-technical staff as well as network managers.

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6 of 8

Are you confident deciding what is appropriate or inappropriate website content?

Advice, tips and knowledge

Rest assured that, by default, a competent internet filtering solution will block illegal websites based on input from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), the Home Office, the Counter Terrorist list (CTIRU) and security intelligence, including radicalisation content.

Furthermore, the UK Safer Internet Centre specifies inappropriate content that internet filtering solutions should manage including discrimination, pornography, hacking, self-harm and violence. Aside from this, schools have the freedom to customise their own lists and providers like RM SafetyNet can make suggestions based on user feedback or our own insight.

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7 of 8

Do you create your own custom filter lists within your school?

Advice, tips and knowledge

Using one setting for the school can be restrictive to children (particularly older children) who need independence to explore and learn from content that may be inappropriate for others. It also constitutes ‘over-blocking’ which the DfE advises against.

You will still be meeting all safeguarding requirements when you create your own lists for certain groups to access, as approved internet filtering solutions will block illegal sites by default.

With RM SafetyNet it’s straightforward to relax or tighten the rules based on individuals, school year, class, Key Stage, website category (e.g. game sites) or even based on timings to accommodate clubs and break times.

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8 of 8

If your school is part of an academy, do you have separate filter systems and settings at different sites?

Advice, tips and knowledge

A flexible internet filtering solution allows Multi Academy Trusts (MATs)
to streamline safeguarding across several school sites negating separate set ups, if desirable.

RM SafetyNet has drawn from experience to provide a hierarchical approach when it comes to setting access rules, administration and reporting. Individual schools can still customise their settings or remain independent.


Now that you've reviewed your school's approach to internet filtering, you may want further clarification or advice.
Enter your details for a free demo or introduction to internet filtering solutions from an RM SafetyNet online safety expert.

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