Whether you’re unsure where to start since the new statutory guidance came into effect, or you’re uncertain of just how robust your online safety provision actually is, we can help.
Our Online Safety Review is a safe self-review tool that will help you review your online safety policy and practice. It provides:
You may also be interested in taking our Data Protection Review and Cyber Security Review for further advice.
Please choose 1 of the 3 options: a, b or c
Your review will be full of key hints and tips to help you appraise how well prepared your school is today.
Identify what online safety guidance Ofsted has with regard to policies and inspection.
Create a ‘top down’ structure of policies, sub-policies and IAG in modular form, which will help with ongoing review and maintenance (particularly re emerging technologies e.g. Apple Watch). Go through review and approval process.
Articulate the vision in a short strategy document and get approval by the Heads and Proprietor. Consider the use of a risk/benefit register.
Create any other necessary policies, especially Online-bullying, sub-policies and IAG including incident management. Go through review and approval process.
Share ideas with the strategic stakeholder group about the strategy of online safety for the school and a risk/benefit approach to the use of technology.
Online safety is part of safeguarding and it is recommended that there be some inclusion of online safety within the Safeguarding Policy. With regard to the actual 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 such as 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 policies, (IAG) are well managed, and that all stakeholders are familiar with them and 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.
Review and amend the Online Safety Policy (with reference to the RM schools template and other best practice examples). Go through review and approval process.
Review safeguarding procedures, reporting and referral and assess whether online safety can form part of these procedures.
Consider adding Whisper to the school website and review how this can be added into the Incident Management Flowchart.
Any safeguarding issues that occur which include online safety should be dealt with according to the Safeguarding Policies currently in place. 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 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.
Ensure all participants sign any revised Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) and are fully aware of what they are committing to – this may require some awareness sessions with students and parents.
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
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 : Introduction of new technologies or approaches to students’ learning environments.
Having a robust AUP is important and all community members need to have read and understood this document. It is vital that this document is updated and reviewed in line with your other policies and practices.
Do a training needs assessment for staff particularly relating to the list of issues mentioned in the questionnaire.
Create a training schedule for all staff, including awareness-raising and introduction of the Online Safety Policy and other policies/AUP.
Explore the options of online safety accreditation for staff (CEOP Ambassadors program, EPICT or PItDa facilitators program).
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, Swgfl
Integrate messages across all classes and aspects of the curriculum (not just ICT).
Consider creating regular updates for staff via website, newsletters or leaflets.
Following on from your online safety training it may be worth canvassing all staff as to their actual 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 EPICT.
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.
Consider other ways of sending important up-to-date information to staff on a more frequent basis such as an online safety newsletter, podcast or website details.
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.
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.
Regular training for staff is important to ensure all staff have the tools to support and understand school escalation routes and help students with their online behaviour and journey.
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.
Regular training for staff is important to ensure all staff have the tools to support and understand school escalation routes as well as policy and practice to help students and staff with their online behaviour and journey. KCSiE state that all staff should receive a minimum of annual training in this area.
Consider other ways of sending important up-to-date information to staff on a more frequent basis such as an Online Safety newsletter, podcast or website details.
Consider how to consult with students (School Council?) about their particular issues with online safety – and how they may want to take messages home for their families.
Create an awareness-raising programme for students, particularly about the Online Safety Policy and revised AUP’s.
Continue to promote online safety messages to students using assemblies, Safer Internet Day (SID), Anti-Bullying Week (for online bullying) and other opportunities.
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 (age specific games, tablets, smartphones).
Consider creating regular updates for students via website, newsletters or leaflets.
Involving the school council 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 and reassurance on. 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.
Have you thought about sending information out to students in other ways such as a newsletter, via the website or using tools such as QR codes to engage students with this topic.
Additionally making full use of the resources provided nationally for Safer Internet Day (SID) every February and Anti-bullying Week (November) to all year groups will help enforce important messages and provide an opportunity for consultation and discussion.
Embedding online safety in school – and 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 allows intervention assemblies when there are incidents which need to be tackled.
Involving your school council may help to highlight specific issues that students are concerned about.
Embedding online safety in school – and 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 allows to intervention assemblies when there are incidents which need to be tackled.
Explore ways to engage parents/carers in and outside of school, formally and informally, e.g. school newsletters. Make parents aware of the new CEOP Parent Zone, NSCPP and other quality online resources.
Parents/carers can sometimes be more challenging to engage. 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 the locations where parents congregate (Reception etc) or alternatively a section on the school newsletter focusing on online safety.
Place the Incident Management Flowchart in the Staff room making all staff aware of their involvement and actions.
Any safeguarding issues that occur regarding 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 a flowchart incident management 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.
Review school based filtering policies.
Ensure a person is trained to modify your school’s filters in line with policies and procedures.
Consider reviewing your filters and looking at adding new filters where needed to meet your schools policies and safeguarding needs.
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 DfE recommend ‘age appropriate filtering without overblocking’ so every school needs to be sure they have the control to be able to meet this requirement.
It is important to know what your system is filtering and also then to be able to work on your own set of school based filters which might need to be applied to meet your schools policies and safeguarding needs.
Members of the school should have the ability to change filter rules as required without reliance upon a 3rd party.
Review what monitoring solutions you have in place. Look at alternative provision to ensure that all members of the school are safe online and create a training programme based on any incidents.
It is essential that schools have monitoring in place to complement the filtering (Ofsted, DfE, Prevent). Monitoring will highlight themes that can then be addressed through online safety training with staff, students and parents.