How can I ensure my academies are protected online?

Internet safety has been a key part of many agendas for almost a decade, but with Ofsted's latest safeguarding measures, the launch of the Prevent Duty as well as the recent update to DfE's Keeping Children Safe in Education it's now vital that your academies stay ahead of the curve and ensure all staff have access to the right technology, expertise and training to keep students safe.

Are you confident your academies have the wherewithal to ensure their community and therefore your trust’s reputation is protected? Although your board of directors and trustees have the same duties as the governing body of a single academy, many day-to-day duties will be delegated to the Local Governing Body (LGB) of each academy. However when delegating to the LGB, the MAT is still responsible to ensure these duties are being carried out correctly. It is important therefore to have a trust-wide online safety policy in place, enabling each academy to start from a safe, level playing field.

Here is a simple check list to get you thinking about your online safety provision:

  • Clear trust-wide online safety policies in place 
  • A plan for becoming Ofsted compliant for each academy 
  • CPD & training for teachers including accredited EPICT certification (or equivalent) 
  • Clear guidelines for pupils around the consequences of online bullying and inappropriate use of technology 
  • Clear and open lines of communication for pupils to report incidents 
  • Procedures for recording, acting upon and preventing online safety incidents in the future 
  • Sessions to inform and educate pupils on becoming digitally responsible and staying safe online 
  • Monitoring and filtering solutions to keep pupils on task and protect them from bullying and harmful material 
  • A way of engaging with parents to help them put in place online safety measures at home

Tools can be used to ensure each and every academy can deliver an outstanding, inspiring online learning environment, safe in the knowledge they are protected.

Trust-wide filtering and firewalls

Trusts should look for the ability to set up hierarchical rules for filtering and firewalls; a trust-wide set of rules with the individual academies having local access to configure rules based on their individual needs. RM SafetyNet provides multi-layered, customisable filtering by user or establishment, providing the ability to centrally manage the solution and have a consistent approach to filtering policies across the trust.  

Online safety monitoring solutions

Introducing a monitoring service can eliminate the operational burden and legal risk for your MAT. To manually monitor online safety risks across a trust would be highly time consuming, using up valuable resource which is better spent in the classroom; by selecting the right tools a team of safeguarding professionals can do this for you. Tools such as e-safe offer a blend of forensic ICT monitoring, user interaction, incident escalation and analysis.

One day Online safety consultancy

One-to-one or small group consultancy covering general Online Safety issues, the risks to your Trust’s community and liabilities to the individual academies. This consultancy includes analysis of your Online Safety provision, highlighting the gaps and areas for improvement, guidance for best practice and recommended responses to safety breaches.

In addition, we will complete a review of your Trust Online Safety policy documentation, including a written report and action plan.

What will be delivered?
  • A full breakdown of how to fulfil your duty of care to ensure that pupils, staff and parents use communication technologies safely.
  • A step-by-step explanation and guidance detailing the requirements of the DfE and Ofsted inspection framework in accordance with good and excellent practice.
  • An explanation of appropriate CPD opportunities for all staff to develop their Online Safety expertise.
  • An explanation of appropriate training opportunities for all schools stakeholders to develop their Online Safety expertise (parents, students and governors and trust members).
  • Consultation to ensure participants have a fuller understanding of issues around Online Safety.
  • Support to develop an up-to-date Online Safety policy and acceptable use policy, or templates/guidance to support your academies.
  • Support to ensure an increased knowledge of Online Safety methodologies, for support and best practice guidance
  • A trust Online Safety action plan 

Find out more about RM Educations Online safety consultancy & training

Hazlewood case study

RM Education recently engaged with Hazelwood Academy, a primary academy within Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), to provide staff workshops on Online Safety, as well as the popular EPICT e-safety training course. Hazelwood's Business Manager and Online Safety Champion, Kate Ayliffe, talks about the positive impact the training has had on the school's staff and pupils.

Read more
Cloud management & personal device monitoring
Consultancy, CPD & Training
Online safety, proactive alerts, user-level filtering & training
Outsourced proactive tasks to free up your in-house team
Infrastructure & network solutions
Trust-wide data view
Cloud-based MIS
Fully outsourced ICT support
High-speed, resilient & cloud-ready connectivity
Cloud collaboration, productivity & teaching tools
1:1 devices - Chromebooks, iPads, tablets

How can I ensure my academies are protected online?

With more BYOD schemes being introduced and the rise of devices in every classroom it is more important than ever that you have a clear strategy for managing and monitoring devices to ensure your students stay safe online.

RM has tools which provide monitoring, collaboration functionality and controls for internet usage, enabling teachers to conduct lessons in a productive, focused and safe environment. From real-time keyboard monitoring, to application monitoring and control, and viewing student screens RM has the tools to support you.

Now that technology is being so regularly used in the classroom it can be difficult to decide what will have a positive impact on the classroom and not become a distraction. We offer a number of different options for training and support to give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to make the most of your technology.

We offer educational and technical CPD covering Google, Apple and Microsoft and other technologies, helping you to make the most of your existing technologies or supporting you in choosing the best solution to integrate with your existing systems. We also offer online safety consultancy to ensure your staff, pupils, parents and governors feel more confident in today’s online environment.

Online safety, proactive alerts, user-level filtering & training

Senior leaders of multi-academy trusts are responsible for the safety and well-being of their community. It is therefore essential to have systems in place which can support this, to give you the confidence that your staff and learners are safe across all of your academies

There are many tools available that can help you standardise online safety across all your academies, so you can ensure consistency in approach and produce the right reports to satisfy Ofsted.

One of the biggest barriers to using ICT is staff confidence, however the people with the most knowledge are often carrying out manual tasks to make sure everything is working, and this often takes up most of their day.

Did you know that around 60% of your ICT issues can be fixed remotely? By selecting proactive support contacts for your academies you can free up the time of your technical team and focus their efforts on supporting teaching and learning in the classroom.

Network solutions

As a Trust you want to find cost effective solutions that will mean technology just works across all of your academies. We offer impartial and independent advice, across a wide range of leading technology brands, to help you put in place the right infrastructure that can harness current and emerging trends.

As a senior leader in a multi-academy trust you need to know how your academies are performing, this can be challenging when individual academies are using disparate systems and there is no easy way to pull the data into a trust-wide central view. Producing this data in a manageable fashion can be expensive and time-consuming.

A new feature coming into RM Integris very soon is a dashboard which pulls together essential information such as attendance, behaviour and attainment for all your academies into one place. This will enable you to immediately identify areas of concern and look at opportunities for staff development. For example, where one academy has an area they are preforming well in they could support the other academies in the trust.

The management information system (MIS) is the backbone of your academies, providing you with all the vital information about your staff and students. However, this no longer needs to be hosted by on-premise hardware which is expensive to manage and hard to access from multiple locations. The way we work today demands the need to access systems at anytime from anywhere. A cloud-based MIS will give you this freedom yet provide you with the confidence that all your data is safe and secure.

Consider the cost savings when you remove the need for an admin server, the warranties and the onsite maintenance. This aggregated up over the number of academies in your MAT could result in significant cost savings.

Having an ICT partner that manages all your ICT support can provide a consistent service across all your academies, ensuring they all have reliable and well managed ICT to support their teaching and learning needs today and in the future. Support services such as RM Flex provide you with a mix of onsite engineer time, remote fixes, and proactive checks making sure any issues are fixed quickly and efficiently. Not only this, it has been proven that by outsourcing your support you can save at least 15% on your ongoing ICT costs.

One key benefit for an academy joining a MAT is to be able to collaborate and learn from others, this can be made easier if they have the same access to technology. A robust broadband connection is essential in enabling this. Not only will your teachers need to use the latest innovations in teaching and learning but they will also need to communicate easily and share best practice across the MAT

RM Education understand how the internet is used in the educational environment and will be able to advise you on the best solution, now and for the future, and because you’re in a group of schools we can provide better value for money through aggregated contracts and economies of scale.

One of the benefits of being part of a MAT is the opportunity to share resources between academies. Cloud collaboration enables you to easily share trust-wide policies and procedures, encourage teaching staff to work on shared lesson plans or contribute to group forums and facilitate shared working groups across the Trust with your students.

RM Unify is an online portal that makes it easy for your academies to work collaboratively regardless of geography.

The initiative whereby each pupil gets a device for themselves can often lead to better collaboration and interaction between pupils as each pupil has access to whatever they need at the time they need it. 1:1 devices opens up classrooms to greater flexibility and collaboration which is often not possible when students are sharing computers.

We have extensive experience of designing and validating ICT equipment for use in education. We have tested and selected a range of products for use in schools. These products have been checked by RM and we offer a range of training and consultancy to support the successful implementation of them in your school.

To discuss how we can help turn your vision into reality call us free on 0808 172 9527 or email

View our case studies

We have been working with a range of multi-academy trusts across the UK to support them in overcoming their individual challenges and issues. Find out about the work we have been doing by reading some of our case studies below.

Case study

Westerings Primary Academy

This small Primary Academy in Essex invested in Google Apps for Education. Read how this saved them time and money and improved collaboration and learning experiences..


What trusts are asking...

Here are some of the questions trusts are asking us, select any that relate to your requirements to see  an overview of how we can help you address them.

How can we make the most of the cloud?
How easily can I access the data I need to help my trust raise standards?
What more can we do to help our academies collaborate effectively?
How can I ensure my academies receive consistent, cost effective services?
How can I ensure my trust grows sustainably?
How can we use our scale to achieve value for money?

How can I ensure my academies are protected online?

How can I unlock funds from ICT to support teaching and learning?
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