Why e-safety is more than just an IT issue

It is widely considered that e-safety in schools is a technology issue and is therefore solely the responsibility of the IT Lead – we disagree


Excelacom_Internet_MinuteWhen a pupil uses Twitter to cyber bully a classmate, this isn’t because they are using Twitter, but rather they are demonstrating bad behaviour on Twitter. Similarly, if a teacher ‘friends’ a parent on Facebook, the action of the teacher is a matter of school policy and not the fault of Facebook. E-safety is therefore not just a system of filters and monitors but more importantly a matter of education.

Should raising the issue of e-safety with all those responsible for the protection of young people therefore just be left to the IT department? Should it not also include all teachers, parents, non-contact staff and indeed the pupils themselves.

The diagram shown – ‘What happens in an Internet minute’, provides evidence to support e-safety awareness across the curriculum. For example the number of hours of music listened to on Spotify could lead to an interesting discussion in a music class about the copyright issues and how artists are affected by illegal downloads. Or Instagram can be explored in a creative arts lesson. Amazon sales and e-commerce in general could be developed through maths and financial awareness studies. There are so many incredible and positive ways to use the Internet, there is no reason why e-safety education should not be equally as diverse.

We must, of course, address the issues of risk. Stranger danger has always been a safeguarding issue – yes even before the Internet. And bullying happened in the playground long before Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and so on became some of the conduits for cyber bullies. Perhaps the new phrase ‘Digital Wellbeing’ rather than ‘e-safety’ may go some way to encourage those in more pastoral roles to look at ways to support online safety from a behavioural perspective.

It is important to remember that when Ofted introduced e-safety as part of the school inspection they stated as an indicator of inadequate practice:

“There is no progressive, planned e-safety education across the curriculum, for example there is only an assembly held annually”
There are some great campaigns held throughout the year that highlight Internet safety issues, Safer Internet Day, the Childnet Film Competition, Anti-Bullying Week and so on. However, these should not be seen as stand-alone, one-off events, but more the culmination of a programme of learning throughout the year.



At E-safety Support we would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and hear examples of how you are dealing with e-safety across the curriculum. Please use the comments section below to share your ideas with other teachers.

If you would like ideas about planning e-safety throughout the year, our 2016 planner is still available to download from your E-safety Support dashboard.

Picture Credit – ‘2016 What happens in an Internet minute’ is copyright Excelacom

Written by E-safety Support on April 21, 2016 10:47

E-safety Support Celebrates 3rd Birthday

ESS Birthday
E-safety Support launched in February 2013, shortly after Ofsted released the new requirements for e-safety in schools. Since launch we have added over 100 resources, send over 150 e-safety news bulletins and been joined by almost 11,000 members.

The most significant development since we launched has been the addition of 7 online training courses. These have been tailor made to reach the whole school community, and have been created specifically for pupils, staff, parents and governors. We are delighted to report that these courses have been issued to over 52,000 candidates - a number which is growing rapidly on daily basis.

Over the last 3 years, the online safety environment has seen many changes, both good and bad. We have seen the phenomenon of online trends making headlines for all the wrong reasons with Neknominate, Slenderman and various risky (and unfortunately sometimes fatal) challenges all playing out on social media. But there have also been positive trends too, with the ice bucket challenge for example which used the platform to raise millions of pounds for charity.

More safeguards for young people have also been made available - the big 4 media providers making changes to their parental controls to help protect children in the home and the RDI rolling-out their Friendly WiFi scheme to help protect them when in public places to name just two.

Of course, we must mention the most recent issue of young people being groomed online into extremism. This has been an incredibly challenging issue for many teachers and schools to tackle - we will continue to monitor this area particularly to ensure that we are providing appropriate resources to help support our members.

We are, of course, delighted to have so many members benefiting from the resources available at www.e-safetysupport.com, some of the comments we have received can be seen on our testimonials page - if you would like to let us know your thoughts, please email feedback@e-safetysupport.com or use the comments section below.

Over the coming months, we are looking forward to bringing you a new look to the website along with more e-safety resources. Will continue to monitor the e-safety issues to ensure we are keeping you up-to-speed with the important issues.

Finally, below is an infographic showing the E-safety Support story so far, highlighting the important developments across the site in the first 3 years - we look forward to continuing our journey with you.

ESS 2015 Infographic

Written by E-safety Support on February 17, 2016 15:07


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