Government adds further weight to e-safety

Nicky MorganLast month, the Government made 2 significant announcements that related to e-safety issues. The latest announcement made on Boxing Day reiterated the need for education and parental support in keeping children safe online. Here is a brief summary of the developments.

On 11th December, David Cameron announced measures that aim to protect young people from online predators. Speaking at the We Protect Children Online summit, he presented 3 strategies to help at-risk children including; blocking internet search terms; identifying illegal images and; global child protection and laws.

Further information about this story can be found in our e-safety blog

On 26th December, Nicky Morgan announced further moves to help protect children, by reaching out to parents, encouraging them to use the new whole home parental controls - introduced by the government - as well as online resources such as ParentPort and Internet Matters to help keep their children safe online. In her speech she is quoted as saying:

"From my conversations with parents I know how worried parents are about keeping their children safe online."

"This isn’t just about what they may be exposed to but ensuring that parents’ pockets are also not hit by the unauthorised purchasing of apps and games - something very easily done."

"But this isn’t just a problem for parents, schools have a role to play too, which is why we have put online safety at the heart of the curriculum and I am delighted to announce extra funding to ensure children are given the information and tools they need to protect themselves online."

To support this, the additional funding of £500,000 will be given to the Safer Internet Centre, to ensure schools and teachers are also equipped to teach our young people about how to be safe online. The money will provide advice for schools, alongside:

  • regional events
  • new multimedia resources for schools
  • funding to enable a vital helpline for reporting online criminal content to continue
  • a series of online safety events for teachers across the country

    Further details of the announcement can be viewed on the GOV.UK website.

    With e-safety now also part of the curriculum, it is clear that the Government see this as an essential part of the education agenda.

    If you would like to add your thoughts to this announcement, please use the comments section below.

  • Written by E-safety Support on January 08, 2015 13:16

    Interpreting the Ofsted Requirements for E-safety - Part 3

    Students on ComputersThis is the third in our series analysing the requirements of the Ofsted’s e-safety framework that was first issued to their inspection staff in September 2012.

    In previous articles, we looked at three sections of the framework policy document: 'Whole school consistent approach', ‘Robust and Integrated Reporting Routines’ and ‘Staff’. In this blog we are going to focus on two more areas, those being 'Policies’ and ‘Education’.

    Policies

    In the section of the Ofsted e-safety framework entitled ‘Policies’, it describes the types and content of e-safety policies that a school should have in place. In order to demonstrate good or outstanding practice, these school policies must meet a number of criteria:

  • The e-safety policies and procedures that are in place should be rigorous and clearly written in plain, understandable English. (A template that schools can use to formulate their own specific e-safety policy is available from the E-safety Support. website.)

  • It should be evident that contributions from students/staff and parents have been made to the content and construction of these policies by the whole school.

  • - A good idea is to engage students in classroom activities focusing on what they believe would be important in policies regarding subjects that directly impact them such as e-safety, school filtering and ‘Acceptable Use Policies’. (These lessons should be recorded in some way so that the evidence can be shown to Ofsted during an inspection).
    - Parents and carers should be invited to attend meetings and asked for their input into designing school policies (These events should also be recorded for evidencing).

  • Policies should be specific with regard to individual responsibilities and behaviour, technology usage etc. They should not be just generic documents.

  • - A useful suggestion is to categorise a checklist of the policies your school should have into “data protection’, ‘e-safety’ and ‘acceptable use policies’. Then, subdivide the policies in each of these categories into ‘statutory’, ‘essential’ and ‘recommended’.
    - Examples of policies and their categories are as follows:
    Data Protection policy (Data Protection, Statutory)
    Freedom of Information policy (Data Protection, Statutory)
    Data Exchange Agreement (Data Protection, Essential)
    Data Privacy policy (Data Protection, Essential)
    E-Safety policy (E-safety, Essential)
    Use of students in images policy (E-safety, Essential)
    Policy on the searching of electronic devices and deletion of content (E-safety, Recommended)
    Password Security policy (E-safety, Recommended)
    School Filtering policy (E-safety, Recommended)
    Acceptable Use Policies for students, staff/volunteers, parents, technicians (AUPs, Essential)
    Acceptable Use Policies for occasional visitors, personal devices and ‘Bring Your Own Device, (BYOD)’ (AUPs, Recommended)
    Acceptable use of ‘Twitter’ (AUPs, Recommended)
    - It is suggested that when the policies are revisited, updated and ratified, it should be carried out in a formal manner and the process recorded in some manner in order that the record can be shown to a visiting Ofsted inspector.

  • The e-safety policies should have full integration with other relevant school policies such as those concerning safe-guarding, anti-bullying or behaviour.

  • A particular important aspect in this area is the incorporation into the overall e-safety policy of an ‘Acceptable Usage Policy’ that every pupil and/or parents respect and have signed. This also applies to all school staff as well.

  • - In the case of students, they should be asked to sign the school AUP at the start of their time with the school. It would be helpful if parents countersign the document also.
    - In the case of staff, this should be done as part of the school’s induction procedure for new staff. (There are a number of ‘Acceptable Usage Policy’ documents available to E-safety Support members - further information can be found here.)

    Education

    In this section of the framework, Ofsted focuses on a schools curriculum and, with regard to good or outstanding practice, is looking for certain aspects to be demonstrated:

  • The schools curriculum should demonstrate progressiveness and flexibility with regard to the promotion of e-safety across the whole school.

  • - Evidence of this could include a programme of key-stage specific e-safety lessons and assemblies that occur regularly throughout the school year. The E-safety Support website offers a number of informative lesson plans and assembly plans, for this purpose.

  • The curriculum is relevant and engages students by teaching them the importance of e-safety and how to stay safe when using technology.

  • - Lesson resources focusing on e-safety should be age-related and revisited regularly and up-dated if necessary as technology advances or new technology-orientated issues arise.
    - Another suggestion is to engage students (maybe those involved in school councils etc.) in drawing up a school e-safety charter.

  • The curriculum should have content embedded that teaches students how to protect themselves from harm with regard to issues such as cyber bullying or contact with individuals who are behaving inappropriately.

  • - A suggestion is to use ‘what if’ case studies in lessons to teach students what the appropriate actions to take should they find themselves in circumstances that they are uncomfortable with.

  • Content within the curriculum should inform students of the importance of taking responsibility for the safety of both themselves and others.

  • - This issue can be incorporated in lessons and associated resources focusing on the development of knowledge and skills associated digital literacy and responsible use of the internet.

  • With regard to e-safety, the curriculum should demonstrate the use of positive sanctions to reward responsible use of technology and online behaviour.

  • - A suggestion is to reward good online behaviour with an invitation to be involved in online communities who promote appropriate online behaviour such as the ‘Scratch’ community. (This would require a parent or carer’s formal permission).

  • The curriculum should demonstrate clear evidence of peer-mentoring programmes.


  • We hope that you find these suggestions helpful. Please feel free to comment on the blog or if you have some other great ideas for embracing or engaging with the Ofsted e-safety framework within school please feel free to contribute below.

    Written by Steve Gresty on March 13, 2014 14:57

    Interpreting the Ofsted Requirements for E-safety

    Text BookIn September 2012, Ofsted issued the first briefing to its inspectors instructing them on how they should inspect e-safety in the schools they attend. The inspection authority’s ‘Inspecting e-safety in schools’ document has been updated regularly, with the last amendment being published at the start of this year.

    The briefing has caused a fair degree of confusion within schools, with regard to interpreting its stipulations. What e-safety requirements school leadership should have in place with regard to their staff and students has caused the most uncertainty.

    The document highlights a number of key features of good and outstanding practice, which cover a number of areas. Within this and subsequent blogs, we will look at the individual areas of the briefing and suggest how schools may deliver particular aspects successfully, in the eyes of Ofsted (or indeed, other inspection authorities) and to the benefit of schools.

    Key Features of Good and Outstanding Practice - Whole school consistent approach

    1. All teaching and non-teaching staff should have good recognition and awareness of e-safety issues.

    This can be demonstrated by:

  • Having a repository of useful documents and articles relating to different aspects of e-safety.
  • - This gives helpful context when discussing e-safety in training sessions for staff as well as assisting students to understand during PSHE or ICT lessons focusing on e-safety.
    - Allows students and staff to keep up-to-date with new e-safety issues.
    - It also allows students and staff to privately browse the articles to improve recognition and awareness or help with projects relating to e-safety.
    - A repository can also be helpful when compiling an e-safety policy.
    - Can be used in school newsletters/websites to keep parents/guardians aware of modern e-safety issues to ensure that they can keep their children safe at home.

  • A comprehensive and up-to-date training scheme (see point 3)
  • 2. The senior management of schools have made e-safety a priority across all areas of the school.

    This can be demonstrated by:

  • The achievement of a recognised standard, such as the ‘E-safety mark’. The South-West Grid for Learning offers a free e-safety self-review tool to assist in achieving this standard.
  • The school having in place planned, comprehensive e-safety and safe-guarding programmes of study which must be embedded within all aspects of each year group’s curriculum such as within PSHE/ICT schemes of work, lesson plans and classroom resources.
  • Evidence of the use of a wide range of age-appropriate e-safety resources that utilise modern digital technologies to deliver e-safety information in an engaging manner for 21st century students.
  • Evidence of relevant and up-to-date e-safety content and safe-guarding facilities (reporting CEOP buttons etc.) contained within the school’s online presence such as its VLE, learning platform or website.
  • The school should ensure that e-safety and safe-guarding are also embedded in other school activities such as extended school provision.
  • The school e-safety plan possessing breadth and progression such as evidence that an audit of e-safety provision is regularly carried out and, if areas of improvement or development are identified, these should be addressed in a timely manner.
  • Students possessing knowledge and awareness of e-safety issues and understanding the importance of following the school’s e-safety and acceptable use policies. This can be addressed in relevant lessons and assemblies.
  • Programmes whereby students are involved in e-safety education such as peer-monitoring or student-led assemblies.
  • Effective education, monitoring and protection of vulnerable students who may be at risk from both their own online activities and those of others.
  • 3. Training in e-safety has been given a high priority in order to increase both expertise and internal knowledge capacity.

    This could be demonstrated by:

  • Provision of recognised comprehensive programmes of e-safety training for teaching and non-teaching staff across the whole school by organisations such as Fantastict or E2BN.
  • Use of resources provided by www.e-safetysupport.com and other online e-safety information providers to support staff awareness training.
  • Comprehensive use of resources such as the videos available from CEOP to train students to seriously consider their personal online actions and behaviour.
  • 4. They value the contribution that students, their parents and the wider community can make and that this is integrated into the whole school e-safety strategy.

    This could be demonstrated by:

  • The implementing of clear channels of reporting of potential e-safety issues by both students and parents. These could take the form of:
  • - Nominated, trained individual members of staff and peer-monitors that parents or students could approach personally in the event of an e-safety issue.
    - A specific email address or telephone contact that parents use to alert the school of potential issues or to request advice on e-safety.
    - Regular in-school events to allow dialogue to take place between parents and teaching staff where advice and information could be offered regarding e-safety and safe-guarding issues.
    - Promoting access to parents to the school’s repository of articles and resources in order to raise awareness and knowledge of e-safety issues at home.

    These are just some suggestions on how you may develop your e-safety provision. If you would like to share your thoughts on implementing e-safety policy and practice in your school, we would love to hear from you. Please use the comments form below.

    Further ideas on how to demonstrate key features of good and outstanding practice will be brought to you in future articles.

    Written by Steve Gresty on January 23, 2014 12:48


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