Keeping children safe in education

Statutory guidance for schools and colleges

2016 Safeguarding GuidanceAt the end of May, the Department for Education released the latest guidance for schools covering safeguarding. This guidance comes into effect from 5th September 2016.

Below is an excerpt from the guidance relating to online safety in schools.

Annex C: Online safety
The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation- technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate.

The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm
  • Filters and monitoring
    Governing bodies and proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school or colleges IT system. As part of this process governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their school has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place. Whilst considering their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, and provide them a safe environment in which to learn, governing bodies and proprietors should consider the age range of their pupils, the number of pupils, how often they access the schools IT system and the proportionality of costs Vs risks.

    The appropriateness of any filters and monitoring systems are a matter for individual schools and colleges and will be informed in part by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty.

    The UK Safer Internet Centre has published guidance as to what “appropriate” might look like:
    UK Safer Internet Centre: appropriate filtering and monitoring

    Guidance on e-security is available from the National Education Network - NEN. Buying advice for schools is available here - buying for schools.

    Whilst filtering and monitoring are an important part of the online safety picture for schools and colleges to consider, it is only one part. Governors and proprietors should consider a whole school approach to online safety. This will include a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school. Many children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via 3G and 4G in particular and the school and college should carefully consider how this is managed on their premises.

    Whilst it is essential that governing bodies and proprietors ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place; they should be careful that “over blocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.

    Staff training
    Governors and proprietors should ensure that as part of the requirement for staff to undergo regularly updated safeguarding training (paragraph 64) and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online (paragraph 68), that online safety training for staff is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.



    The full guidance document can be downloaded from the Department for Education website.



    Paragraph 64: Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff members undergo safeguarding and child protection training at induction. The training should be regularly updated. Induction and training should be in line with advice from the LSCB.

    Paragraph 68: Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials (in FE colleges) and/or – for maintained schools and colleges – through sex and relationship education (SRE).



    If you would like to share your thoughts on the latest guidance, please use the comments section below

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on September 06, 2016 08:20

    Childnet Film Competition 2016

    Childnet launch the 7th Childnet Film Competition

    Childnet Film Competition 2016E-safety charity, Childnet, have launched the 7th Childnet Film Competition to encourage young people aged 7-18 to create a short film to educate their peers about staying safe online.

    With the aim of celebrating the positive things that young people are doing online, the competition showcases young people’s creativity and their understanding of online safety issues.

    As Becky Nancarrow, Education Projects Officer at Childnet said, "we know that young people are powerful agents in creating a better internet and inspiring other young people to use the internet for good. The Childnet Film Competition is a great way for schools to inspire young people to take the lead in educating their peers about staying safe online whilst equipping them with the skills they need to become confident digital creators.”

    This year’s theme is all about how we can all make a positive difference online by supporting young people to ‘shine online’.

    Primary aged young people (7 – 11) are invited to create a 60 second film in response to the theme: 'Shine Online' - Tell us how you're using the internet positively

    Secondary aged young people (11 – 18) are invited to create a 2 minute film in response to the theme: ‘Shine Online’ – How can you make a positive difference online?

    For both age groups Childnet are looking for creative, imaginative films which reflect a positive and inspiring message. Young people might express their ideas through comedy, animation or music. Or how about creating an advert, campaign or documentary? The top three films in each category will be invited to a private screening at the BFI in London and the winners will be awarded film kits for their school.

    To inspire young people to help others stay safe online, schools are being encouraged to share their film competition stories on social media using the hashtag #shineonline. Whether this is a message about what you’re up to, a picture from the creative process or even and a tip from the young film makers, schools can share their updates with @Childnet.

    Important dates:
    1. Competition closes Monday 13th June 2016
    2. Finalists notified Monday 20th June 2016
    3. Screening and finalist’s event at the BFI Monday 18th July 2016

    To enter the Childnet Film Competition please send an email to film@childnet.com to request an information pack.

    If you would like any more information, or find out more and download the schools packs visit Childnet.com

    If you would like to register a group of talented young people you know, then please send an email to film@childnet.com. Don't forget, the closing date for entries is Monday 13th June 2016 at 5pm.

    Written by Childnet International on April 25, 2016 12:37

    No Tech 4 Breck Day

    The Breck Foundation are proud to announce their new challenge - No Tech 4 Breck Day


    Breck FoundationThe Breck Foundaton have launched this awareness fundraiser to help promote safe and moderate use of technology by young and old people alike.

    In today’s world, so much of what we do online not only offers opportunities and helps us to be efficient and communicate more readily, but overuse can also cause loss of quality free time, relaxation, sound sleep and used without education and caution can become a danger.

    In their efforts to raise awareness of the very real dangers our young people face online every day from online bullies and predators, the Breck Foundation hope to see family and friends together have a day off technology between 9th February (Safer Internet Day) and 17th March, which would have been Breck’s 17th birthday.

    They are encouraging everyone to find ways to enjoy each other without the gadgets in our hands. Make plans the day before to meet up, go for a walk, cook a meal or bake a cake together or just play board games or playing cards. Spend time ‘being’ and just being together.

    The Breck Foundation was formed to share awareness of the dangers of online predators who may bully, groom or sexually exploit our children online through lies, manipulation and control. The predator can say anything and be anyone behind a screen which can lead to a false sense of security. A predator will spend months or years befriending young people online until they are able to convince a child to do something they wouldn’t normally do.

    This can happen to boy and girls, young and old, rich or poor, happy or sad, and anywhere in between. A predator will stop at nothing to get to the child they want. The Breck Foundation are striving to bring about awareness so that everyone from teachers, police, social workers, health professionals, parents and children are educated and empowered to make the right choices to stay safer online.



    The Breck Foundation is raising awareness for playing safe whilst using the internet. Breck Bednar was a 14 year old boy, from Caterham, Surrey, who loved technology and on-line gaming. He was groomed via the internet and sadly murdered on February 17th 2014 by someone he met on-line. This foundation has been set up in his memory to help other young people to enjoy playing on-line but to be aware of some simple rules to stay safe. Remembering that the friends you make on-line are not like your real friends. “Play Virtual/Live Real”.​

    If you would like to be involved in No Tech 4 Breck day, you can download a sponsor form here

    Written by Safeguarding Essentials on March 14, 2016 14:42


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