Interpreting the Ofsted Requirements for E-safety - Part 2

This is the second in a series of blog posts focusing on Ofsted’s e-safety framework, which was first briefed to it’s inspectors in September 2012 and has had a number of amendments since then, the latest of which was published in January 2014.

In the last post, we concentrated on the large first section of the framework document, entitled ‘Whole School Consistent Approach’. In this article, we will look at the sections focusing on ‘Robust and Integrated Reporting Routines’ and ‘Staff’.

Robust and Integrated Reporting Routines

This section of the Ofsted e-safety framework focuses on schools’ online reporting procedures, emphasising that the whole school community should have a full and clear understanding about the processes available to them for the reporting of e-safety issues.

This can be demonstrated by:

  • schools utilising ‘abuse’ or ‘CEOP buttons on their websites, email systems or learning platforms.
  • schools making available and broadcasting awareness of specifically trained, nominated staff, that students can contact regarding any e-safety issue.
  • a school’s adoption of a web-based reporting tool such as SHARP (Student Help Advice Reporting Page System). This is a web-based tool that an increasing number of schools are investing in which allows young people to report any incidents which occur within the school and local community anonymously and without fear.
  • Information on indicators that Ofsted will be looking out for that will identify good or outstanding practice can be found here.

    Staff

    In this area of the framework Ofsted’s focus is targeted at the training teaching and non-teaching staff is receiving with regard to e-safety and whether this is regular and up-to-date. Also, whether at least one member of staff, within the school, has received accredited training, for example CEOP or EPICT.

    This can be demonstrated by:

  • Evidence that a Government-accredited training session has been delivered to at least one member of staff and that all stakeholders associated with the school, such as teachers, support staff, governors and parents/carers, including those in the local community where children attend (e.g. Libraries, Youth Centres, CLC, Youth Groups) have received regular training. This could be demonstrated by displaying certificates confirming the attendance at the session or documents held by management certifying that a session was indeed delivered. Ofsted will also question staff on e-safety to establish the effectiveness of the training sessions.

    There is an excellent online training module available to E-safety Support Premium Plus members covering all aspects of training for staff with regard to the Ofsted e-safety framework. Usage is unlimited and it comes complete with a distribution tool and also progress monitoring system. To find out more, view the e-safety training module demonstration video.

  • Evidence that children have a good awareness of e-safety, what they should do if they have an e-safety issue and can confidently mentor others in aspects of e-safety and the reporting of associated issues. Usually Ofsted will judge this via the questioning of individual and groups of students. There is a helpful document on the e-safetysupport website offering sample questions that Ofsted may ask students in order to judge the quality of e-safety teaching and a school’s e-safety promotion strategies.
  • Finally, there is another helpful document offering sample questions that Ofsted may ask staff in order to judge the effectiveness of e-safety training.
  • 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 February 27, 2014 10:05

    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

    E-safety – Facing the Facts

    As part of our partnership with Fantastict, a national provider of educational consulting and training services, Joe Basketts, Education Director at Fantastict, shares his thoughts on e-safety strategy.

    The new briefing paper from Ofsted (released September 2013), is much more detailed and comprehensive than previous, making specific reference to an e-safety curriculum, how parents are engaged, training for staff and how the school website can contribute to informing parents and keeping them up to date. Reference is also made to schools that have obtained the E-Safety Mark or other recognised standard.

    The Ofsted briefing paper lists indicators of inadequate practice as:

  • Personal data is often unsecured and/or leaves school site without encryption

  • Security of passwords is ineffective, for example passwords are shared or are common with all but the youngest of children

  • Policies are generic and not updated

  • There is no progressive, planned e-safety education across the curriculum, for example there is only an assembly held annually

  • There is no internet filtering or monitoring

  • There is no evidence of staff training

  • Children are not aware of how to report a problem.
  • Understanding responsibilities with regard to e-safety is the first step towards achieving Good or Outstanding practice. However, the critical success factors lie in having the knowledge and skills to translate this understanding into workable strategies and processes within the school environment.

    There is a wealth of support available to assist schools in raising e-safety standards in line with the new guidance, an excellent example of this being E-Safety Support. Given the breadth of materials and sources available, it can sometimes be difficult to navigate the choices and identify which are most relevant to specific needs or will help address the most pressing issues.

    At the same time, some learning experiences are much more effective when supported by directed or face-to-face training. For example, online resources are excellent for providing insight into a topic, but cannot replace valuable peer-to-peer engagement which can only truly be realised through group workshops.

    In the same way as some content is better delivered in a workshop environment, when it comes to e-safety and indeed wider ICT and school strategies, external benchmarking will also provide great insight and a fresh perspective. For example, 360 Safe is a leading audit tool which can give a complete picture of a school’s current e-safety policy and practice. Working with an approved 360 Safe consultant, the school can then prepare a development plan which ensures the very best practice according to Ofsted guidelines.

    As with any aspect of school operations, understanding where you are as compared to where you need and want to be, is an essential part of strategy development – and a process where an external viewpoint and objectivity can help save a lot of valuable time and add significant value.

    Written by Joe Basketts on October 22, 2013 09:26


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