With the introduction of the government’s Prevent Duty last year and the recent update to Keeping Children Safe in Education statutory guidance, which comes into effect on 5 September, there has never been a more pressing time to ensure your school’s online safety meets Ofsted’s latest safeguarding measures.
E-safety is predominantly a safeguarding matter and requires a whole school approach. Whilst every member of staff is responsible, whether teaching, support or volunteer staff, incidents of a child protection nature are the ultimate responsibility of the designated safeguarding lead. But one single person in school cannot be expected to have sufficient, in-depth knowledge and experience in all aspects of online safety, so it’s a good idea to delegate some of the day-to-day activities to other members of staff.
All staff should receive regular and appropriate safeguarding and child protection training to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively. Annual research identifies however, that staff e-safety training continues to be one of the weakest areas of training in schools.
Governing bodies and proprietors need to ensure appropriate filters and monitoring systems are in place. In the past, over-blocking has been a frustrating issue for staff and students alike. It’s important that any filter is appropriate and is ‘managed’ effectively. In regards to monitoring, a risk assessment will tell you which approach is best for you, for example it could be physical monitoring (staff can see all the screens and it is a low-risk environment) or pro-active monitoring technology. Pro-active monitoring technology will require a filtering system with advanced functionality that alerts teachers to suspicious search queries, including keywords that could potentially be linked to cyberbullying, pornography or extremism. A system such as Schools Broadband’s cloud-hosted Lightspeed System, provides proactive suspicious searches and reporting, and allows you to tailor access by year, group and individual. It has all the features to help your school achieve outstanding from Ofsted in your e-safety audit.
Schools Broadband is a leading ISP to the education sector, providing over 1,000 schools with one of the most advanced filtering systems available.