Pupils’ internet access to be restricted and monitored

Nicky Morgan unveils plan for schools to control web use to protect children from bullying and radicalisation

All schools will be required to put in place stronger measures to protect children from harm online – including cyber bullying, pornography and radicalisation – under plans unveiled by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. 

Under the proposals published for consultation, all schools will need to have appropriate filters and monitoring systems, so that no child can access harmful content via the school’s IT systems and concerns can be spotted quickly. Pupils will also be required to be taught about safeguarding.

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, said: “As a parent I’ve seen just what an important role the internet can play in children’s education. But it can also bring risks, which is why we must do everything we can to help children stay safe online – at school and at home.

“This includes ensuring young people know how to use the internet responsibly and that parents and teachers have the right measures in place to keep children safe from exploitation or radicalisation.”

The measures are being introduced amid concerns that young people are at risk of radicalisation, following reports that girls travelled to Syria after finding information about Islamic State online.

Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the NAHT, said: “The internet is a powerful tool but also poses obvious risks for children and young people. We think schools would welcome greater clarity on how to deploy appropriate filters and monitoring systems and that they will readily fulfil their safeguarding duties in this domain.”

Minister for Internet Safety and Security, Baroness Shields, said:

Government and industry have made great progress in our quest to make the internet a safer place for young people, but we recognise that risks and dangers remain.”

The consultation is open until February.

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