To keep children safe online, it is important that schools acknowledge the key areas of action, promote engagement and awareness and involve the different responsible parties:
eSafety learning - As an ongoing initiative or ideally, across the school curriculum, educate children about eSafety regularly so that it is fresh in their minds. Annual reminders aren’t frequent enough.
Policies and procedures - Introduce clear policies and procedures across the school about computer and device safety. Ensure these are regularly updated and are championed by governors, staff and parents.
Shared responsibility - Promote shared responsibility throughout the school for the safe use of technology. Take into account key parties, such as the leadership team, teachers and other members of staff.
Staff training - Empower staff with ICT curriculum and technology training to inspire the safe and appropriate use of connected devices inside and outside of the classroom.
Involve parents - Encourage continued safe use of technology outside of school. Engage and inform parents so that eSafety is discussed regularly at home.
Responding to incidents - Ensure that the school reacts appropriately in the case of an incident. eSafety policies and procedures can be reinforced through an awareness-raising assembly, a classroom discussion or a 1-to-1 with a child. It may also entail involving other agencies (such as the police).
Provide access to resources -
If available, provide access to and information on sources of support and advice, such as helplines and community organisations like Internet Matters
, BulliesOut (bullying) or Childnet
Proactive monitoring -
Implement and maximise proactive technology monitoring solutions
. The technology available is developing rapidly and allows staff to monitor activity through keywords and other indicators originating from the school network, such as bullying, extremism and drug abuse.
Engage the community - Collaborate with partners and other education providers to ensure that eSafety is reinforced for pupils who receive extra-curricular education.
If your school would like to discuss eSafety in detail, please contact the ICT Service Desk on 0345 222 1551 • Option 1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See our recent blogs about ongoing issues for more advice on how to protect your school from virtual threats: