ONLINE SAFETY POLICY & PROCEDURES
New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in society, both within schools and in their lives outside school.
The Internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and pupils learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people have an entitlement to safe internet access.
The requirement to ensure that children and young people can use online and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound. The school’s Online Safety Policy and procedures will help to ensure safe and appropriate use. The development and implementation of such a strategy will involve all the stakeholders in a child’s education from the Headteacher and Governors to the senior leaders and classroom teachers, support staff, parents, carers, members of the community and the pupils themselves.
The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote pupil achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put young people at risk within and outside the school. Some of the dangers they may face include:
• Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content;
• Unauthorised access to/loss of/sharing of personal information;
• The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet;
• The risk of being targeted by extremists in order to promote and encourage radicalisation;
• The risk of being targeted by those involved in child sexual exploitation;
• The sharing/distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge;
Being drawn into taking part in unsuitable online challenges and/or hoaxes;
• Inappropriate communication/contact with others, including strangers;
• Access to unsuitable video/internet games;
• An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the Internet;
• Plagiarism and copyright infringement;
• Illegal downloading of music or video files;
• The potential for excessive use which may impact the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
Many of these risks reflect situations in the off-line world and it is essential that this Online Safety Policy and procedures is used in conjunction with other school policies including the Overarching Safeguarding Statement, Child Protection, Data Protection and Whole School Behaviour.
As with all other risks, it is impossible to eliminate those risks completely. It is therefore essential, through good educational provision to build pupils’ resilience to the risks to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with these risks.
The school must demonstrate that it has provided the necessary safeguards to help ensure that they have done everything that could reasonably be expected of them to manage and reduce these risks. The Online Safety Policy and procedures that follows explains how we intend to do this, while also addressing wider educational issues to help young people (and their parents) to be responsible users and stay safe while using the Internet and other communications technologies for educational, personal and recreational use.
It is the responsibility of all staff to:
• understand that online safety is a core part of safeguarding; as such it is part of everyone’s role. Never think that ‘someone else will pick it up’;
• know who the Designated Safeguarding Lead and Online Safety Lead is (Simon Brabant)
• read and understand Annex A of ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ unless they work in the SLT or directly with children when they must read and understand Part 1 and Annex B instead;
• read, understand and help promote the school’s Online Safety Policy and procedures in conjunction with the Child Protection and other related school policies and procedures;
• read, sign and follow the school Staff Acceptable Use Agreement and staff Code of Conduct;
• be aware of online safety issues related to the use of mobile technology e.g. phones, cameras and other hand-held devices and follow school procedures in relation to these devices;
• ensure the security of their username and password for the school system, not allow other users to access the systems using their log on details and must immediately report any suspicion or evidence that there has been a breach of security.
• record online safety incidents in the same way as any child protection incident and report incidents to the DSL/OSL in accordance with school procedures;
• notify the DSL/OSL if the policy does not reflect practice in the school and follow escalation procedures if concerns are not promptly acted upon;
• identify opportunities to thread online safety through all school activities, both outside the classroom and within the curriculum, supporting curriculum/stage/subject leads, and making the most of unexpected learning opportunities as they arise;
• whenever overseeing the use of technology (devices, the Internet, new technology such as augmented reality, etc.) in school or setting as homework tasks, encourage sensible use, monitor what pupils are doing and consider potential dangers and the age-appropriateness of websites (check what appropriate filtering and monitoring processes are in place);
• carefully supervise and guide pupils when engaged in learning activities involving online technology, supporting them with search skills, critical thinking (e.g. fake news), age-appropriate materials and signposting, and legal issues such as copyright and data law;
• prepare and check all online sources and resources before using them in the classroom;
• encourage pupils to follow their Acceptable Use Agreement, regularly remind them about it and enforce school sanctions where there is a breach of the Agreement;
• notify the DSL/OSL of new trends and issues before they become a problem;
• take a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and low-level sexual harassment either offline or online;
• receive and act upon regular updates from the DSL/OSL and have a healthy curiosity for online safety issues;
• model safe, responsible and professional behaviours in their own use of technology. This includes outside the school hours and site, and on social media, in all aspects upholding the reputation of the school and the professional reputation of all staff;
• ensure that any digital communications with pupils are on a professional level and only through school-based systems, never through personal mechanisms, e.g. email, text, mobile phones or social media messaging or posts.
Taking into account the age and level of understanding, the key responsibilities of pupils are to:
• use the school ICT systems in accordance with the age-appropriate Pupil Acceptable Use Agreement – see Appendix D or E, which they and/or their parents will be expected to sign before being given access to school systems. As with consent on data (privacy notices), Agreements must be written in terms the EYFS/KS1 child can understand;
• ensure the security of their username and password for the school system, not allow other users to access the systems using their log on details and must immediately report any suspicion or evidence that there has been a breach of security;
• understand the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials including those involving hoaxes and online challenges and know how to do so;
• know what action to take if they or someone they know feels worried or vulnerable when using online technology;
• understand the importance of adopting safe and responsible behaviours and good online safety practices when using digital technologies outside of school and realise that the school’s acceptable use agreements cover their actions out of school, including on social media;
• know and understand school procedures on the use of mobile phones, digital cameras, and hand-held digital devices;
• know and understand school procedures on the taking/use of images and on cyberbullying/sharing nude and semi-nude images;
• understand the benefits/opportunities and risks/dangers of the online world and know who to talk to at school if there are problems.
Parents play a crucial role in ensuring that their children understand the need to use the Internet/mobile devices in an appropriate way. Research shows that many parents do not fully understand the issues and are less experienced in the use of ICT than their children. The school will therefore take every opportunity to help parents understand these issues through parents’ evenings, newsletters, letters, websites and information about national/local online safety campaigns/literature.
The key responsibilities for parents are to:
• support the school in promoting online safety which includes the pupils’ use of the Internet and the school’s use of photographic and video images;
• read, sign and promote the Pupil Acceptable Use Agreement and encourage their child to follow it;
• consult with the school if they have any concerns about their child’s and others’ use of technology;
• promote positive online safety and model safe, responsible and positive behaviours in their own use of technology (including on social media) by ensuring that they themselves do not use the Internet/social network sites/other forms of technical communication in an inappropriate or defamatory way;
• support the school’s approach to online safety by not uploading or posting to the Internet any images or details of others without permission and refraining from posting pictures, videos or text that could upset, offend or threaten the safety of any member of the school community or bring the school into disrepute.
2. Teaching and Learning
The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into four areas of risk known as the 4Cs:
• Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate, or harmful content, for example, pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
• Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial, or other purposes.
• Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending, and receiving explicit images (e.g., consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying; and
• Commerce: risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/or financial scams.
Strong links between teaching online safety and the curriculum (see also Roles above) are the clearest in:
• Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE)
• Relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health
It is, however, the role of all staff to identify opportunities to thread online safety through all school activities, both outside the classroom and within the curriculum, supporting subject lead staff and making the most of unexpected learning opportunities as they arise.
Whenever overseeing the use of technology (devices, the Internet, new technology such as augmented reality, etc) in school or set as homework tasks, all staff will encourage sensible use, monitor, what pupils are doing and consider potential dangers and the age-appropriateness of websites.
Equally, all staff should carefully supervise and guide pupils when engaged in learning activities involving online technology (including, extra-curricular and extended school activities if relevant), supporting them with search skills, critical thinking (e.g. fake news), age-appropriate materials and signposting, and legal issues such as copyright, plagiarism and data law.
We recognise that online safety and broader digital resilience must be included throughout the curriculum.
Annual reviews of curriculum plans/schemes of work (including for SEND pupils) are used as an opportunity to assess the key areas of Self-image and Identity, Online relationships, Online reputation, Online bullying, Managing online information, Health, Wellbeing and lifestyle, Privacy and security, and Copyright and ownership.
2.1 How internet use enhances learning
• has a clear, progressive online safety education programme as part of the Computing/PSHE curriculum. This covers the teaching of a range of skills and behaviours which are appropriate to the age and experience of the pupils concerned and include those to:
– STOP and THINK before they CLICK;
– develop a range of strategies to evaluate and verify the information before accepting its accuracy;
– be aware that the author of a website/page may have a particular bias or purpose and develop skills to recognise what that may be;
– know how to narrow down or refine a search;
– [for older pupils] understand how search engines work and understand that this affects the results they see at the top of the listings;
– understand acceptable behaviour when using an online environment/email, i.e. be polite, no bad or abusive language or other inappropriate behaviour; keep personal information private;
– understand how photographs can be manipulated and how web content can attract unwanted or inappropriate attention;
– understand why they should not post or share detailed accounts of their personal lives, contact information, daily routines, location, photographs and videos and know how to ensure they have turned-on privacy settings;
– understand why they must not post pictures or videos of others without their permission;
– know not to download any files – such as music files – without permission;
– have strategies for dealing with receipt of inappropriate materials;
– [for older pupils] understand why and how some people will ‘groom’ young people for sexual or extremist ideology reasons;
– understand the impact of cyberbullying, sharing inappropriate images and trolling and know how to seek help if they are affected by any form of online bullying;
– know how to report any abuse including cyberbullying; and how to seek help if they experience problems when using the Internet and related technologies, i.e. parent, teacher or trusted staff member or an organisation such as ChildLine or the CLICK CEOP button.
• plans internet use carefully to ensure that it is age-appropriate and supports the learning objectives for specific curriculum areas;
• will remind pupils about their responsibilities through an end-user Acceptable Use Agreement which will be displayed throughout the school or when they log on to the school’s network;
• ensures staff model safe and responsible behaviour in their own use of technology during lessons;
• ensures that when copying materials from the web, staff and pupils understand issues around plagiarism; how to check copyright and know that they must respect and acknowledge copyright/intellectual property rights;
• ensures that staff and pupils understand the issues around aspects of the commercial use of the Internet, as age-appropriate. This may include, risks in pop-ups; buying online, online gaming/gambling etc.
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