E-safety – it’s a whole-school issue. Make sure you’ve got it covered!

Across schools, E-safety is a real concern affecting day-to-work work.  Issues with 18 rated games and social networks are at the forefront of comments emanating from conversations had with Head Teachers, computing leaders and teaching staff.  Tackling these issues in an informed manner is of the utmost importance. 

Where to go for effective support and advice? 
There are many sources of advice – including the UK Safer Internet Centre, CEOP’s ThunkUKnow and ChildNet International.

Curriculum Planning for E-safety
There is a strong emphasis on E-safety within the National Curriculum for computing.  E-safety is a golden thread throughout the Switched on Computing materials too.  Each Teacher’s Book has an ‘E-safety Roadmap’ which provides an outline of the E-safety requirements for each unit. This provides a clear pathway to addressing the requirements of the National Curriculum.  It is also very useful to share with Ofsted inspectors if and when they are reviewing the E-safety provision within a school.

E-safety Policy
E-safety is a truly whole-school issue.  Ensuring that there is a well-written, up-to-date E-safety policy in place is vital in terms of being E-safety compliant.

Many schools make use of the London Grid for Learning’s E-safety Policy.  This extremely comprehensive document provides schools with a set of guidance relating to E-safety practice.

Its contents is broken down into six sections, with associated appendices, as follows:

1. Introduction and Overview

  • Rationale and Scope
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • How the policy is to be communicated to staff/pupils/community
  • Handling complaints
  • Review and Monitoring

2. Education and Curriculum

  • Pupil E-safety curriculum
  • Staff and governor training
  • Parent awareness and training

3. Expected Conduct and Incident Management

4. Managing the ICT Infrastructure

  • Internet access, security (virus protection) and filtering
  • Network management (user access, backup, curriculum and admin)
  • Passwords policy
  • E-mail
  • School website
  • Learning platform
  • Social networking
  • Video Conferencing

5. Data Security

  • Management Information System access
  • Data transfer

6. Equipment and Digital Content

  • Personal mobile phones and devices
  • Digital images and video
  • Asset disposal

It also includes the vital appendices of Acceptable Use Agreements that should be reviewed and signed annually by all stakeholders.

Appendices:

  1. Acceptable Use Agreement (Staff)
  2. Acceptable Use Agreement (Pupils)
  3. Acceptable Use Agreement including photo/video permission (Parents)
  4. Protocol for responding to E-safety incidents – handling infringements – page 23 onwards
  5. Protocol for Data Security
  6. Search and Confiscation guidance from DfE

We regularly get asked by schools with whom we work ‘if it is OK to précis the policy?’  Our simple answer is, ‘No’. 

Having correct procedures and sanctions in place in case of any E-safety issues helps schools to ensure that they are following the correct routes to address the issues. The LGfL E-safety Policy is used by a very large number of schools. It is at hand when you need it most, to guide and advise accordingly. It is important that stakeholders are aware of the policy and time is taken to go through the content with them.  Once it is in place, put a recurring date in the diary to review it annually.

Next steps…
Finally, with E-safety being such an important part of all of our lives in school, clear curriculum plans and an effective policy are must haves.  If you have not yet got these in place yet, I suggest that now is the time to ensure that you do!

About the London Grid for Learning
The LGfL Trust is a consortium of the London local authorities and 2500 schools working together to provide extensive and cost effective ICT services.  The LGfL is a member of the NEN Education Network to ensure that all schools, colleges and universities are connected through a single backbone enabling a high quality e-learning experience in a safe and secure networked environment.

In addition, on the LGfL E-safety pages, you will find a range of documentation suitable for management of E‑safety, teaching and learning, and supporting parents and the community.  

An extract from the LGfL E-safety policy is reproduced with kind permission of the LGfL Trust.

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