Online Safety Policy

North Ealing Primary School

What’s different about this policy for September 2020 and during Covid-19 lockdowns / isolation / quarantine / remote learning?

  • The principles remain the same in the present situation, so this policy has not changed significantly. However, key areas surround home learning, including remote teaching technologies, prevention of harm with more time unsupervised and online at home, as well as the use of tutors and checking all safeguarding measures are understood and applied by supply teachers (as per changes to KCISE 2020). KCSIE 2020 also now mentions keeping children safe “including when they are online at home”.
  • Take time to check your policies and AUPs are appropriate to enforce correct safeguarding during times of isolation/quarantine/lockdown and ensure key reminders are issued to all stakeholders.
  • We strongly recommend you use the addendum at coronavirus.lgfl.net/safeguarding to review your policies as well as look at the information there on safeguarding considerations when teaching remotely.
  • This is also the year where RSHE becomes a statutory subject and will be the primary focus for online safety education (there is a much broader scope than that in the Computing online-safety threads).

Introduction

What is this policy?

Online safety is an integral part of safeguarding and requires a whole school, cross-curricular approach and collaboration between key school leads. Accordingly, this policy is written in line with ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ 2020 (KCSIE), ‘Teaching Online Safety in Schools’ 2019, statutory RSHE guidance 2019 and other statutory documents.

It complements existing and forthcoming subjects including Health, Relationships and Sex Education, Citizenship and Computing; it is designed to sit alongside your school’s statutory Safeguarding Policy. Any issues and concerns with online safety must follow the school’s safeguarding and child protection procedures.

Who is it for; when is it reviewed?

This policy should be a living document, subject to full annual review but also amended where necessary during the year in response to developments in the school and local area. We recommend you read the DfE Covid Safeguarding Guidance at safepolicies.lgfl.net before reissuing your school policies for online safety, safeguarding and AUPs to see what needs changing in the light of potential closure, remote learning and alternative arrangements at school.

Although many aspects will be informed by legislation and regulations, you should involve staff, governors, pupils and parents in writing and reviewing the policy (KCSIE stresses making use of teachers’ day-to-day experience on the ground).

This will help ensure all stakeholders understand the rules that are in place and why, and that the policy affects day-to-day practice. Pupils could help to design a version in language their peers understand or help you to audit compliance.

Acceptable Use Policies (see appendices) for different stakeholders help with this – ensure these are reviewed alongside this overarching policy. Any changes to this policy should be immediately disseminated to all the above stakeholders.

Who is in charge of online safety?

You may have a named online safety lead at your school (see above); this person may or may not be the designated safeguarding lead (DSL), but KCSIE makes clear that “the designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety).”

What are the main online safety risks today?

Online-safety risks are traditionally categorised as one of the 3 Cs: Content, Contact or Conduct (identified by Professor Tanya Byron’s 2008 report “Safer Children in a digital world”). These three areas remain a helpful way to understand the risks and potential school response, whether technological or educational. They do not stand in isolation, however, and it is important to understand the interplay between all three.

Many of these new risks are mentioned in KCSIE 2020, e.g. extra-familial harms where children are at risk of abuse or exploitation to multiple harms in situations outside their families including sexual exploitation, criminal exploitation, serious youth violence, upskirting and sticky design.

In past and potential future remote learning and lockdowns, there is a greater risk for grooming and exploitation (CSE, CCE and radicalisation) as children spend more time at home and on devices. There is a real risk that some of your pupils may have missed opportunities to disclose such abuse during the first lockdown. The quick audit safesummer2020.lgfl.net or quiz at digisafedigest.lgfl.net (available from mid-August as a compilation of the best questions from the DD worksheets) may help to surface some of these issues.

Ways we can help you stay up to date with the latest news, risks, opportunities, best-practice and trends include the LGfL DigiSafe blog, newsletter and our Twitter / Facebook channels.

How will this policy be communicated?

This policy can only impact upon practice if it is a (regularly updated) living document. It must be accessible to and understood by all stakeholders. It will be communicated in the following ways:

  • Posted on the school website
  • Available on the internal staff network/drive
  • Part of a school induction pack for all new staff (including temporary, supply and non-classroom-based staff)
  • Integral to safeguarding updates and training for all staff (especially in September refreshers)
  • Clearly reflected in the Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs) for staff, volunteers, contractors, governors, pupils and parents/carers (which must be in accessible language appropriate to these groups).
  • AUPs issued to the whole school community, on entry to the school, with annual reminders of where to find them if unchanged, and reissued if updated after an annual review
  • Reviews of this online safety policy will include input from staff, pupils and other stakeholders, helping to ensure further engagement.

The full Online Safety Policy (including Appendices)

Online-Safety-Policy-June-21

School lead for this policy
Nic Mehew
The committee with oversight for this policy
Curriculum & Standards
Policy to be approved by the
Headteacher
Policy last reviewed by the Curriculum & Standards Committee
23/06/2021
Policy last ratified and adopted by Full Governing Body
21/06/2021
Policy / Document due for review
June 2024

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