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Managing E-Safety in schools – Is your school doing enough?

Being online is an integral part of children and young people’s lives. Social media, online games, websites and apps can be accessed through mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets – all of which form a part of children and young people’s online world.

The internet and online technology provides new opportunities for young people’s learning and growth, but it can also expose them to new types of risks.

E-safety should form a fundamental part of schools’ and colleges’ safeguarding and child protection measures. Government guidance for schools across the UK highlights the importance of safeguarding children and young online.

Schools have a dual responsibility when it comes to e-safety: to ensure the school’s online procedures keep children and young people safe, and to teach them about online safety, in and outside of school. Your school should foster an open environment in which children and young people are encouraged to ask any questions and participate in an ongoing conversation about the benefits and dangers of the online world.

Alongside ensuring your e-safety arrangements are robust, it’s essential that schools and colleges teach children and young people about staying safe online – both in and outside of school.

·       Teachers should have ongoing conversations with children about the benefits and dangers of the internet and create an open environment for children and young people to ask questions and raise any concerns.

·       Teaching online safety should not be restricted to IT and computing lessons. Embedding key messages about staying safe online throughout the curriculum helps ensure that children of all ages are taught online safety skills.

·       Having a whole school approach helps ensure staff, governors, volunteers and parents teach children about online safety.

All schools and colleges should have robust e-safety policies and procedures that set out how to safeguard against and respond to online safety incidents. These must be understood and followed by all staff, volunteers, children and visitors.

Your e-safety policies and procedures must follow the legislation and guidance for child protection in schools across the UK and for online safety.

They should apply to all devices with the capacity to connect to the internet and transfer data. This includes internet-connected toys, tablets, smart TVs and watches, phones, laptops and computers.

IT safety and data protection

Schools must have strong IT infrastructure and data protection practices. Make sure your school:

·       Manages data in compliance with the Data Protection Act 2018

·       Uses a firewall and robust antivirus software

·       Uses a recognised internet service provider

·       Actively monitors and filters any inappropriate websites or content

·       Uses an encrypted and password protected WiFi network.


Ongoing Review

Technology and the online environment are constantly changing. E-safety policies and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated as part of your overarching safeguarding measures. A whole school approach to reviewing these arrangements, including students, staff, volunteers and parents is good practice. Updated policies should be shared with and understood by all staff, children, and parents and carers, highlighting what has changed.


If your school, college or education centre is having trouble creating policies and blocking websites for students, we’d be happy to give you a free online demonstration of our software.

You can request yours by clicking here. To view all features, click here.


Source: NSPCC Learning