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Safer Internet Centre

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Appropriate Filtering and Monitoring

Guide for education settings and filtering providers about establishing 'appropriate levels’ of filtering and monitoring.

Schools (and registered childcare providers) in England and Wales are required “to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in school, including by establishing appropriate levels of filtering" (Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales, 2015). 

Furthermore, it expects that they “assess the risk of [their] children being drawn into terrorism, including support for extremist ideas that are part of terrorist ideology”.  There are a number of self review systems (eg www.360safe.org.uk) that will support a school in assessing their wider online safety policy and practice.

The Department for Education published the revised statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ in May 2016 (and active from 5th September 2016) for schools and colleges in England.Amongst the revisions, schools are obligated to “ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place. Children should not be able to access harmful or inappropriate material from the school or colleges IT system” however, schools will need to “be careful that “overblocking” does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding.”

The aim of the following documents are to help schools and providers comprehend, in conjunction with their completed risk assessment, what should be considered as ‘appropriate’ filtering and monitoring.