New filtering and monitoring standards introduced by the Department for Education

29 Mar 2023 UK SIC

The Department for Education (DfE) has introduced new filtering and monitoring standards today to help better protect children and young people online. Schools and colleges are encouraged to use these standards to evaluate their current filtering and monitoring strategies.

The UK Safer Internet Centre has been publishing self-certified responses from top providers since 2016 to aid schools in fulfilling their filtering and monitoring responsibilities. These new standards emphasize the importance of filtering and monitoring whilst highlighting aspects such as responsibility within educational settings, the importance of reviewing processes and effective strategies that meet the needs of the college or school.

Key areas that are covered

Key areas covered by the new standards include safeguarding leads taking more responsibility within day-to-day management of filtering and monitoring systems, regularly testing efficiency across devices (at least annually), documenting robustness, as well as assessment and consideration for strategies that meet safeguarding needs.

Schools must document the strength of their systems to ensure that harmful online content is being filtered out effectively. If schools need more support with this, they can use for free to check their internet connections. It is also essential to choose filtering and monitoring systems based on their specific relevance to the school, rather than their cost.

Over the past 12 years, filtering and monitoring practices in schools have improved as seen through our own 360 research, and it is critical to sustain these standards. The UK Safer Internet Centre provides additional information on filtering and monitoring, as well as self-certified responses from leading providers. For more information, including the new standards from the Department for Education, please follow the link below.

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