Online safety policy

Policies and procedures are essential to safeguarding practice

We have a range of support to help you develop and evaluate your online safety policies, whether you are a school, youth club, library, pre-school or nursery, or any other organisation working with young people.

Policies should demonstrate good and safe internet practice for staff and pupils, and should link to existing policies around behaviour, anti-bullying and safeguarding. Acceptable Use Policies should establish expected behaviour and be understood by young people, parents and staff. Policies should be reviewed regularly and informed by young people, parents and staff.

Guidance

Childnet’s 2016 Cyberbullying guidance

Childnet’s 2016 Cyberbullying Guidance, funded by the Government Equalities Office and European Union, shows schools how to embed cyberbullying in their anti-bullying work. 

Ofsted’s e-safety guide

Ofsted’s Inspecting e-safety guide (published April 2014 and withdrawn July 2014) outlines what outstanding practice looks like in relation to e-safety policies and provision. The inspection of online safety is included within Ofsted’s Framework documentation.

Department for education’s statutory guidance

The Department for Education’s revisions to the statutory guidance on Keeping children safe in education came into effect on the 5 September 2016. This outlines the responsibilities that schools and colleges have in safeguarding children, including a requirement to ensure appropriate levels of filtering and monitoring are in place. We have a guide to help schools establish what ‘appropriate levels’ are and how to meet them.

UK council for internet safety

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety published Sexting in schools and colleges: Responding to incidents and safeguarding young people in 2020 to support schools in developing safeguarding procedures to respond to incidents involving youth produced sexual imagery. 

Reviewing your policies and online safety provision

SWGfL, partners in the UKSIC, has produced a number of resources which allow organisations to review their policies and e-safety provision.

Policies for schools

The templates provide guidance, an indication of what should be included and a flexible approach allowing each school or organisation to challenge, consider and debate.

360 Safe

(www.360safe.org.uk) – a free, award-winning, self-review online tool specifically for schools. Contains resource links and a number of template policies you can use as you go through the review process. Over 11,000 schools across the UK have registered to use the tool.

GDPR

Updated Data Protection advice and guidance for schools and colleges to use alongside their own data protection policy. Data Protection in schools and colleges: Questions from the Governing Board/Trustees/Directors.

Policies for organisations other than schools

360 Early years

https://360earlyyears.org.uk/ – a free, self-review online tool for settings working with children and young people that are not schools – youth and children’s centres, art groups, sports and youth clubs, libraries, and so on.

Early years toolkit

SWGfL has also produced a toolkit for Early Years professionals – it was launched in 2012 as a brand new resource to help early years settings, playgroups, nurseries and Children’s centres meet safeguarding requirements around new technologies and ensuring good e-safety practices. The toolkit contains advice, guidance and templates for esafety policies and can be ordered at www.swgfl.org.uk/Earlyyearstoolkit

Be in the know

You’ll get knowledge, skills and tools to make the internet safer
for young people at your care. Sent once per month.

Linked resources

External link