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.
Department for education’s statutory guidance
The Department for Education’s provides statutory guidance on Keeping children safe in education. 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.
Department for education’s cyber security standards for schools and colleges
The Department for Education’s ‘Meeting digital and technology standards in schools and colleges’ shows what standards schools and colleges need to meet for cyber security, user accounts and data protection.
Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework
Take a look within the Ofsted’s Framework documentation to see what inspections consider for schools in England.
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. In 2022, they also released guidance for professionals on How to effectively challenge victim blaming language and behaviours when dealing with children and young people’s online experiences.
Reviewing your policies and online safety provision
SWGfL have produced a number of resources which allow organisations to review their policies and online safety provision.
Policies for schools
These policy templates from SWGfL provide an indication of what should be included within an orgnaisation’s online safety policy but with a flexible approach allowing each school or organisation to challenge, consider and debate.
(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 15,000 schools across the UK have used the tool.
Policies for organisations other than schools
360 Early years
https://360earlyyears.org.uk/ – a free, self-review online tool for early years settings which highlights appropriate policies and practices,
360groups.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. It highlights correct policy and practice for the settings
Online Safety Index
swgfl.org.uk/research/online-safety-school-index-2022 Find out how well schools and organisations across England protect their children and young people online. Using data from the 360 tool, we can show the top and bottom geographical areas.
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