Ofsted reveals new ‘Online Safety in Schools’ survey

03 Jul 2015 UK SIC

Today, Ofsted has revealed data from a survey of online safety practice across all HMI-led inspections during March 2015. 

The survey referenced a discussion on online safety issues with senior leaders, staff, governors and staff across 39 primary schools and 45 Secondary schools’ inspections.

The data follows on from Ofsted’s landmark ‘The Safe Use of New Technologies’ report published in 2010. The survey data was presented by David Brown HMI at the Child Internet Safety Summit in London.

The SWGfL, as part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, have created a useful infographic to highlight the conclusions of the survey and have summarised the key findings below: 

  • Over 25% of secondary students cannot recall if they have been taught about online safety over the last 12 months
  • 5% of schools do not have an Online Safety policy in place
  • Only 74% of students were aware that they had an online safety policy
  • A significant majority of schools still do not allow the use of personal devices

Other findings:

  • In terms of students influencing online safety policy, a significant majority of schools do not involve student contribution.  In 2010, Ofsted concluded that the contribution of children was a characteristic in schools with outstanding online safety practice and recommended this as a priority
  • Assemblies and computing/ICT lessons are the main focus for online safety teaching for many schools, although PSHE lessons play a significant role in the delivery of online safety in some schools
  • In 2010, the ‘Safe Use of New Technologies’ report recommended that more focus was required on “developing a curriculum for e-safety which builds on what pupils have learnt before and which reflects their age and stage of development”.  Whilst there is evidence that some schools have embedded this across the wider curriculum, there is inconsistency in the provision of an online safety curriculum with scope and sequence
  • Just over a quarter of secondary students lack confidence in their teacher’s knowledge of online safety issues
  • Staff training is inconsistent, and what senior leaders might see as training is not reflected by staff. Anecdotal feedback suggests that staff development in online safety is often reactive: “Emergency training is delivered if there is an incident”
  • Staff have confidence in recognising, responding to and resolving online safety issues.  It is slightly stronger in secondary schools than in primary schools
  •  From the data presented reporting is clearly the weakest area of school practice around online safety.

The presentation created by David Brown, HMI National Lead for Computing, covering the results of a survey can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/Ofstednews/childinternetsafetysummitonlinesafetyinspection

UK Safer Internet Centre is proud to work with Ofsted, having provided online safety training and support to all HMI during 2014 and 2015.

Ofsted recently published the changes to inspections from September 2015 with significant provision and consideration for Online Safety.  Further information on the changes and implications can be found at www.swgfl.org.uk/ofsted2015

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