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Mon September 05, 2016

Effective from 5th September - Online Monitoring Now a Mandatory Requirement for all Schools

Following a consultation carried out by the Department of Education, Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) guidelines have now been updated to strengthen safeguarding practices and strategies in schools.

The revised guidelines place an increased emphasis on online safety and a compulsory mandate has been put in place whereby all schools will now be expected to employ an appropriate online monitoring system in order to identify potential risk in the ICT environment. This is effective from the 5th September and is a legislative requirement that will be inspected as part of Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.

The guidance places  the responsibility for online safety on all staff and encourages the development of a positive digital culture stating that ‘an effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate any incident where appropriate’ (Keeping Children Safe in Education, 2016).

Strengthening Online Safeguarding Strategies

The use of technology is now a significant component of many safeguarding issues including radicalisation, child exploitation and sexual predation. The guidance calls for all schools to employ effective online safeguarding mechanisms in order to empower children.

KCSiE identifies three categories of online risk that school staff should be aware of:

  • CONTENT: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material

  • CONTACT: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users

  • CONDUCT: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.

Governing bodies and proprietors will be expected to do all that they reasonably can to safeguard children from exposure to the risks outlined above in each school or college’s IT system.

 

Choosing an Appropriate Monitoring System

According to the guidelines key factors to consider when choosing your monitoring software include:

  • the proportionality of costs vs risks,

  • the age range of pupils,

  • number of pupils,

  • how often pupils access the schools IT system.

It is also important to note that your choice of monitoring systems should be considered in relation to the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty as part of Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.

 

Actions for your School

Check that you have a monitoring system in place and assess its capability for fulfilling the new statutory requirement.


Make sure that all of your staff is trained to assess and identify potential incidents of online risk.


Contact Future Digital to find out how our leading-edge safeguarding and monitoring systems can help your school fulfill its legislative requirement.

 

To find our more about our products and how we can help your school fulfill your legislative requiement please conatct our sales team on 0203 846 0080 or email us at sales@futuredigital.co.uk

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