From September 5th 2016 schools are expected to take a more rigorous approach to managing the risks associated with access to technology. In doing so, schools need to put in place management processes, procedures and systems to ensure they are prepared and understand the safeguarding risks associated with technology access at school. Within this blog you will learn we can support you in doing this.
What should your school do given the need to be compliant from September 5th 2016
The internet has no boundaries, there is no safe harbour; children are influenced by what they see and who they communicate with. Schools have a responsibility to assess each and every online experience, being able to differentiate between learning, curiosity and negative behaviour. Our safeguarding service focuses on supporting schools to improve their approach to safeguarding through a thorough and detailed assessment of access to and use of technology. This includes all safeguarding related topics from that covered in the Prevent agenda to unsavoury use of the internet and inappropriate behaviour.
Blocking and filtering are not yet sufficiently effective to evaluate all content or identify specific behaviours that may cause harm. Many firewalls are not sufficiently configured or have the capability to enable schools to restrict access to inappropriate content or locations on the internet which could negatively influence children. Schools need to understand the effectiveness of the network and supporting management policies, processes and procedures in order to have an adequate safeguarding framework in place.
The assessment that we undertake is not something that schools traditionally have the expertise or welfare support structure to complete. Our safeguarding consultants are all ex-police detectives from the child protection team. They are trained professionals with the knowledge and experience to effectively assess your ICT systems, policies, processes and management structure for areas of improvement. They have worked as part of online investigation teams investigating the online downloading is indecent images of children and online grooming. They understand the types of images, videos and other content that they could access and have the welfare support structure should this cause any distress.
Working confidentially with senior leaders we provide schools insight into the online activity of children. This includes an evaluation of what all users of the network could possibly access through profile testing and an assessment of the potential risks to the moral compass of the school..
In completing the safeguarding health check we advise on improvements to the usage of data generated by the network to identify potential areas of concern, safeguarding issues, with the objective of the school implementing a proactive approach to managing the risks of technology use in school. This includes policies, processes, procedures and risk assessment for all types of user; staff, student, contractor, guest, and parent / guardian.
The final component of the safeguarding health check is a workshop with the school leadership and those responsible for safeguarding. Within the workshop we will review the specific risks and actions you will take in implement a proactive approach to safeguarding. Participants will learn through discussion of recent education case studies, real life examples of the risks schools need to address and tactics for doing so.
Following completion of the safeguarding health check, we will leave you with a report and action plan, supporting where appropriate with training and implementation.
For more information on our ICT & Safeguarding Health Check, get in touch.
9ine are currently recruiting for outstanding teachers to deliver our professional practice rapid improvement programme. DLP is a rapid improvement programme that enables schools to measurably improve practice in the classroom for strategies such as engagement, differentiation, self-directed learning and feedback. If you are interested in joining please email a CV and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.