Teaching e-safety in schools
Online safety was introduced into all key stages of the curriculum in 2012, with schools required to teach children about how to stay safe online from the age of 5. The various levels of guidance are aimed at different age groups, ensuring all ages understand the risks and are able to alert an adult should they be concerned about someone’s behaviour online or feel they are being targeted by cyber bullies.
Ofsted specifies that schools must demonstrate they are protecting and educating both students and staff about how they should be using technology and they have the means to act appropriately should an issue be flagged to them, which could mean reporting such incidents to the governing body, parents, and authorities such as the police if deemed appropriate.
Whose responsibility is e-safety?
Although e-safety is listed by Ofsted as one area in which schools must take responsibility, it’s also important that parents and carers take the matter seriously, ensuring their children are protected against the dangers of online. Businesses also play an important role, protecting their users against potentially dangerous activities online and providing the tools users need to alert authorities should they or friends be the subject of harmful online activity.
Parents, carers, family members and other adults should ensure they are aware of what children are doing online and should have processes in place to check children are using the internet and connected devices safely. As is the case with educational staff, parents should take the time to learn about e-safety and how to deal with situations when they arise.
Businesses also have the responsibility to ensure they are monitoring their services to minimise the risk to children and young people when online. This includes enforcing age limits to access certain services, ensuring services have the tools in place to report inappropriate content, and having clear communication channels with authorities should they need to report activities that could put safety at risk.
We have added some factsheets regarding e-safety for you to read for sites that are very popular with children. Our main policy is available to view here.