E-safety still on the agenda? Ofsted think so …

Introduction

Kent Online Safety

The removal of ancillary inspection briefing sheets for inspectors from the Ofsted website in June of this year signalled a mixture of responses from those whose work concerns effective online safety strategies. For schools the briefing sheet “Inspecting E-safety” was a useful set of criteria and questions that assisted in aligning existing practice. For those involved with supporting schools with Online Safety, there has been understandable concern about whether their removal has suggested that online safety is no longer a priority for Ofsted.

So, is the pressure off? Rebecca Avery, E-safety Officer for Kent County Council and a highly regarded contributor to the UK Online Safety community, argues that, if anything, there is a renewed focus on the importance of integrating online safety into a school’s wider safeguarding agenda. Here, as guest blogger for “onlineREFLECTions”, she explains why.

[Adapted from her original blog which can be found at http://kentesafety.wordpress.com/2014/09/04/ofsted-and-e-safety-updates-for-september-2014/  ]

Overview

 

In July 2014 Ofsted published the updated version of their School Inspection Framework ready for use in September 2014. Ofsted have significantly reduced the number of guidance documents which they publish for inspectors, schools and other stakeholders. This has resulted in there now being just three guidance documents: The framework for school inspection; School inspection handbook and Inspecting safeguarding in maintained schools and academies.

This means that although the section five briefing “Inspecting e-Safety” has now been removed from the Ofsted website, many elements of good e-Safety practice have now been included in the School inspection handbook and the separate safeguarding briefing. Ofsted have also stated that all education, early years andsocial care inspectors will receive regular and up-to-date e-Safety training

social care inspectors will receive regular and up-to-date e-Safety training

 to enable them to identify good and inadequate e-Safety practice as part of inspections within schools, colleges and other settings. [Editor’s note: SWGfL Online Safety Director, Ken Corish and UK Safer Internet Centre Director, David Wright have not only trained all Social Care Inspectors but also all 300 Education HMI’s over the last few months]

The following blog posts will highlight practice where inspectors may continue to seek to identify and explore e-Safety within education settings in light of these changes. Please be aware that these posts should not be read in isolation and this content will highlight specific areas where schools can demonstrate good e-Safety practice.

Part One: e-Safety within the Ofsted School Inspection Framework, September 2014.st_bedes_sketch_

 

Alongside schools, Ofsted Inspectors are expected to be familiar with the DfE’s statutory guidance for schools and colleges,Keeping Children Safe in Education’, 2014 (KCSIE) and its implications for schools. KCSIE specifically highlights that governing bodies and proprietors should consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum. A range of e-Safety concerns that schools will need to consider and address are also highlighted within KCSIE under “specific safeguarding concerns” including child sexual exploitation, bullying including cyberbullying, radicalisation and sexting. Schools (specifically leader, managers, governing bodies and proprietors) should therefore ensure that e-Safety messages are embedded throughout the school’s curriculum to ensure that pupils are prepared for life in modern Britain and the wider world.

As part of planning and preparation prior to visiting schools, inspectors will use all available evidence to develop an initial picture of schools which will include analysing a range of data and resources available to inspectors (see Paragraph 4, School Inspection Framework). This will include visiting school websites to check for statutory information relating to the curriculum as well as looking for other relevant information for parents. Schools can demonstrate that e-Safety is an important and established issue as part of their safeguarding responsibilities by ensuring that their school website (and other online communication channels) has up-to-date and appropriate information and guidance for parents/carers and children regarding online safety at school and at home. This may include sharing schools own policies and procedures, guidance for children and parents, links to videos or content to highlight the schools education approaches (e.g. scheme of work) and links to sites such as Think U Know, CEOP, Childnet, Childline, the Internet Watch Foundation, Internet Matters, Get Safe online and the UK Safer Internet Centre (links). Schools may also wish to use the school website to alert children and families to reporting procedures for online concerns

Schools may also wish to use the school website to alert children and families to reporting procedures for online concerns

, both locally (e.g. via the designated lead in school, local police or children’s social care teams) and nationally (CEOP, IWF, Childline)

Inspectors will also conduct a brief search prior to inspection using the provider information portal and the internet to see if there are any live or historic safeguarding concerns, complaints or related issues (see paragraph 4 and 5 of the Inspection Handbook ) and this may include accessing content about the school available within the public domain.Schools and settings should be aware that any public searching of schools may highlight stories from local or national press as well as potentially revealing content posted by parents, staff or pupils on unofficial sites

Schools and settings should be aware that any public searching of schools may highlight stories from local or national press as well as potentially revealing content posted by parents, staff or pupils on unofficial sites

 and forums or social networking sites which references the school name. This content may have been shared or posted deliberately or accidentally and could include content which can be misread or misinterpreted. It could also highlight positive practice and celebrations and demonstrate that the school are using technology to engage with the wider community, locally and globally. School leaders may wish to regularly check their schools “digital reputations” via public search engines or other tools such as reputation alert systems so they can respond as necessary (e.g. request removal of content, speak with those involved or share good news). By being aware of the schools digital reputation this means that schools are more likely to be prepared to discuss the effectiveness of their safeguarding approaches and can be open and effective in such discussions with inspectors. Schools may wish to raise awareness of professional conduct with staff as part of induction and ensure that this is reinforced through regular staff training. Parents/carers and pupils should also be made aware of online safety and digital reputation as part of the home school agreement etc and be encouraged to consider how they can act positively online to safeguard themselves and the school community. It is recommended that schools include appropriate technology and social media use in the school acceptable use policies which must be regularly reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate and up-to-date. Schools need to be able to demonstrate these the AUP is effective and understood and are in place for all members of the school community.

Inspectors will request that certain information is made available at the start of the inspection, such as any self-evaluation (for e-Safety this could include the Kent e-Safety self evaluation tool or the SWGfL 360 degree safe Online Safety Self Review tool ) and the school improvement plan (which may highlight e-Safety practice as an area for improvement). Inspectors will request access to logs of concerns, including exclusions, incidents of poor behaviour and racist incidents as well as records and analysis relating to bullying. This is likely to include online incidents so schools should ensure that they have a central incident log (either recording e-Safety separately or within safeguarding or existing records) which captures this information as well as any action taken by the school. Inspectors will also wish to see information relating to referrals made by the designated person for safeguarding and this may also include referrals relating to online safety concerns e.g. sexting, grooming etc. The designated lead should also have an in-depth awareness of the schools approaches to online safety including responding to online safeguarding concerns and working with other agencies.

Inspectors will gather evidence through speaking with pupils and will ask them about their experiences of learning and behaviour in the school, including bullying. In today’s modern world this will include discussions regarding cyberbullying and online safety and how the school prepares children to respond to and manage risk. Schools should ensure that e-Safety education is viewed as a high priority and is embedded within safeguarding and educational practice which is adapted and specific to the pupils’ ages, experiences and abilities.

Within the school inspection handbook, e-Safety practice will be considered by inspectors as part of “overall effectiveness”, “quality of leadership in and management of the school” and “behaviour and safety of pupils at the school”.

Overall Effectiveness

When judging the overall effectiveness of the school, inspectors will be considering the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. e-Safety would be an important part of this consideration, especially regarding moral and social development:

 

The moral development of pupils is shown by their:

 

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

 

The social development of pupils is shown by their:

 

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds

  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively

  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

School Inspection Framework, July 2014 p.35

Leadership and Management

When judging the quality of leadership in and management of the school, inspectors will consider how well leaders, managers and governors pursue excellence and model professional standards and this is likely to include online conduct and social behaviour.

Inspectors will consider how well leadership and management ensure that pupils receive a broad and balanced curriculum which prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life in modern Britain. The online world is undoubtedly an important part of modern British life so this should be addressed by leaders. The curriculum should also include a rounded assembly’s programme which promotes pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and provides clear guidance on what is right and wrong which will include online actions and consequences as well as understanding the online world in relation to British civil and criminal law.

Safeguarding is identified as part of the role of the leadership and management (including Governors) staff within schools. Some of the arrangements which are relevant to online safety which inspectors will consider to ensure that all pupils are safe are the:

  • Effectiveness with which a school identifies pupils who may be at risk

This may include those identified as being at risk of harm online e.g. children who are looked after, children with special education needs, children with mental health concerns, children with low self esteem, children who have experienced trauma or bereavement, children who are at risk of significant harm in the offline world etc.

 

  • Action taken following any serious incident

This may include online incidents such as sexting, online child sexual abuse/exploitation, cyberbullying etc.

 

  • Approach to keeping pupils safe from the dangers of radicalisation and extremism

This may include online grooming for radicalisation – the internet is not just being used as a grooming tool by sexual offenders but also can be used a tool to identify and groom young people into extremist views.

 

  • Promotion of safe practices and a culture of safety, including e-Safety

     

This highlights the need for there to be an embedded whole school approach to online safety with strategic leadership oversight with frequent and appropriate training, which is supported by clear and effective policies and procedures.

As part of their role inspectors will ask the headteacher for anonymised information about performance management, appraisal and salary progression from the last three years. Ofsted acknowledge the sensitivity of this information and the importance of data protection practice and have stated that this information must not leave the school site or be sent electronically. This is practice which should be encouraged by schools and leaders and managers may wish to ensure that they and members of staff understand the impact level of personal data and that all data is managed securely and in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998

Behaviour and Safety

When judging the Behaviour and safety of pupils at the school Inspectors should consider:

Pupils contribution and response to the culture of the school

Schools should involve students in the development of school policies and procedures relating to online safety and consider a range of approaches to listening to pupils’ voice e.g. peer education or mentoring.

Types, rates and patterns of bullying and the effectiveness of the schools action to prevent and tackle all forms of bullying and harassment; this includes cyberbullying…”

Schools must ensure that cyberbullying is acknowledged within the schools anti-bullying policies and procedures and act in accordance with legislation and Government guidance.

The success in keeping pupils safe, whether within school or during external activities, through, for instance, effective risk assessments, e-Safety arrangements and action taken following any serious safeguarding incident”

Schools must address e-Safety explicitly with all pupils and staff to ensure that they are preparing them to keep safe online.

“The extent to which pupils are able to understand, respond to and calculate risk effectively…and aware of the support available to them

This will include e-Safety and awareness of organisations such as CEOP, IWF, Beat Bullying, Childline etc.

The schools response to any extremist or discriminatory behaviour shown by pupils”

This may include online concerns relating to grooming and radicalisation and the Kent Police “Zak” resource may be helpful to enable schools to explore this.

e-Safety and cyberbullying are also highlighted in the grade descriptors for outstanding as part of “behaviour and safety of pupils” within the Inspection Framework.

The effectiveness of safeguarding arrangements and the extent to which children behave in ways that are safe, understand how to stay safe and show that they are safe is also highlighted as being part of considerations inspectors will make when considering the effectives of early years provisions.In today’s modern world, children in early years will have access to technology either within schools and settings or at home

In today’s modern world, children in early years will have access to technology either within schools and settings or at home

so it is essential that online safety practice is discussed as early as possible and via age appropriate tools such as Childnet’s Smartie the Penguin and Digiduck and CEOP’s Lee and Kim’s Adventures in Animal Magic . SWGfL Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum Resource scheme also provides detailed lesson planning and tailored resources for FS and KS1.

The importance of students in sixth form provisions in understanding potential risks (which will include online concerns) to their health and well being and how to manage them is identified within the grade descriptor for outstanding.

e-Safety is an area which should be embedded throughout school practice and is clearly identified as an issue for leaders and mangers to consider and address. Online safety is an essential part of safeguarding which is considered to be a key priority for all members of staff. The e-Safety agenda has shifted towards enabling children to manage risk, rather than filtering/blocking and therefore requires a comprehensive and embedded curriculum which is adapted specifically to the needs and requirements of pupils and the technology with which they are exposed too. 

Part two – e-Safety within “Inspecting Safeguarding”, September 2014

 

From September 2014 Ofsted have continued to provide a specific section five briefing for inspectors which looks at schools safeguarding practice and the evaluation schedule as a whole as set out in the school inspection handbook. The briefing should be read alongside the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) statutory guidance for schools and colleges ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’, 2014 (KCSIE) and ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’, 2013 (WTSC) and alongside the Ofsted School Inspection Framework document for September 2014.

The September 2014 safeguarding briefing identifies that schools and colleges should be safe environments for children and young people to learn and that inspectors should consider how well leaders and managers create and promote a safe culture within settings which will include vigilance and timely and appropriate action when children may be at risk of harm. Today’s children live in a world where the online environment has become seamlessly embedded into everyday life and this must therefore be acknowledged by schools.Safe Children(small)

The briefing includes online safety as a clear element of schools wider safeguarding remits and states that “Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate harm. It also relates to aspects of school life including….internet or e-Safety” (p.5)

The safeguarding briefing identifies that safeguarding can include a wide range of online concerns as “Safeguarding can involve a range of potential issues such as…cyberbullying….radicalisation and extremist behaviour, child sexual exploitation, sexting…” (p.6)

When inspectors are considering and evaluating the effectiveness of safeguarding within schools and settings, many points will include e-Safety practice. They may include:

(please note the following points contain extracts from the “Inspecting safeguarding” document and comments are made in relation to online safeguarding, the document should therefore also be read in full)

Effectiveness of Safeguarding Arrangements

  • 11. Children are safe and feel safe

This will include children being and feeling safe in the online environment as well as offline and at school.

This may also include considerations regarding the technology access pupils have within schools, for example does the school use an accredited internet service provider (ISP) and use appropriate filtering, monitoring and/or security systems to ensure that the school network is safe and secure.

This may include working closely with parents/carers to ensure that the schools e-Safety ethos and approach is shared. Schools and settings should seek to ensure that parents/carers understand e-safety issues and risks and their roles and responsibilities and may offer a range of opportunities to support them with this such as specific e-Safety workshops, information on school websites/newsletters, pupil led education etc.

 

  • “12. Staff and other adults working within the setting are clear about procedures where they are concerned about the safety of a child and there is a named and designated lead whose role is effective in pursing concerns and protecting children.”

Kent County Council recommends that schools nominate a designated lead for online safety to coordinating whole school e-Safety approaches and act as the lead for dealing with e-Safety issues that arise. The person who is appointed as the e-Safety lead does not need to have vast technical knowledge as online safety is not a technical role/responsibility; however it would be helpful if they had some basic knowledge and understanding of technology. To assist them they should access appropriate training to ensure they have a higher level of expertise which can then be shared and cascaded with other staff accordingly.

Is it recommended that the e-Safety coordinator should be a member of the school Senior Leadership Team

the e-Safety coordinator should be a member of the school Senior Leadership Team

 due to the requirements and expectations of the role (they need to be able to direct school resources and attend appropriate meetings where there is a concern) and to ensure that e-Safety is given strategic consideration across all areas of the school.

It is usually recommended that schools elect the designated child protection coordinator (DCPC) as the e-Safety lead/coordinator as e-Safety concerns may often cross the Child Protection threshold. Some schools will chose to elect another member of staff but the DCPC must always be made aware of and involved with any disclosures or incidents and capture and record e-Safety concerns, training etc.

Many schools are choosing to support the role of the e-Safety coordinator by setting up e-Safety groups, teams or committees who can support the e-Safety lead and share workloads and tasks. These teams involve key stakeholders including relevant members of staff, pupils and parents. This means that key members of the community are involved in developing the ethos and in establishing a whole school approach to e-Safety.

 

  • “13. Children can identify a trusted adult with whom they can talk about any concerns. They report that adults listen to them and take their concerns seriously.”

This will include online safety. The fear of losing internet privileges or not being taken seriously (e.g. being told to not using the internet or that staff/parents don’t “understand” or see the point of social networking, gaming or chat sites and apps) can be a common reason why children and young people don’t speak to adults about problems online. If staff ignore or fail to acknowledge the advances in technology then they will be ignoring a major part of pupil’s lives. If schools are to understand children and help children then they must acknowledge and understand the true nature of the world in which they live.

 

  • 20. Children are protected and helped to keep themselves safe from bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. Any discriminatory behaviours are challenged and help and support is given to children about how to treat others with respect.”

This will include online bullying (cyberbullying) and also online discrimination, including homophobic, racist and sexist comments.

 

  • 21. Adults understand the risks posed by adults or young people who use the internet to bully, groom or abuse children and have well-developed strategies in place to keep children safe and to support them in learning how to keep themselves safe. Leaders oversee the safe use of electronic and social media when the children are on site and take action immediately if they are concerned about bullying or risky behaviours.”

 

This highlights the importance of e-Safety being viewed as a whole school safeguarding issue and not a technical concern. The means that whole staff training (not just for teaching staff) should be in place which must be up-to-date, relevant and delivered regularly.

Adults in schools/settings need to be able to discuss online safety with children in a confident and age appropriate way. School curriculums should be flexible, relevant and engage pupils’ interests and encourage them to develop resilience to online risks and not rely on filtering or blocking or one off events or assemblies. This may also include participation in national events such as Safer Internet Day.

This highlights that e-Safety is not just about educating pupils about the risk of “grooming” by strangers 

e-Safety is not just about educating pupils about the risk of “grooming” by strangers

 and highlights that children can also be at risk of harm by their peers.

This highlights the important role that leaders and managers have to play in ensuring that there are relevant, clear, up-to-date and effective policies (either specific to e-Safety or embedded within other policies) regarding the safe use of technology, inducing social media and devices.

There should be clear procedures to follow regarding online concerns. These should apply to staff, pupils and families and could be included as part of the schools child protection and safeguarding practices.

This will include ensuring that all members of the school/setting community understand appropriate online behaviour and conduct. This should mean that the school has a clear policy which includes a relevant, understood and respected Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). The e-Safety policy and AUP should be reviewed regularly (at least annually) and be developed with input from pupils, parents/carers and staff. The AUP should include clear guidance regarding safe and appropriate online conduct, especially electronic communication between staff and pupils and their parents/carers.

 

  • “22. Clear risk assessments and a consistent response by staff protect children, while enabling them to take age-appropriate and reasonable risks as part of their growth and development.”

 

This will include risk assessments regarding the safe and appropriate use of technology such as when using tablets, mobile devices or social media. Risk assessments should be taken seriously and be used to promote e-safety and online resilience.

 

  • “23. Children feel secure and, where they may present risky behaviours, they experience positive support from all staff. Staff respond with clear boundaries about what is safe and acceptable and they seek to understand the triggers for children’s behaviour. They develop effective responses as a team and they review those responses to assess their impact, taking into account the views and experiences of the child.”

 

Risky behaviours will include children taking risks online; therefore all members of staff need to have an understanding of the online world and the range of risks posed as well as the potential benefits to children.

Staff should have a clear understanding of what is considered to be acceptable and unacceptable online behaviour and there must be a clear procedure to follow where there is a concern.

 

  • “24. Positive behaviour is consistently promoted”

 

This may include promoting positive online behaviour by pupils such as using peer mentoring and education approaches such as digital/cyber “leaders/champions” etc and including pupils input when reviewing and implementing school policies.This could also include working with pupils to educate and engage with families and the wider school community in the online safety agenda.

 

  • “26. There are clear and effective arrangements for staff development and training in respect of the protection and care of children. Staff and other adults receive regular supervision and support if they are working directly and regularly with children where there are concerns about their safety and welfare.”

 

This will include recognising and establishing online safety as part of safeguarding and child protection training for all staff.

 

  • “28. All staff and carers have a copy of and understand the written procedures for managing allegations of harm to a child. They know how to make a complaint and how to manage whistleblowing or other concerns about the practice of adults in respect of the safety and protection of children.”

 

This may include allegations or concerns regarding online behaviour, therefore clear guidance which supports the schools safeguarding culture should be provided to staff. This should address (via induction, training and AUPs) the schools expectations regarding appropriate and professional behaviour and communication e.g. appropriate use of school equipment and using school provided devices/communication channels so that contact takes place within clear and explicit professional boundaries which is transparent and open to scrutiny.

 

Leadership and management

  • “ 29. Governing bodies and proprietors must ensure that they comply with their safeguarding duties under legislation. They must ensure that the policies, procedures and training in their schools and colleges are effective and comply with the law at all times.”

 

Many pupils and indeed some staff use the Internet regularly without being aware that some of the activities they take part in are potentially illegal so governing bodies,leaders and mangers must be aware of the wider legal framework

leaders and mangers must be aware of the wider legal framework

 when addressing e-Safety concerns e.g. Sexual Offences Act 2003, Criminal Justice Act 1988, Protection of Children Act 1978, Malicious Communications Act 1988, Data Protection Act 1998, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988, Obscene Publications Act 1959 and 1964, Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and Education and Inspections Act 2006. Please note this list is not exhaustive.

 

  • “30. The responsibilities placed on governing bodies and proprietors include: ensuring that an effective child protection policy is in place, together with a staff behaviour policy, prioritising the welfare of children and young people and creating a culture where staff are confident to challenge senior leaders over any safeguarding concerns, making sure that children are taught about how to keep themselves safe.”

 

Governing bodies and proprietors must have strategic oversight of the schools safeguarding ethos and agenda and ensure that e-Safety is embedded within schools safeguarding responsibilities.

Children must be taught to manage risk and develop safe and responsible online behaviours.

 

  • “34. Schools and colleges should create a culture of safe recruitment, which include the adoption of recruitment procedures that help deter, reject or identify people who might abuse children.”

 

This may include people who might abuse children online.

 

Behaviour and Safety

  • “45. School staff need to be particularly sensitive to signs that may indicate possible safeguarding concerns.

 

This may include concerns about children’s online safety.

 

  • “47. The School inspection handbook sets out how Ofsted will report on the way that schools make pupils aware of how they can keep themselves safe and what behaviour towards them is not acceptable. Inspectors should include e-safety in their discussions with pupils (covering topics such as safe use of the internet and social networking sites, cyber bullying, including by text message) and what measures the school takes to promote safe use and combat unsafe use, both proactively (by preparing pupils to engage in e-systems) and reactively (by helping them to deal with a situation when something goes wrong).”

 

Inspectors will be speaking to pupils about online safety, therefore it is important that schools can be confident that e-Safety education is appropriate to the needs of the pupils and that all staff understand and promote the schools e-Safety ethos and culture throughout the school.

Schools should be able to demonstrate that their e-Safety approaches are proactive and seeks to prevent harm by building resilience through an embedded and progressive scheme of work, as well as being reactive (by responding to specific concerns as and when they arise.

This means that e-Safety expertise should be shared within the school (not just in one off subjects or assemblies) and that schools need to be able to demonstrate internal capacity to enable pupils to build resilience and respond to risks

schools need to be able to demonstrate internal capacity to enable pupils to build resilience and respond to risks

. Schools need to have local ownership for online safety concerns and work in partnership with external organisations.

The “Inspecting safeguarding” briefing also states that “Inspectors should give careful consideration to the judgements relating to behaviour and safety, and leadership and management, when it is known that a member of staff has been convicted of sexual offences.” And schools should be aware that this will include online sexual offences.

Schools must also bear in mind that they may also be inspected on safeguarding concerns that arise during an inspection or if concerns are brought to the attention of an inspector or Ofsted. This may include online safety concerns raised by staff, pupils or parents/carers, issues identified or raised through public internet searches (for example content found on social media sites/forums posted by pupils, staff or parents/carers)concerns from other agencies, concerns about child protection failing, involvement with serious case reviews and allegations made against staff etc. While Ofsted does not have the power to investigate these incidents, actions taken by the school/setting in response to the incident(s) may be considered, where appropriate, alongside any other evidence available at the time of the inspection to inform inspectors’ judgements.

e-Safety should therefore be embedded throughout school safeguarding practice and is clearly identified as an issue for leaders and mangers to consider and address. Online safety is an essential element schools safeguarding responsibilities and should be considered to be a key priority for all members of staff. The e-Safety agenda has shifted towards enabling children to manage risk, rather than filtering/blocking and therefore requires a comprehensive and embedded curriculum which is adapted specifically to the needs and requirements of pupils and the technology with which they are exposed too.

 

Summary

 

Ofsted and e-Safety: updates for September 2014

In July 2014 Ofsted published the updated version of their School Inspection Framework ready for use in September 2014. Ofsted have significantly reduced the number of guidance documents which they publish for inspectors, schools and other stakeholders. This has resulted in there now being just three guidance documents: The framework for school inspection; School inspection handbook and Inspecting safeguarding in maintained schools and academies.

This means that although the section five briefing “Inspecting e-Safety” has now been removed from the Ofsted website, many elements of good e-Safety practice have now been included in the school inspection handbook and the separate safeguarding briefing. Ofsted have assured that all education, early years and social care inspectors will receive regular and up-to-date e-Safety training to enable them to identify good and inadequate e-Safety practice as part of inspections within schools, colleges and other settings.

e-Safety should now be embedded throughout schools and settings safeguarding practice and is clearly identified as an issue for schools and settings leaders and mangers to consider and address. Online safety is an essential element of all education settings safeguarding responsibilities and requires strategic oversight and ownership to be able to develop appropriate policies and procedures to protect and prepare all members of schools and settings communities. The e-Safety agenda has shifted towards enabling children and young people to manage risk, rather than filtering/blocking and therefore requires a comprehensive and embedded curriculum which is adapted specifically to the needs and requirements of pupils and the technology with which they are exposed too.

 

About Rebecca Avery

 

Rebecca Avery is the e-Safety officer for Kent County Council. She graduated from Canterbury Christchurch University College in 2004 with BA (Hons) in Primary Education where she started her career within Kent County Council by working as an Education Welfare Officer. In 2005 she joined Kent Safe Schools where she delivered Peer Mentoring, Transition Schemes, Anti-Bullying work and Youth Action Projects in Schools. In November 2007, she became part of the Digital Curriculum Team where her previous experience and passion for the subject led to her involvement with e-Safety and becoming a CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) “Ambassador”.

In July 2008 Rebecca was named as the Kent e-Safety Officer and has the lead responsibility for e-Safety for all education settings (including all schools and Early Years settings) in Kent. Rebecca works as part of the Education Safeguards Team and provides e-Safety and safeguarding advice, training and guidance for professionals working in educational settings. Rebecca works with the Kent Safeguarding Children Board to extend this practice to other professionals in the children’s workforce. Rebecca’s role has involved the development of a suite of e-Safety policies, procedures and guidance documents which are widely acknowledged throughout the e-Safety community and used as examples of good practice in the UK and beyond. Rebecca is an associate member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and sits on the CEOP Education Advisory Board. In 2012 she was awarded the CEOP’s “Children’s Champion of the Year” award for her dedication and commitment in helping CEOP safeguard children and hold offenders to account.

Rebecca is currently undertaking a Masters degree in advanced child protection with the Centre for Child Protection at the University of Kent and speaks and advises on online safety on both a local and national scale. Rebecca works with a variety of local partner agencies such as Kent Police, libraries, children’s centres, children’s social services, as well as national charities and organisations to empower and protect children and young people in the digital world.

www.kelsi.org.uk

Twitter: @esafety_officer

 

 

 

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