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an annual, anonymous survey, and the data from this survey offers schools a strong foundation on which to build a robust strategy and important information to develop their whole-school approach.
I would also suggest that if schools currently have an offline peer-to-peer mentoring solution, they look at bringing that into their online strategy too, because if children are behaving badly online, they need to be challenged in exactly the same way as they would be in an offline context – the bystander principle needs to operate in the online world too!
The next step should be around delivering high quality education and training across the curriculum, covering all the issues schools need to talk to their pupils about, which might be over and above what’s been outlined in the framework.
Ensuring staff are trained in online safety, ensuring they understand the risks and know how to respond when someone reports an incident is also essential, as is having a designated online safety lead. Parents also need to be supported through awareness initiatives, as
we know they look to schools for information on this topic.
We are certainly beginning to see more schools accessing training for staff around online safety, and we’re also seeing a growing number of secondary schools using monitoring tools as a
form of protecting students by understanding exactly what they’re doing online. This intelligence
can then be used to build their education programme, intervene where appropriate or offer more bespoke, directed support towards vulnerable children.
Technologies like filtering and monitoring should support your overall strategy, rather than dictate it, and feed into effective processes for monitoring and reviewing safeguarding for the benefit of the pupils, the school, its stakeholders.
This process is really about mitigating risks; while children cannot be safe 100 per cent of the time, we want to make sure that we’ve done everything – as a whole-school community – that we possibly can to help minimise these risks.
National Award for Online Safety
Assessors from the South West
Grid for Learning (SWGfL) recently visited the Royal Hospital School in Suffolk to review the School’s online safety provision. The Assessors
met and interviewed staff, parents, governors and pupils and conducted a review of the curriculum,
systems, policies and support in the context of digital learning. They were pleased to report that “the school has developed high levels
of digital literacy and safe practice. The contribution of young people
is recognised, encouraged and celebrated regularly. Pupils want
to be involved and make a positive difference to the development of their peers.” As a result, the Royal Hospital School has been named
the first school in Suffolk to receive the 360 degree safe Online Safety Mark and has been asked to act as a national ‘Beacon of Good Practice’.
The South West Grid for Learning Trust is a not-for-profit charitable trust providing schools with safe, secure, managed and supported connectivity and associated services, learning technologies to improve outcomes and a toolkit for being safer online. As the lead partner in
the UK Safer Internet Centre, SWGfL is in the forefront of national and international developments in online safety. To apply for the 360 degree safe Online Safety Mark, schools have to reach a series of benchmark levels when they complete the online self-review. The evidence
is then verified by a visit from experienced assessors.
Hamish McKenzie, Head of Digital Learning said “The prime benefit of applying for the Online Safety Mark is that it does not focus on the individual aspects of online safety such as technological solutions,
but instead it integrates online safety into school policy and the curriculum, challenging teachers and leaders in the school to think about their provision and its continual evolution. Continued >
    Award winning staging system
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Independent Schools Magazine 15
Hamish Mackenzie (Head of Digital Learning) with pupils

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