E-safety for schools Online safety advice and resources for schools and colleges
Schools play a key role in promoting internet safety. A whole school approach to e-safety can help involve staff, governors, parents and pupils themselves in keeping children and young people safe online.
Our information and resources can help you develop:
- a trained workforce who are confident in online safety, identifying and responding to concerns
- resources to teach children and young people the skills to stay safe online
- resources and advice to share with parents and carers
- robust e-safety policies and procedures, IT infrastructure and support and regular reviewing of your e-safety provision.
Digital technology is continually changing so it's important that schools stay up-to-date with new developments.
All teaching and support staff should attend annual training.
Our elearning course Keeping Children Safe Online was developed with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). It ensures staff have the knowledge and skills to act appropriately and confidently to protect children.
At least one member of staff should also have accredited training such as the Ambassador Course from CEOP.
Keeping children safe online elearning course
Online training to give you a clear understanding of how children use the internet and digital technology. Cost: £30 - multiple licences available for schools and colleges.
Teaching staff play a pivotal role in helping children and young people to understand the online world, recognise risks and stay safe online.
An engaging and up-to-date e-safety curriculum can ensure pupils of all ages know how to stay safe and protect themselves and others online. We have Share Aware teaching resources for ages 5-11 years and the UK Safer Internet Centre provide advice on Curriculum planning.
If a child or young person needs confidential help and advice direct them to Childline. Calls to 0800 1111 are free and children can also contact Childline online or read about Online and mobile safety on the Childline website. You can also download or order Childline posters and wallet cards.
Share Aware lesson plans and resources
Our lesson plans and teaching guidance cover curriculums across the UK for Key Stage 2 and First and Second Years.
E-safety policies and procedures
All schools and colleges should have policies and procedures for how to safeguard against and respond to an online safety incident.
We have produced a range of guides and example documents you can use to develop policies and procedures in 3 key areas. These are part of our free Education Self-Assessment Tool (ESAT) to help designated safeguarding leads in schools in England assess how well they are meeting statutory and recommended safeguarding practices.
E-safety or online safety policy
- What to include in an e-safety policy for schools (PDF)
- E-safety practice briefing for schools (PDF)
Acceptable use policy
- Sample policy for the acceptable use of the internet, emails and computers for primary schools (PDF), secondary schools (PDF) or special schools (PDF)
How to respond to an e-safety incident
Involving parents or carers in learning about online safety is a key part of a whole school approach to e-safety. We know from our research with parents that they want to learn more about online safety and would welcome information from their child’s school.
There are many ways to involve parents or carers. You could:
- organise sessions where pupils teach parents or carers
- regularly share resources with parents through newsletters or hardcopy
- show parents the learning resources you use in the classroom
- circulate your e-safety policies.
Through our partnership with O2 we have produced a range of resources to support schools in supporting parents. Use the resources below to share knowledge and best practice on keeping children safe online.
Parent workshops with O2
We deliver online safety parent workshops, in partnership with O2, to primary schools across the UK.
If your primary school is part of the Speak out Stay safe programme you can book a session for us to come to your school and deliver an hour-long session to help parents and carers keep their family safe online.
You just need to provide a room and ensure 20 parents attend the session.
Share our information and briefings
We have lots of online safety information and advice which you can share with the parents and carers at your school.
We also have a series of online safety briefings which you can print off and hand out or download and email around:
- Sexting (PDF) summarises the key information from our Sexting webpage on what sexting is, what the risks are and what parents can do to protect their children.
- How to keep your child safe online (PDF) sets out 4 TEAM steps parents can take to keep their children safe online: Talk, Explore, Agree, Manage.
Net Aware - a guide to social networks
Net Aware reviews around 40 of the most popular social networking sites, apps and games used by children and young people. It also gives the views of parents and children.
Net Aware is a great resource to share with parents and carers who want to know about:
- suitable ages
- privacy settings
- appropriate content
- safety and support settings
- and keep-up-to-date through our newsletter.
IT systems and data protection
Schools should also ensure they have good IT infrastructure and information management practices.
- Use a recognised internet service provider.
- Actively monitor and filter content. View the UK Safer Internet Centre's Guide for education settings and filtering providers about establishing 'appropriate levels' of monitoring for advice.
- Manage personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1988). See the Information Commissioner's website for Guide to data protection.
Ongoing monitoring and evaluation
The online world changes day-to-day so make sure you keep up-to-date with developments and regularly risk assess your policies, systems and procedures.
- Sign up to our monthly email alert Safeguarding in Education Update to stay up-to-date with the latest child protection and safeguarding policy, practice and research.
- Regularly review and update your policies and procedures. Consider involving pupils in the development and review of policies and procedures and share updated policies with all staff, pupils and parents, highlighting what has changed.
- The South West Grid for Learning Trust provide an Online Safety Self-Review Tool for Schools to help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your e-safety approach.
- The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) has produced a list of questions (PDF) for governors to ask of their school or college to check and improve the approach to keeping children safe online.
Further safeguarding information and support for schools
Safeguarding and child protection in schools
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