What is Online Safety?
Online Safety is being aware of the nature of the possible threats that you could encounter whilst engaging in activity through the Internet. These threats are grouped into 4 key categories (KCSIE 2021):
‘Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, for example: pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism’ (KCSIE 2021).
‘Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example: peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes’ (KCSIE 2021).
‘Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying’ (KCSIE 2021).
‘Commerce – risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams’ (KCSIE 2021).
Core Online Safety Rules
These Online Safety Rules help to protect students and the Academy by describing acceptable and unacceptable computer use.
- The Academy owns the computer network and can set rules for its use. Therefore, it reserves the right to monitor user areas to help ensure all material kept on the network is appropriate for an educational context
- It is a criminal offence to use a computer or network for a purpose not permitted by the school
- Irresponsible use may result in the loss of network or Internet access
- Network access must be made via the user’s authorised account and password, which must not be given to any other person
- All network and Internet use must be appropriate to education
- Copyright and intellectual property rights must be respected
- Messages shall be written carefully and politely, particularly as email could be forwarded to unintended readers
- Anonymous messages and chain letters are not permitted
- Users must take care not to reveal personal information through email, personal publishing, blogs or messaging
- The school ICT systems may not be used for private purposes, unless the head teacher has given permission specifically
- Use for personal financial gain, gambling, political activity, advertising or illegal purposes is not permitted
- If you have any concerns about cyberbullying, Internet material, online friends, messages or any other online safety issues in school or at home report it to the Pastoral Team.
Filtering & Monitoring
As part of our safeguarding responsibilities it is important that we make parents and carers aware of our filtering and monitoring systems that operate at the academy.
When devices are being used within the academy building (connected to Wifi) content is filtered using Sophos, this system is designed to block harmful content from being downloaded / displayed on devices.
When students are using their chromebooks they are being monitored by a system called Smoothwall. Smoothwall operates on the chromebooks regardless of if students are in the building or are at home. This system works 24/7 and any alerts received are triaged and then sent to an appropriate member of staff to investigate and take appropriate action.
CEOPs (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) ThinkUKnow
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) works across the UK tackling child sex abuse and providing advice for parents, young people and children about Internet safety and online safety. Visit the CEOP website.
More detailed information and the facility to report online abuse and get advice is available by visiting the Thinkuknow website.
Setting Parental Controls
Parental control settings can be implemented on many sites and applications in order to safeguard your child’s online activity. You can find information in the link below on how to set parental controls on some of the most popular sites and apps.
National Online Safety
As an academy we are wholeheartedly invested in keeping our children safe online and ways in which to do this are frequently taught across all aspects of our curriculum, particularly in the computing and SMSCD schemes of learning.
Staff, students and parents also have access to the National Online Safety platform and are able to use the wealth of resources, training and information available to help keep each other safe online. There are parent guides on how to safely monitor and use multiple apps on children’s devices which are updated and added to weekly.
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