Background and Rationale
New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in society, both within schools and in their lives outside school.
The Internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and pupils learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people have an entitlement to safe internet access.
The requirement to ensure that children and young people can use online and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound. The school Online Safety Policy and procedures will help to ensure safe and appropriate use. The development and implementation of such a strategy will involve all the stakeholders in a child’s education from the Head teacher and Governors to the senior leaders and classroom teachers, support staff, parents, members of the community and the pupils themselves.
The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote pupil achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put young people at risk within and outside the school. Some of the dangers they may face include:
- Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content;
- Unauthorised access to/loss of/sharing of personal information;
- The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet;
- The risk of being targeted by extremists in order to promote and encourage radicalisation;
- The risk of being targeted by those involved in child sexual exploitation;
- The sharing/distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge;
- Inappropriate communication/contact with others, including strangers;
- Access to unsuitable video/internet games;
- An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the Internet;
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement;
- Illegal downloading of music or video files;
- The potential for excessive use which may impact on the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
Many of these risks reflect situations in the off-line world and it is essential that this Online Safety Policy and procedures is used in conjunction with other school Policies including the Overarching Safeguarding Statement, Child Protection, Data Protection and Whole School Behaviour.
As with all other risks, it is impossible to eliminate those risks completely. It is therefore essential, through good educational provision to build pupils’ resilience to the risks to which they may be exposed, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with these risks.
As a school, we must demonstrate that we have provided the necessary safeguards to help ensure that we have done everything that could reasonably be expected of us to manage and reduce these risks. The Online Safety Policy and procedures that follows explains how we intend to do this, while also addressing wider educational issues to help young people (and their parents) to be responsible users and stay safe while using the Internet and other communications technologies for educational, personal and recreational use.
For further information on how we teach the importance of Online Safety to the children, throughout the school, please visit the Computing Curriculum Content page.
Policies and Procedures
Documents to download:
- There are more resources on the children’s Online Safety page