Ofsted and e-safety policy

 

Over 90% of children regularly go online now and nearly three quarters of 14-16 year olds says they have witnessed cyberbullying. This is one of the reasons why Ofsted has recently changed its remit to include e-safety and prevention of cyberbullying as key principles for all inspections of schools, regardless of age. 

When inspecting e-safety in schools, Ofsted evaluate the school’s ability to: “protect and educate pupils and staff in their use of technology,” and “have the appropriate mechanism to intervene and support any incident where appropriate.”

The main e-safety risks fall into three categories known as the 3 c’s; content, contact and conduct:

Content

Includes exposure to inappropriate material, self-harm, suicides, hate and pro-anorexia sites.

Contact

Includes identity theft, ‘fraping’ (hacking onto another person’s social media profile), cyber bullying and grooming.

Conduct

Includes copyright issues (particularly music and film piracy), sexting, online footprint and unhealthy length of time spent online.

These risks can become reality if the school doesn’t have an effective e-safety plan. When looking for signs of ineffective e-safety plan and practice, Ofsted particularly looks for:

  • Lack of encryption on personal data.
  • E-safety policies are generic and rarely updated.
  • Children unaware of how to report an online problem.
  • E-safety not consistent across the curriculum.
  • A lack of Internet filtering and monitoring.
  • No evidence of staff training with regards to e-safety
  • Passwords are basic, i.e. do not require capital letters or numbers.

To avoid these problems it is important to have a consistent, whole-school approach to e-safety that everyone associated with the school are aware of, this means teaching staff regularly receiving online safety training as well as the pupils and their parents and guardians being kept updated. All e-safety policy should be written in plain English so it is accessible for all and be constantly updated to reflect any new threats.

There should be report buttons for inappropriate online content that all members of the school are aware of.

There should be robust filters for inappropriate content enforced by your Internet service provider.

All personal data should be managed securely in accordance to the Data protection Act 1988.

There should be a strong focus on the pupils being aware of the dangers online and exercising caution at all times.

If you have any further questions email us at hello@volute.co.uk or give us a ring on 0115 914 5839.

Tagged in: Education