It is the duty of the school to ensure that every child in their care is safe, and the same principles should apply to the ‘virtual’ or digital world as would be applied to the real world. Increasingly, children are accessing material through the internet and games consoles which is not age appropriate. It is essential to address this and to encourage a lifestyle which incorporates a healthy balance of time spent using technology.
This policy is for staff, management, visitors and pupils, to protect the interests and safety of the whole school community and aims to provide clear advice and guidance on how to minimise risks and how to deal with any infringements. It is linked to the following school policies: ( Safeguarding, anti-bullying )
This policy (for all staff, visitors and pupils) are inclusive of both fixed and mobile internet, technologies provided by the school (such as PCs, laptops, whiteboards, tablet, voting systems, digital video and camera equipment, etc) and technologies owned by pupils or staff.
We recognise that the welfare of all children is paramount and that all children and young people; regardless of ability or culture, have equal rights of protection. As part of safeguarding this policy is aligned with the statutory guidance; Keeping Children Safe in Education (2016), the Education Act (2002) and the DfE Working Together to Safeguard Children (2015) as well as the Children’s Act (2004).
Unity Girls High School recognises the Internet provides a huge opportunity for children and young people to learn but also wants to safe guard our girls from its potential dangers. The internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The school recognises it has a duty to provide students with quality internet access as part of their learning experience, regardless of their learning disabilities and attainment levels. It is also part of the statutory computing curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and students. The Internet and digital technologies allow our pupils to be creative, enhance their learning and stimulate awareness and while we are committed to learning and achievement we at UGHS wants to ensure that the Internet and other technologies are used safety to:
Raise educational standards and promote pupil achievement.
Develop the curriculum and make learning exciting and purposeful
Enable pupils to gain access to a wide span of knowledge in a way that ensures their safety and security
Enhance and enrich their lives and understanding.
- Students are included in this entitlement, although they need a specialist approach to e-learning, as they do in other curriculum areas.
- The school Internet access is designed expressly for student use and includes filtering appropriate to the needs of our students.
- Students are taught what internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for Internet use.
- Students are educated in the effective use of the internet.
- Parents are supported by information on the safe use of the internet for their families where applicable.
We promote the highest standard of safeguarding practice in all our activities with children, young people, their families and/or guardians. We will adhere rigorously to this policy in all aspects of our work when any person in our organisation is accessing any form of digital or electronic communication, including the internet, mobile phones, games, photography, videos. This policy should be read in conjunction with our Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy.
The Headteacher has the overall responsibility is ensuring the E-Safety policy is maintained and the ICT teacher will ensure that all E-safety measures are implemented.This includes ensuring all staff receives E-Safety information and child protection training as appropriate. The Head and the ICT teacher will work with the Designated Lead in handling any complaints or allegations against teachers or pupils.
This policy will be made available to all adults, children, and parents/carers by use of training/staff handbook/staff areas/enrolment information.
Why do we need an E-Safety Policy?
ICT in the 21st Century has an all-encompassing role within the lives of children and adults. New technologies are enhancing communication and the sharing of information. Current and emerging technologies used in school and, more importantly in many cases, used outside of school by children include:
- Instant messaging
- Social networking sites
- Chat Rooms
- Gaming Sites
- Text messaging and picture messaging
- Video calls
- Online communities via games consoles
- Mobile internet devices such as Smart Phone and Tablets.
Recent advances of the internet, mobile phones and other electronic technology has made access to information and communication increasingly easy for everyone. It is estimated that 98% of young people can access the internet away from school. In addition to research for homework, the majority use social networking sites including bebo, MySpace, Facebook; along with playing games such as RuneScape and downloading music and videos from sites such as Lime Wire.
Recent Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP) research in 2007 with 6,000 young people aged 11-16 years, demonstrated that 25% had met a new “friend” from the internet for real, 25% of whom had met that person alone, 2% had taken a trusted adult, the remainder had taken a friend of their own age.
Government guidance is clear, that all organisations working with children, young people, families, parents and carers have responsibilities. It is important to remember that children and young people can also abuse and that such incidents fall into the remit of this policy.
“All agencies providing services to children have a duty to understand E-Safety issues, recognising their role in helping children stay safe online while also supporting adults who care for children”
Safeguarding Children in a Digital World, BECTA 2007; 02.1
Whole school approach to the safe use of ICT
Unity Girls High School will ensure that the following essentials are in place as part of its safeguarding responsibilities to pupils:
A list of authorised person/s who have various responsibilities for E-safety;
Information to parents that highlights safe practice for children when using the internet
Adequate training for staff and volunteers
Adequate supervision of pupils when using the internet and other technologies
Reporting of abuse and misuse
We recognisethat we cannot make the internet completely safe particularly because of use outside school; therefore we will regularly remind children through PSHE, assemblies and tutorials.
Staff and the e-safety policy
- All staff are made aware of the School e-safety policy and its importance explained.
- A copy of the policy are available in the office.
Staff are made aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct is essential.
Social networking and personal publishing
- The school will block/filter access to social networking sites for students.
- Students are advised never to give out personal details of any kind which may identify them or their location.
- Students and parents are advised that the use of social network spaces outside school brings a range of dangers for our students.
- The school will work with the Local Authority via an SLA to ensure systems to protect students are reviewed and improved.
- If staff or students discover an unsuitable site, it must be reported to the Headteacher.
- The Computing Lead will ensure that regular checks are made to ensure that the filtering methods selected are appropriate, effective and reasonable.
Managing emerging technologies
- Emerging technologies are examined for educational benefit and risk assessments are carried out before use in school is allowed.
- The senior leadership team should note that technologies such as mobile phones with wireless internet access can bypass school filtering systems and present a new route to undesirable material and communications.
E-Safety is recognised as an essential aspect of strategic leadership in this school and the Head Teacher, with the support of staff, aims to embed safe practices into the culture of the school. The Head Teacher ensures that the policy is implemented and compliance with the policy monitored. All staff are encouraged to create a talking culture in order to address any e-safety issues which may arise in classrooms on a daily basis. All visitors also receive our e-safety agreement on arrival at school.
The responsibility for e-Safety has been designated to a member of staff proficient in ICT.
Staff use of personal devices
- Staff are not permitted to use their own mobile phones or devices for contacting students within or outside of the setting in a professional capacity.
- Mobile phones and personally-owned devices are switched off or switched to ‘silent’ mode at school, unless permission has been given by the Bluetooth communication should be ‘hidden’ or switched off.
- If members of staff have an educational reason to allow students to use mobile phones or a personally-owned device as part of an educational activity then it will only take place when approved by the senior leadership team.
- Staff should not use personally-owned devices, such as mobile phones or cameras, to take photos or videos of students and will only use work-provided equipment for this purpose.
- If a member of staff breaches the school policy then disciplinary action may be taken.
In an emergency where a staff member doesn’t have access to a school-owned device, they should use their own device and hide (by inputting 141) their own mobile number for confidentiality purposes.
Protecting personal data
- Personal data are recorded, processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998.
- The school takes all reasonable precautions to prevent access to inappropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of Internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a computer connected to the school network. Neither the school nor Barnet Council can accept liability for any material accessed, or any consequences of Internet access.
- The school will audit ICT provision to establish if the e-safety policy is adequate and that its implementation is effective.
- The school will ensure that monitoring software and appropriate procedures are in place to highlight when action needs to be taken by the school.
Our E-Safety Code of Conduct
We expect everyone in our organisation to agree and sign up to our code of conduct:
- Use the internet and other forms of communication in a sensible and polite way.
- Only access websites send messages or access and use other resources that will not hurt or upset anybody.
- Seek permission if I want to use personal information or take photographs of other people.
- Report any concerns to the lead or deputy person for E-Safety immediately.
- Be clear that confidentiality cannot be maintained, if there is a concern about the welfare of a child or young person.
Visit Internet sites, make, post, download, upload or pass on, material, remarks, proposals or comments that contain or relate to:
- Indecent images of children
- Promoting discrimination of any kind
- Promoting racial or religious hatred
- Promoting illegal acts
- Any other information which may be offensive to peers or colleagues e.g. abusive images; promotion of violence; gambling; criminally racist or religious hatred material
- Anything that is goes against the Islamic ethos
Introducing the e-safety policy to students
- E-safety rules, in a format appropriate for our students, are posted in classrooms and discussed with students as part of their learning, where appropriate.
- Students are informed that network and Internet use is monitored.
- E-safety training is embedded within the Computing teaching and learning documents and the Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHCE) curriculum.
- Staff are made aware that their use of social networking applications has implications for our duty to safeguard students.
- Students and their parents should not be accepted as friends by staff and any breach of this policy will result in disciplinary action being taken.
- All staff should bear in mind that information they share through social networking applications, even if they are on private spaces, are still subject to copyright, data protection and Freedom of Information legislation, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 and other legislation.
- Staff should not use personal email accounts to communicate with service users.
- Staff should not use work email accounts for personal purposes.
What are the risks?
There are many potential risks to children and vulnerable adults which we will pass on this information to students and their parents/guardians. These include:
- Accessing age inappropriate or illegal websites.
- Receiving unwanted or upsetting text or e-mail messages or images.
- Being “groomed” by an adult with a view to meeting the child or young person for their own illegal purposes including sex, drugs or crime.
- Viewing or receiving socially unacceptable material such as inciting hatred or violence.
- Sending bullying messages or posting malicious details about others.
- Ignoring copyright law by downloading music, video or even homework cheat material.
What else might be of concern?
A child or young person who:
- Is becoming secretive about where they are going to or who they are meeting.
- Will not let you see what they are accessing on-line.
- Is using a webcam in a closed area, away from other people.
- Is accessing the web or using a mobile or Personal Data Assistant (PDA) for long periods and at all hours?
- Clears the computer history every time they use it.
- Receives unexpected money or gifts from people parents don’t know.
An adult who:
- Befriends child/children on the internet or by text messaging.
- Has links to children on their Facebook or other social network site; especially if they work in a position of care such as a sports coach or youth worker.
- Is secretive about what they are doing and who they are meeting.
What do I do if I’m concerned?
If you have any concerns, speak to the lead or deputy person for E-Safety immediately. She will take one or more of the following actions as necessary.
Cyber bullying is the use of IT, particular mobile phones and the internet to deliberately threaten, humiliate and cause distress to someone else and can be an extension of face to face bullying, so just as traumaticor even more. The distress is intensified because this type of bullying can take place at anytime or anyplace and also reaches a very large audience.
The best way to prevent cyber bullying is to prevent it happening in the first place, there is no single solution for this but there are key areas of focus:
- Understanding and taking about cyber bullying as a whole school initiative
- Review and update policies
- Making reporting cyber bullying easier; e.g. peer reporting, anonymous
- Promote positive use of technology
- Evaluate the impact of preventative measure by regular reviews
Emphasis will be placed on education and support. Tutorials will aim at empowering children to support each other and to talk about the situation, building the child’s resilience to that which they might be experiencing is important, also building confidence and skills to manage the situation.
Although cyber bullying is not a criminal offence there are specific activities where the Protection from Harassment Act (1997) the Malicious Communications Act (1998) and the Public Order Act 91986) can be applied.
- UGHS is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all its pupils. Every member of staff recognises that safeguarding against radicalisation and extremism is no different to safeguarding against any other vulnerability in today’s society.
- We protect children from the risk of radicalisation, for example by using filters on the internet to make sure they can’t access extremist and terrorist material, or by vetting visitors who come into school to work with pupils.
- Our Safeguarding, Prevent Duty policy (part of Safeguarding) and eSafety policies set out our beliefs, strategies and procedures to protect vulnerable individuals from being radicalised or exposed to extremist views, by identifying who they are and promptly providing them with support.
Contacts for referring
If the concern is about:
- A child in imminent danger, ALWAYS DIAL 999 FOR THE POLICE.
- The welfare of a child, ring the local Children’s Social Care Services according to procedures of Barnet Local Safeguarding Children Board.
- A known person’s sexual behaviour or intentions ring the Local Children’s Social Care Services.
- A person who has a “duty of care” in the organisation, ring the Local Children’s Social Care Services. The Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will oversee and advise upon any following procedures.
- An unknown person’s sexual behaviour or intentions, report at www.ceop.gov.uk (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre).
- Harmful content, including child sexual abuse images or incitement to racial hatred content contact www.iwf.org.uk.
- Do not delay
- Do not investigate.
- Seek advice from the lead or deputy person for E-Safety.
- Make careful recording of anything you observe or are told.
Other Useful Contacts
NSPCC, Tel: 0800 800 5000
Young people can get help and advice at:
www.childline.org.uk Tel: 0800 1111
Advice about concerns including bullying and hacking, visit:
Minimising the Risks
At UGHS High School for Girls we will:
- Talk to children and young people about what they are accessing online.
- Keep the computer(s) in a general space where we can monitor what is going on.
- Explain the risks of giving out personal details online.
- Talk about how people can be anyone they want to be online, e.g. by using misleading e-mails, photographs of other people, telling lies about their age, school, hobbies.
- Encourage children and young people to think carefully about what photographs or videos they use online. They can be used and tampered with by other people, or they may not be appropriate.
- Advise children and young people to only text, chat or webcam to people they know for real.
- Talk about how to identify SPAM messages or junk mail and how to delete them. This also applies to messages from people they do not know, or opening attachments.
- Discuss how people hide their identities online and the importance of never meeting new online “friends” for real.
- Make sure children and young people understand they can always talk to us or their parents and/or carers about anything that makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Look on the internet together for information about how to deal with or report problems.
- Talk about how/when information or images get on to the internet, they can never be erased.
Reviewed by Head teacher: September 2016
Next review: September 2017
Appendix 1 Internet Safety and Access
- All members of staff are responsible for explaining the rules and their implementations.
- All members of staff need to be aware of possible misuses of online access and their responsibilities towards students.
- The computer system is owned by the school, and may be used by students to further their education and by staff to enhance their professional activities including teaching, research, administration and management.
- The school reserves the right to examine or delete any files that may be held on its computer systems or to monitor any Internet sites visited and email sent or received.
- All Internet activity should be appropriate to staff professional activity or the student’s education.
- Access should only be made via the authorised accounts and passwords, which should not be made available to any other person.
- Activity that threatens the integrity of the school ICT systems, or that attacks or corrupts other systems, is excluded.
- Users are responsible for all email sent and for contacts made that may result in email being reserved.
- Use for personal financial gain, political purposes or advertising is excluded.
- Copyright of materials must be respected.
- Posting anonymous messages and forwarding chain letters is excluded.
- As email can be forwarded or inadvertently sent to the wrong person, the same professional levels of language and content should be applied as for letters or other media.
- Use of the network to access inappropriate materials such as pornographic, racist or offensive material is excluded.
- Violation of the above code of conduct will result in a temporary or permanent ban on Internet use.
- Additional disciplinary action may be added in line with existing practice on inappropriate language or behaviour
Appendix 2 Statement for School Employees on the Abuse of the Internet
- The purpose of this policy is to inform staff that abuse of the Internet in school are treated extremely seriously with disciplinary action being taken that could lead to dismissal
- The policy should be read together with any school policy on use of the Internet
- Where staff are allowed to use the Internet, it is on the clear understanding that abuse will not occur
- All Internet connections and access through the Council’s ICT Network are logged and monitored.
- ‘Abuse’ includes:
- Accessing, displaying, downloading or disseminating pornographic or other ‘adult’ materials
- Posting information that may tend to disparage or harass others on the basis of gender, race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation or national origin
- Uploading photographs of students on to the Internet is forbidden without prior permission from the head teacher.
- Publishing statements that are defamatory and could bring the school or Local Authority into disrepute
- Publishing information that is false or misleading concerning the school or Local Authority or any other company, organisation or individual that could bring the school or Local Authority into disrepute
- Any activity that breaches the Data Protection Act including publishing confidential or proprietary information of the school or Local Authority, or any of its customers or other business associates, on unsecured Internet sites such as Bulletin Boards or disseminating such information that might compromise its confidentiality
- Unauthorised publishing of information not related to the school or Local Authority
- Knowingly downloading, using, or distributing software or programmes from the Internet without verifying their operational integrity, e.g. the absence of computer viruses and breach of copyright
- Participating in any form of gambling and personal use of the Internet facilities without the specific consent of the Headteacher of the school
- The use of social networking sites in school is not permitted and staff should also be aware that, whilst using these sites outside of school, discussions re school activities / students / parents / colleagues is not acceptable and they should note that information they share through social networking applications, even if they are on private spaces, are still subject to copyright, data protection and Freedom of Information legislation, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 as well as other legislation.
- Staff should also note that use of the Internet may be a cost to the school. Authorised personal use should therefore be paid for according to the policy of the school.
E-Safety Social Media Guidance
- Set your privacy settings for any social networking site.
- Ensure any technological equipment, (including your mobile phone) is password/ PIN protected.
- Use professional online accounts/ identities if you wish to have online contact with service users, their families and other professionals.
- Make sure that all publicly available information about you is accurate and appropriate
- Remember online conversations may be referred to as ‘chat’ but they are written documents and should always be treated as such.
- Make sure that you know the consequences of misuse of digital equipment.
- If you are unsure who can view online material, assume it is public. Remember - once information is online you have relinquished control.
- Switch off Bluetooth
- When you receive any new equipment (personal or private) make sure that you know what features it has as standard and take appropriate action to disable/ protect.
- Give your personal information to service users -students/ young people, their parents/ carers. This includes mobile phone numbers, social networking accounts, personal website/ blog URLs, online image storage sites, passwords etc.
- Use your personal mobile phone to communicate with service users. This includes phone calls, texts, emails, social networking sites, etc.
- Use the internet or web-based communication to send personal messages to students/young people
- Share your personal details with service users on a social network site
- Add/allow a service user to join your contacts/friends list on personal social networking profiles.
- Use your own digital camera/ video for work. This includes integral cameras on mobile phones.
- Play online games with service users.
Student Acceptable Use Agreement
These rules will keep me safe and help me to be fair to others.
I will only use the school’s computers for schoolwork and homework.
I will only edit or delete my own files and not look at, or change, other people’s files without their permission.
I will keep my logins and passwords secret.
I will not bring files into school without permission or upload inappropriate material to my workspace.
I am aware that some websites and social networks have age restrictions and I should respect this.
I will not attempt to visit Internet sites that I know to be banned by the school.
I will only e-mail people I know, or a responsible adult has approved.
The messages I send, or information I upload, will always be polite and sensible.
I will not open an attachment, or download a file, unless I know and trust the person who has sent it.
I will not give my home address, phone number, send a photograph or video, or give any other personal information that could be used to identify me, my family or my friends, unless a trusted adult has given permission. I will never arrange to meet someone I have only ever previously met on the Internet, unless my parent/carer has given me permission and I take a responsible adult with me.
If I see anything I am unhappy with or I receive a message I do not like, I will not respond to it but I will show a teacher / responsible adult.