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Ofsted published the long-awaited changes to the way it inspects all schools from September 2015. This includes significant changes to how they consider and inspect Online Safety.
The term 'e-Safety' has been replaced with ‘Online Safety’. This fundamental change reflects a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user’s access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues. The term 'Cyber bullying' has also been replaced with ‘Online Bullying’.
Online Safety references are no longer simply statements that are inserted, but occupy significant areas of the new ‘Inspecting safeguarding in Early Years, education and skills settings’ guidance. Ofsted highlights that ‘online safety’ specifically is one of the broader aspects of care and education as “safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act”.
At Cornwall Healthy Schools we completely agree with this representation that online safety is an increasing priority for inspectors and very clearly an element of safeguarding. We see online safety as being not only a matter for the ICT teacher, but more of a whole school approach to resilience building. It isn't that long since a lesson or unit of work about “internet safety”, with traditional messages about how to report abuse or “think before you post” would have been the focus. However, this type of approach to online safety, which treats the online world as something we can step away from and deal with differently, has quickly become outdated. Teaching young people about how to maintain safe and healthy relationships online is more than simply teaching them how to report cyber-bullying – it is about teaching them the fundamental skills to maintain safe and healthy relationships irrespective of whether these are online or offline.
Click to see the document ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings’ Guidance.
CEOP Thinkuknow Training for school staff
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre works to protect children from exploitation. CEOP's Thinkuknow programme provides a range of free educational resources - films, lesson plans, presentations, practitioner guidance, games and posters - to professionals working with children and young people. Through the use of their educational materials you can help to empower and protect young people from the harm of sexual abuse and exploitation, both online and off.
We have our very own CEOP Ambassador within the team and are running free 3 hour sessions for school staff. The training provides an introduction to the work of CEOP, and a presentation on how young people are using technology, outlining some of the associated risks and the preventative measures that can be undertaken. Finally the course introduces you to the Thinkuknow education resources for all ages. This training is suitable for primary, secondary, APA and special school settings. Book your free place via our online booking form. If you would like this training to be delivered as part of an inset for your cluster or MAT, please get in touch.
Online Safety Training for school staff
Following the changes to the Online Safety section of the Ofsted inspection, we are delivering a short session to help your staff:
- Think about the ways young people are using technology
- Identify some important aspects of online safety
- Signpost reliable sources of lesson plans to use in schools
- Supporting and reporting – for a child in your care or to keep yourself safe as a professional
Suitable for primary schools and secondary schools. We are delivering this two hour session in schools as part of an inset day or as a twilight staff meeting. Contact us and your Healthy Schools Delivery Advisors will get in touch to discuss dates to suit you.
Digital risk and resilience tools
MindEd are hosting a resource that has been developed as information and support for all professionals who work with children and young people on digital risk and resilience. The content has been co-produced by Xenzone and young people from their online counselling and support service, KOOTH.com. For further information and learning on this topic, try MindEd's e-learning session on digital risk and resilience
How to help keep children safe online
Recent research suggests that a lot of what we’ve been told about keeping children safe online may be wrong. In fact, rather than trying to limit young people's exposure to harmful content via filters and restrictions, we should be focusing on helping them build their skills, confidence and creativity. This will make it easier for them to manage their use (switch off!) and to deal with risks.
To help prevent the harm, young people need to be streetwise online. This is sometimes called digital literacy, and it has three elements:
- technical literacy - knowing your way around technologies and having technical skills;
- media literacy - understanding different platforms and being able to judge the quality and reliability of online sources;
- social literacy - understanding online etiquette and the way things are done online.
Adults can help children explore the internet safely:
- by familiarising themselves with the websites that children visit
- having regular and open conversations about online safety as soon as a child starts using technology
- keeping up-to date with new developments.
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