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Kent Online Safety Guidance for Educational Settings
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Welcome to the Kent Online Safety (e-Safety) Guidance for education settings. This section links to Kent resources as well as suggested materials to enable leaders and managers in education settings to consider online safety within their safeguarding responsibilities and develop and implement a whole setting approach to online safety.

Please be aware that this content will be under frequent review. Kent schools and settings can contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) or e-Safety Development Officer to ensure they are using the most up-to-date content.

Schools and educational settings are encouraged to access and subscribe to the Kent e-Safety blog to receive updates and information from the Education Safeguarding Team regarding online safety guidance or resources.

For national guidance please scroll to the bottom of the page.

The Kent Education Online Safety Strategy Group
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Many of the documents on this site are the work of the Kent Education Online Safety Strategy group. The group works to support the work of the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and e-Safety Development Officer, and to develop local advice and guidance regarding online safety for educational settings. Kent Schools and settings can contact the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) or e-Safety Development Officer to express an interest in supporting this group.

The Kent Safeguarding Children Board (KSCB) also runs an Online Safeguarding group which considers online safety throughout the wider child and adult safeguarding workforce.

Kent Online Safety Policy Documents, Templates and Guidance for Education Settings
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The Kent schools and settings Online Safety policy template is suitable for all education settings to use and adapt to create an online safety policy which appropriate to their own needs and requirements.

Leaders should access both the guidance and policy template documents to ensure that policy decisions are fully informed. Please be aware that content within the guidance document is not included within the policy template as the information is provided as supporting material for Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSL) and/or leaders and managers.

Please note that these documents are likely to be updated regularly due to the rapid pace of change within technology and legislation. Leaders and managers should ensure that they update their policies on a regular (at least annual) basis and check they are using the most recent version.

The current edition is the 2nd version and was published in August 2016.

Kent Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Guidance and Templates for Education Settings
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The Acceptable Use Policies for Education Settings and their Wider Communities 2015 document provides templates and guidance to support schools and other education settings when writing and updating their Acceptable Use Policies (AUP). It contains guidance for leaders and managers to help them update their AUPs and consider the wider implications and actions required to implement, support and develop an embedded AUPs appropriate to their communities needs and requirements.

The current edition was published in September 2016.

Pupil Acceptable Use Posters
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Kent County Council and EiS have published revised and updated online safety posters for use by schools and settings. These posters have been created by the Kent e-Safety Strategy Group with input from schools and settings as well as children and young people to help outline key behaviours to help promote positive online behaviour. These posters are designed to be used as a stimulus for discussion and to enable staff to identify safe and positive behaviour across the curriculum. Settings can use these posters to actively promote their embedded online safety curriculum and to engage with the wider school community. Some settings may wish to use the posters to inspire children to create their own posters or using them as a basis for developing age and ability appropriate pupil Acceptable Use Policies (AUPs)

The posters are provided in PDF format and are A3 in size. To print smaller sizes, use the settings provided by your printer (i.e. for A4 reduce to 71%). If supported, set your printer to print borderless for the best presentation. Schools and settings can also access the posters as full collection, with additional printing information via the EiS website

KSCB - Responding to Youth Produced Sexual Imagery ('Sexting') Guidance
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The Kent Safeguarding Children Board have published a short guide and flowchart for Kent professionals to use to respond locally to youth produced sexual imagery concerns (otherwise known as 'sexting'). This document should be used to help inform the decision making of Designated Safeguarding Leads when responding to concerns. A flowchart and two page guidance summary can be accessed on the KSCB website

The UKCCIS Education Group has also produced advice; 'Sexting in schools and colleges: responding to incidents and safeguarding young people' which aims to support Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) in tackling the range of issues which these incidents present. The document includes responding to disclosures, handling devices and imagery, risk assessing situations, involving other agencies and reporting imagery to providers. It also contains information about preventative education and advice reagrding working with parents.

The Use of Cameras and Images within Education Settings: Guidance and Policy Template
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This guidance document includes a template image use policy along with supporting documents and frequently asked questions settings have around the safe use of images and cameras. The document contains guidance for settings around legal requirements and obligations in regards to Data Protection and other legislation.

The current edition was published in September 2016.

Using Social Media and Technology in Education Settings: Guidance and Resources
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The "Using Social Media and Technology in Educational Settings" guidance has been developed to help educational setting leaders consider their strategic responsibilities and wider safe practice recommendations when using social media. The core guidance document explores a range of frequently asked questions and contains supporting material to enable leaders to make informed decisions regarding safe and appropriate use of social media and support their staff if they are using social media professionally.

It also provides a selection or template letters, tools and resources to help leaders take appropriate steps to safeguard their staff, as well as learners and their families. There are also discussion guides highlighting considerations for leaders when looking at setting up official social media tools as communication channels. These documents are all contained within the core guidance but are also available separately for ease of use.

Please note this document will be updated according to new guidance, legislation and sites so leaders should check to ensure they have the most up-to-date version.

The current edition was published in February 2017.

Education settings should also visit their broadband provider (such as EiS) for technical guidance for managing a school filtering policy which allows an elected member of school staff to block and allow websites.

KSCB - Safer Professional Practice with Technology Guidance
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This KSCB document provides guidance on appropriate and safer behaviours with technology for professionals working with children or young people. It is intended to stimulate discussion within establishments to consider potential situations that may occur and to make sure all staff (whether voluntary or paid) are aware of safe, appropriate and professional behaviour. This will include online professional boundaries and maintaining professional relationships with children, young people and families.

Kent Online Safety Supporting Documents
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Think B4U workbook and poster - Please note this document was published in 2012 so some content will be out of date

The Think B4U workbook and poster were developed to support professionals in exploring online safety concerns with children, young people and their families in both formal and informal settings. The resources can be used by a variety of staff and it is recommended that professionals use the materials as a starting point and differentiate them according to the needs and ability of the audiences they will be used with.

Additional resources including template letters for settings use with parents/carers etc. regarding specific concerns can be accessed by contacting the Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) or e-Safety Development Officer.

Links to Other Kent Online Safety Support
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National Online Safety Guidance and Documents
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School leaders and designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) must ensure that their school promotes safe practice, challenges unsafe or concerning behaviours and ensures that all members of staff receive up-to-date and appropriate safeguarding training, including online safety.

Online Safety should be embedded throughout schools and settings safeguarding policies and procedures and is clearly identified as an issue for DSLs and school leaders to consider and address. The online safety agenda has shifted towards enabling children and young people to manage risk, rather than filtering/blocking and therefore requires a comprehensive and embedded curriculum which is adapted specifically to the needs and requirements of pupils and the technology with which they are accessed today's modern world.

DfE Guidance

'Keeping children safe in education' 2016 highlights specific statutory responsibilities for Governing bodies and leaders regarding online safety within Annex C. Key updates include:

  • The requirement for online safety to be viewed as a safeguarding issue (and therefore the responsibility of the Designated Safeguarding Lead)
  • All staff must be provided with appropriate online safety training
  • The need for school leaders to ensure there is appropriate filtering and monitoring in place.
  • School policies must recognise a range of online safety issues (including cyberbullying, sexting and acceptable use of technologies
  • Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

A more detailed summary of the specific online safety points, considerations and suggested actions based on KCSIE 2016 can be found on the e-Safety blog

Additional/Useful DfE Links


On the 23rd August 2016, Ofsted published their new Common Inspection Framework (CIF) and supporting handbooks for Ofsted inspectors which come into effect from September 2016. The Common Inspection Framework and "Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings" includes important information about inspecting education settings online safety provision. The use of the term 'online safety' rather than "e-Safety" is used by Ofsted to reflect a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user's access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues and a move away from a focus as online safety as an ICT issue. The "Inspecting Safeguarding" document explicitly highlights online safety as part of leaders and managers safeguarding responsibility.

Full information with suggestions and recommendations regarding online safety for school leaders and Governors regarding Ofsted and online safety can be found on the online safety blog:

Additional/Useful Ofsted Links

Additional Links to National Guidance and Resources