Skip to content

Online e-safety useful links and information

Online Safety Practice Recommendations for Education Settings
pink line

Policies and Practice

  • Online Safety must not be viewed by schools/settings as just an ICT Issue - it is a safeguarding issue for all staff to be aware of as safeguarding is everyone's responsibility. Schools/settings should be aiming to "Protect them whilst they are in our care and educate them for when they are not".
  • The school/settings safeguarding approaches will need to consider a range of online safety concerns inducing (but not limited to) child sexual exploitation, bullying including online bullying, radicalisation and sexting.
  • Leaders and managers must have strategic oversight and awareness of online Safety practice and issues within the school.
  • All schools/settings should have an online safety policy and a designated online safety lead/officer/coordinator or group/committee. If possible they should be (or include) the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) as online safety is a safeguarding/child protection issue. This person/group should have an enhanced level of training and act as a central point of contact.
  • Stakeholder (including children, parents and staff) should be involved in the development and implementation of the online safety policy to help develop awareness and ownership.
  • Schools/settings should consider and be aware of external issues that could be brought on site e.g. online bullying, sexting etc. and should have appropriate policies and procures in place to respond to these issues.
  • All schools/settings should ensure there is protection for staff and children – Acceptable Use Policies for staff and pupils in place (signed by all, including parents/carers).
  • Schools/settings should consider adding a section in the Home School/setting agreement to encourage safe and appropriate behaviour by all members of the  community.
  • There should be support in schools/settings for all staff and children when dealing with an online safety concern, including a clear reporting procedure.

Infrastructure and Technology

  • Schools/settings should take all reasonable precautions to ensure that online access is safe and secure, including appropriate supervision, risk assessments and implementing filtering and monitoring as appropriate to their community's needs. However the advent of 3G/4G and 'mobile internet' on devices means that school filters etc. can be bypassed so online safety education must be implemented and filtering cannot be relied upon alone.
  • All schools/setting MUST consider data security and their statutory obligations – storage, transport, encryption etc. and have a policy around use of images (including obtaining parental consent for images to be used). Please access the Information Governance content for advice and support regarding data protection and information governance.
  • Children and staff should be made aware of appropriate steps to take to ensure the safety and security of school/setting systems e.g. passwords (for all but the youngest of users), screenlocks etc.

Education and Training

  • All staff (whether paid or voluntary) should receive up-to-date and appropriate Online Safety training – either separately or as part of Child Protection/Safeguarding training on a regular (annual) basis which gives clear guidance regarding safe and appropriate behaviour and communication.
  • All members of staff need to be engaged in delivering an embedded and progressive online safety curriculum to empower children to build online resilience:
    • The Byron Review made it clear that: "in a good school, all staff will have a role with regard to e-safety, whether that be a teaching assistant or classroom teacher in a supervisory/awareness role, the ICT coordinator as the e-Safety coordinator, or school leaders who will have an awareness of the need for e-safety at a strategic level. e-Safety and media literacy should be embedded across teaching and learning, not "bolted on".
    • Schools who "do e-safety" as a one of events or lessons are not fulfilling their requirements. Online safety should be taught across the curriculum and embedded across all subjects.
    • Online safety education should be ongoing throughout the curriculum from the moment children begin to use technology e.g. early years and cannot be taught as a one off lesson or assembly or in isolation.
    • Online safety education must take into account the different needs and abilities of all members of the school community and differentiate accordingly - a 'one size fits all' approach is unlikely to be successful with the most vulnerable and at risk students.
  • Online safety education should involve and engage with the home so parents/carers etc. should be involved with the policy development. Schools/settings should engage with parents through a variety of opportunities to ensure online safety messages are consistent.   Additional information regarding this can be found here

Standards and Inspection

  • The Governing Body/Proprietor should be aware and engaged with the online safety agenda and ideally a Governor or Board/Trust member (as appropriate) should have lead responsibility for online safety. The Governors/Trust role as a 'critical friend' is crucial to ensuring that schools/settings are able to manage risk effectively in this area.
  • All schools/settings should maintain an online safety incident log which can be used to inform and shape policies and practice.
  • Schools/settings should monitor and audit their online safety work regularly and strive to achieve outstanding online safety practice.

National Agencies, Charities and Support
pink line

Useful links for schools and educational settings
pink line

Useful links to share with parents and carers
pink line

pink line

  • Ask About Games - advice on computer gaming and parental controls
  • Pegi - information about games rating

Mobile phones
pink line

e-Safety resources from Other Authorities/Grids
pink line

These links will include useful template policies and documents for education settings.

Suggestions for Online Safety Information on School/Setting Websites
pink line

It is highly recommended that schools/settings use their official websites as a communication channel to support parents/carers and children in understanding more about online safety. Some suggestions to help schools and settings achieve this are:

  • Ensure that the Click CEOP button is clearly visible on the website (ideally on the main home page as well as in e-Safety or safeguarding areas).
  • Having a specific Online Safety/e-Safety section for parents with accurate and up-to-date information, signposting to other agencies for support within the home.
  • Having a specific Online Safety/e-Safety section for children with accurate and up-to-date information and include reporting processes where appropriate.
  • Have clear links to sites for support e.g.  Internet Watch Foundation, Think U Know, NSPCC and ChildLine and also identify the school reporting mechanisms (e.g. named member of staff).
  • Including an up-to-date online safety/e-Safety policy (updated within the past year) with links to supporting resources e.g. Acceptable Use Policies, consent forms etc
  • Highlighting online safety within other areas of the website e.g. safeguarding, anti-bullying, behaviour, school newsletters etc.
  • Including a clear outline of the schools approach to online safeguarding and should list a named contact person (e.g. the DSL) for parents/carers, staff and children.
  • Ensuing that content is appropriate (e.g. not scaremongering), adapted to the needs of the school community (e.g. not generic and just copied and pasted from other sites) and up-to-date.

Suggestions for Protecting Professionals Online
pink line

All staff should know what their school/setting believes to be safe and appropriate online behaviour. Safeguarding leads should ensure that all staff:

  • Read your school/settings Acceptable Use Policy and Online Safety/e-Safety policy and understand the expectations and practice.
  • Are familiarised with your school/settings policies and procedures regarding safe classroom practice.
  • Understand and can follow the school/setting guidance for reporting and recording Online Safety incidents or disclosures.
  • Access quality and up-to-date online safety training on a regular basis.

All schools/settings should have a clear policy regarding staff contact outside of school/setting with children and parents/carers and should ensure that this communication is always transparent and open to scrutiny. Safeguarding leads should ensure that all staff:

  • Do not use or give out personal contact details to children or parents/carers (e.g. email addresses or mobile numbers) for professional purposes.
  • Ensure that all communication with pupils/families and colleagues is professional and via official school/setting communications e.g. school/setting provided emails/numbers to protect both staff and pupils.
  • Understand that it is recommended that staff do not accept friends requests/IM conversations etc. from pupils or parents (past or present). If there is a pre-existing relationship then this should be discussed with a member of the management or senior leadership team.
  • Are aware that civil, legal or disciplinary action can be taken against staff if they are found to have brought the profession or institution into disrepute, or if something is felt to have undermined confidence in professional abilities.

Safeguarding leads should encourage all staff to consider:

  • The appropriateness of information and content that they post online and the need to discuss online expectations and behaviour with friends and colleagues.
  • Their personal use of the internet carefully (but not banning them from doing so) and the need to make sure any Social Networking sites etc. are set to private (check frequently).
  • That no matter what privacy settings are used, anything posted online can become public and permanent and be misinterpreted and used without their knowledge or consent.
  • How they can protect their passwords and understand and manage your digital reputation.

Schools should ensure that all members of staff are aware of how to report concerns:

  • If they or another member of staff is affected by cyberbullying, they should inform the Headteacher/line manager and follow guidance to report the abuse given by the website (if appropriate). The Kent e-Safety officer, teaching unions and the Professional Online Safety Helpline may also be able to offer support.
  • All staff should be made aware of the internal and external reporting mechanism regarding online safety concerns.
  • All staff should be made aware of the school whistleblowing policy.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive and content will be updated regularly. If you think a useful site or fantastic online safety/e-Safety resource is missing or if a link is broken then please contact the e-Safety Officer:

These links will take you outside of the Website. We make reasonable efforts to make sure the content available on linked websites is not defamatory or offensive. Inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement or approval by KCC of the linked website, its operator or its content nor is KCC responsible for the content of any website or web page outside of the Website.