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Kent Online Safety (e-Safety) Guidance

Welcome to the Kent Online Safety (e-Safety) Guidance. 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. 

This page is maintained by the Kent e-Safety Officer within the Education Safeguards Team

The Kent e-Safety Strategy Group

Many of the documents on this site are the work of the Kent e-Safety Strategy group. The Kent e-Safety Strategy group comprises of school staff, Kent County Council Officers, child safeguarding officers, Libraries and Archives, Youth Offending, Kent Police and other children's workforce professionals. The strategy group works to support the work of the Kent e-Safety Officer, to develop advice and guidance on online safety for schools, settings and professionals working with children and young people in Kent. The strategy group is a subgroup of the Education group of the Kent Safeguarding Children Board.

Kent Schools and settings can contact the e-Safety Officer on to express interest in supporting this group.

Kent Online Safety (e-Safety) policy template and guidance

The Kent schools and settings e-Safety policy template has been updated 2012 to reflect the changes in technology and practise within schools and settings.

  • Draft Online Safety Policy 2016   Please note that this edition is currently in draft format and additional content is outstanding and this edition is therefore subject to change and cannot currently be viewed as an official finalised KCC document. Any use of this document must take place with this in mind and settings are strongly advised to be aware of this before use. A finalised version will be published once it has been approved by the KSCB Education Sub-Group (December 2015/ January 2016).

If you are worried about a child's online safety, then you can follow our procedures flowchart (PDF, 963.2 KB) which shows you how to respond to an incidence of concern.

NOTE: The e-Safety Strategy group is currently reviewing this guidance for 2015-16 (to be published in October 2015). Kent schools are welcome to contact the e-Safety officer regarding updates.

Kent Online Safety (e-Safety) Policy

The Policy Generator is an interactive tool which allows Kent schools to prepare their e-Safety policy online by selecting and amending statements from the template bank, as well adding their own statements, to create a personalised and appropriate policy. It is strongly recommended that all stakeholders should be actively involved in using this tool to collaboratively create an appropriate online safety policy for their establishment. Schools can only register for one account using an official school email address and it is recommended the school e-Safety lead or headteacher is the main account holder. Please note this content is using the 2012 policy template. 

Acceptable Use Policies for Education Settings and their Wider Communities 

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. 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.

Kent Online Safety (e-Safety) supporting documents

Additional resources including template letters can be accessed via the e-Safety collaboration site on Kent Learning Zone or by contacting the e-Safety Officer.

Pupil Acceptable Use Posters

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.

Using Social media and Technology in Education Settings 

The "Using Social Media and Technology in Educational Settings" guidance aims to help senior leadership teams within education settings to consider safe practice when using social media in order to protect staff, pupils and the wider community. It provides schools with information and guidance about best practice and risk assessment templates to assess sites and technologies for risks.
Please note this document will be updating according to new legislation and sites so check to ensure you have the most up-to-date version.

Education settings should also visit EiS for technical guidance for managing a school filtering policy which allows an elected member of school staff to block and allow websites.

Safer practice with technology

Approved by KSCB, this document provides guidance on appropriate and safer behaviours with technology for any adults 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.

The use of cameras and images within education settings

This guidance document was published in 2013 and 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 which has been developed by the e-Safety Strategy group in liaison with Kent County Council Information Governance specialists. You can also find important contact information, sample policies, template letters and resources.

"Think B4U..." workbook and poster

The workbook and poster have been 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.

Think B4U resources:

 Government (DfE) and Ofsted guidance

On the 15th June 2015, Ofsted published their new Common Inspection Framework (CIF) and supporting handbooks for Ofsted inspectors which come into effect from September 2015. The Common Inspection Framework and "Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings" includes important information about inspecting education settings online safety (e-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 in the following areas:

  • Page 6 and 7, Section 10 and 11 - Definition of Safeguarding
  • Page 9, Section 13 - The signs of successful safeguarding arrangements
  • Page 12, Section 18 - Inspecting how effectively leaders and governors create a safeguarding culture
  • Page 15, Section 34 - Arriving at Judgements about safeguarding arrangements
  • Page 16, Section 40 - Inspecting or reporting on safeguarding concerns

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

'Keeping children safe in education' 2015 highlights specific statutory responsibilities for Governing bodies and leaders regarding online safety:

  • Safeguarding policies: "34. Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure there is an effective child protection policy in place together with a staff behaviour policy (sometimes called the code of conduct) which should amongst other things include - staff/pupil relationships and communications including the use of social media. Both should be provided to all staff including temporary staff and volunteers on induction" (p.19)
  • Opportunities to teach safeguarding: "41. Governing bodies and proprietors should consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum." (p.20)

School leaders and designated persons must therefore 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 practice should therefore be embedded throughout schools and settings safeguarding policies and procedures and is clearly identified as an issue for 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.

Additional Links to National Guidance and Resources

Links to other Kent Online Safety Content