Link2ICT News & Events

Keeping Children Safe in Education

esafety square 80Now more than ever, the internet will play a powerful role in teaching and learning, and while this can offer limitless advantages and benefits, it can also bring risks.

New DfE guidelines highlight the risks of cyber bullying, pornography and radicalisation, and the need for schools and colleges to have the appropriate measures in place to address the problem. Link2ICT can help to address specific guidelines that schools are legally advised to follow:

Keeping Children Safe in Education – 5 September 2016

Online Safety: As schools and colleges increasingly work online, it is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. As such governing bodies and proprietors should ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place.”


Opportunities to Teach Safeguarding: 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. This may include covering relevant issues through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), tutorials (in FE colleges) and/or – for maintained schools and colleges – through sex and relationship education (SRE).”


Online risks are real!

Recent studies have highlighted that:

  • 1 in 3 children have been a victim of cyberbullying (Source: McAfee survey of children and parents as reported in the Guardian (14 November 2014) “Number of children who are victims of cyberbullying doubles in a year”.)
  • Almost 1 in 4 young people have come across racist or hate messages online (Source: Livingstone, S. (2014) Net children go mobile: the UK report: a comparative report with findings from the UK 2010 survey by EU Kids Online.)
  • There were 7,296 counselling sessions with young people who talked to ChildLine about online bullying and safety last year (Source: NSPCC (2015) “Always there when I need you”: ChildLine review: what’s affected children in April 2014 - March 2015.)
  • 465 contacts to ChildLine in 2014/15 mentioned grooming – over 80% of these were specifically related to online grooming (Source: NSPCC, 2015).


To further highlight the risks and educate schools about existing dangers, a local survey has been conducted by our colleagues at Entrust. Roughly 800 key stage two pupils took part in the survey, answering questions on their internet use. The key findings of the survey concluded: Curriculumsoftware

  • 57% of children surveyed said they use the internet every day
  • 23% of children use the internet more than four hours a day
  • 41% of children surveyed said they use the internet in their bedroom
  • 15% of children surveyed said they had been threatened, insulted or harassed whilst using the internet
  • 26% of children surveyed said they had made friends with people online that they had never met before
  • 6% of children surveyed said they had met, face-to-face, with someone they made friends with online without telling a friend or family member

Link2ICT is challenging traditional ways of managing safeguarding concerns in schools and we can help you keep children safe in education by: 

Discreetly supporting your online safety

The Link2ICT Network and Internet Service is more than just an ISP and comes with a host of value added services including all of the necessary security and safeguarding measures to keep your learning community safe and aligned to education best practice.

Our Web Filtering Service will ensure pupils only have access to appropriate Internet sites and content, therefore preventing the risk of exposure to inappropriate or harmful material. This is a flexible service, allowing a tailored filtering service for individual school requirements.  

Alternatively, our Delegated Web Administration Service (WebDA) puts your school in control of what your pupils and staff can and cannot access, giving you direct responsibility over your own filtering policies and allowing you to make changes, as you need them.   


Proactively monitoring online activity

Monitoring online activity can often be a time-consuming task for schools and one where attention to detail is essential. Every single word typed by a child or young person could lead to a safeguarding concern.

Through the Link2ICT Digital Monitoring Service, we can monitor all online activity on your behalf, saving you time as we provide regular reports, and a thorough and proven process for online monitoring to show Ofsted how seriously you take your safeguarding responsibility. 

The types of risks flagged by the monitoring service include:

Drugs Suicide
Prevent Bullying
Self- Harm FGM
Child Images Grooming
Extreme Content Family Issues
Sexual Behaviour Pornography


Helping you manage your safeguarding concerns

Link2ICT also helps schools manage their safeguarding concerns in both the real and the digital world, through MyConcern. MyConcern enables ALL staff to record ALL safeguarding concerns, ensuring that a proper record has been made and that your school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) has been automatically notified. Your safeguarding lead can then assess each concern and manage any ongoing action that needs to be taken.

"MyConcern has been implemented very successfully at Woodcroft. The duration of our first safeguarding review meeting was halved using the new system. If projected across the year, it would represent significant productivity savings. In addition to the improved safeguarding management and peace of mind that MyConcern brings, the software effectively pays for itself!"


Mr Tallon - Headteacher, Woodcroft Primary School, Barnet

 

Monitoring mobile devices:

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Futures Browser is a brand new app that allows you to monitor the online web activity of pupils using mobile devices. Available right now via the App Store, Futures Browser is a comprehensive, monitoring browser that protects the online learning environment without restricting it.


How does it work? 
Once installed onto devices, all searches and browsing will take place through Futures Browser. Inappropriate search content, social media and other online communications will then trigger an e-Safety notification. The browser will also block inappropriate content and the user will be redirected to a safe page. Blocked content is then recorded and sent to the management console.  


Educating teachers, pupils and parents

As schools play a vital role in keeping children safe online, Link2ICT can help you further, by providing training or onsite development to help you better understand your online safety requirements and Ofsted Criteria. We will guide you through the examination and evaluation of monitoring to inform whole school development, and observe the kinds of information that can be gathered to deliver best practice. 

We can help you with the following courses:

21 September Data Protection for Senior Leaders
22 September Futures Cloud (Policy Central)
27 September Data Protection for Senior Leaders
12 October Futures Cloud (Policy Central)
18 October Online Safety in the Primary Curriculum
20 October Online Safeguarding for DSL and Child Protection Leaders


Let Link2ICT help you keep children safe in education by contacting your Account Manager today!
Alternatively you can call us on 0121 303 5100 or email safeguarding@link2ict.org

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