8.18 Online Safety
- Purpose of the Strategy
- E-Safety Risks & Issues
- Key Measures for Limiting E-Safety Risks
- Policies & Practices
- Procedures Diagram
- Infrastructure & Technology
- Education & Training
- Standards and Inspection
- Monitoring and Review of this Strategy
- Glossary of related terms
- Information and organisations
Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility and the three Safeguarding Children Partnerships (West Sussex, Brighton & Hove and East Sussex) in Sussex take seriously the statutory role they have to ensure that member agencies co-operate to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in Sussex and to ensure that they are effective in doing so.
As part of safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people in accordance with the Children Act 2004 and Working Together to Safeguard Children (HM Government, 2018), the three Partnerships have developed this e-safety strategy built on four key areas:
Purpose of the Strategy
The Sussex Safeguarding Partnerships are committed to raising awareness of e-safety issues to all partner organisations and promoting good practice to reduce risks to children and young people when they are online or when using digital electronic technologies.
This strategy has been written to provide the e-safety framework for member agencies of the three Partnerships and other agencies and organisations who work with children and young people within the Sussex area.
It cannot, and does not attempt to, cover all arrangements for agencies, organisations and educational establishments working in the area and should be seen as guidance to help inform what local agencies, organisations and educational establishments need to do to ensure they are equipped to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people in a digital age. The strategy recognises that being safe on line is not just a matter of technology and that a comprehensive approach to e-safety is necessary.
Note: The Serious Crime Act (2015) has introduced an offence of sexual communication with a child. This applies to an adult who communicates with a child and the communication is sexual or if it is intended to elicit from the child a communication which is sexual and the adult reasonably believes the child to be under16 years of age. The Act also amended the Sex Offences Act 2003 so it is now an offence for an adult to arrange to meet with someone under 16 having communicated with them on just one occasion (previously it was on at least two occasions).
Where there are concerns in relation to a child’s exposure to extremist materials, the child’s school may be able to provide advice and support: all schools are required to identify a Prevent Single Point of Contact (SPOC) who is the lead for safeguarding in relation to protecting individuals from radicalisation and involvement in terrorism.
"All agencies providing services to children have a duty to understand e-safety issues, recognising their role in helping children to remain safe online while also supporting adults who care for children." Becta 2008, Safeguarding Children in a Digital World.
E-safety is the process of limiting risks to children and young people when using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). E-safety is primarily a safeguarding issue not a technological issue, which relates to the use of all ICT- fixed or mobile; current, emerging and future ICT.
ICT is used daily as a tool to improve teaching, learning, communication and working practices to the benefit of our children and young people and those that work to support them. The use of ICT is recognised as being of significant benefit to all members of our community, in personal, social, professional and educational contexts. However alongside these benefits, there are potential risks that we have a statutory duty of care to manage, to ensure they do not become actual dangers to children and young people in our care or for employees. Social networking sites are often used by perpetrators as an easy way to access children and young people for sexual abuse. In addition radical and extremist groups may use social networking to attract children and young people into rigid and narrow ideologies that are intolerant of diversity: this is similar to the grooming process and exploits the same vulnerabilities. The groups concerned include those linked to extreme Islamist, or Far Right/Neo Nazi ideologies, Irish Republican and Loyalist paramilitary groups, extremist Animal Rights groups and others who justify political, religious, sexist or racist violence.
E-Safety Risks & Issues
DSCF, 2008 - Safer Children in a Digital Word: The report of the Byron Review
Key Measures for Limiting E-Safety Risks
The three Sussex Safeguarding Partnerships support the use of the Becta PIES model which offers an effective strategic framework for approaching e-safety. This model illustrates how a combination of effective policies and practices, education and training, infrastructure and technology underpinned by standards and inspection can be an effective approach to manage and limit e-safety.
Policies & Practices
Any organisation that has contact with children and young people should:
12 months or in response to new technologies or e-safety incidents if sooner.
Infrastructure & Technology
All organisations providing services to children and young people which also provide access to ICT should:
Criminal skills and software piracy.
Education & Training
Any organisation that has contact with children and young people should aim to raise awareness of e-safety through education and training.
E-safety training should be incorporated into the organisation’s children’s workforce training strategy, e.g. safety awareness, acceptable use, safeguarding procedures. This should include induction of new staff, plus on-going support and supervision of existing staff. Staff should be made aware of local, regional and national issues with regards to e-safety and should be confident in their abilities to escalate an incident as necessary and appropriate.
An organisation should also consider their role in giving e-safety information and guidance to children, young people, parents and carers.
There are many training resources and support materials dealing with the issues of e-safety with children, young people, parents and professionals which can be used by your organisation.
Children, Young People & Families
Standards and Inspection
Quality assurance activity is essential to ensuring that policies and strategies are effective. This may include:
- Gathering relevant information to establish the extent of current awareness and training resources available;
- Review and evaluate all internal policies and procedures (at least every;
- 12 months or in response to new technologies or e-safety incidents if sooner);
- Developing a mechanism for reporting the number of e-safety incidents;
Developing an audit plan to assess the extent to which e-safety is incorporated into safeguarding activity.
Monitoring and Review of this Strategy
This strategy will be monitored and reviewed on an annual basis (or sooner in response to new technologies or e-safety incidents).