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8.18 Online Safety

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Contents

Introduction

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 Sussex Safeguarding Partnerships have developed this online safety strategy built on four key areas:

  • Policies, practices and procedures;
  • Education and training;
  • Infrastructure and technology;
  • Standards and inspection.

See also - 8.26 Information Communication Technology | Sussex Child Protection and Safeguarding Procedures Manual

Purpose of the Strategy

8.18.1

The Sussex Safeguarding Partnerships are committed to raising awareness of online 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.

8.18.2

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 online is not just a matter of technology and that a comprehensive approach to online safety is necessary.

8.18.3

Sexual communication with a child is an offence under The Serious Crime Act (2015).  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 under 16 years of age. It is an offence for an adult to arrange to meet with someone under 16 having communicated with them on just one occasion. 

8.18.4

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. Suspected online terrorist material can be reported through GOV.UK. Content of concern can also be reported directly to social media platforms – see UK Safer Internet Centre website.

Background

8.18.5

"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.

8.18.6

Oline safety is the process of limiting risks to children and young people when using Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Online 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.

8.18.7

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 professionals have a statutory duty of care to manage, to ensure they do not become actual dangers to children and young people.

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. 

Online Safety Risks & Issues

8.18.8
Online safety risks and issues can be roughly classified into three areas: content, contact and conduct. The following are basic examples of the types of online safety risk and issues that could fall under each category.

 

  Commercial Aggressive Sexual Values
Content (child as recipient) Adverts 
Spam Sponsorship Personal info
Violent/hateful content Pornographic or unwelcome sexual content Bias
Racist
Misleading info or advice
Contact (child as participant) Tracking Harvesting Personal info Being bullied, harassed or stalked Meeting strangers Being groomed Self-harm
Unwelcome persuasions
Conduct (child as actor) Illegal downloading Hacking 
Gambling 
Financial scams Terrorism
Bullying or harassing another Creating and uploading inappropriate material Providing misleading info/advice

DSCF, 2008 - Safer Children in a Digital Word: The report of the Byron Review

8.18.9

Computer Games and Online Gaming

All games carry an age restriction/certification.Children and young people should only access to age related Computer Games. Some games are often violent and/or have some sexual element (Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, Resident Evil, etc) – these games do come with Cert 18.

Risks can be posed when chidlren access  Online Gaming and chat rooms within the computer games themselves. 

Children and young people may act out certain scenarios from films or games that they have watched/played . They may follow an instruction/behaviour from what they have seen or by others they have met online whilst gaming. 

Parents and carers should be necouraged to talk to thier children about what games or chat rooms they are playing/ have access to.

Online Safety - Whole School Approach

8.18.10

All school staff should be aware that technology is a significant component in many safeguarding and wellbeing issues. Children are at risk of abuse online as well as face to face. In many cases abuse will take place concurrently via online channels and in daily life. Children can also abuse their peers online, this can take the form of abusive, harassing, and misogynistic messages, the non-consensual sharing of indecent images, especially around chat groups, and the sharing of abusive images and pornography, to those who do not want to receive such content. 

In all cases, if staff are unsure, they should always speak to the designated safeguarding lead (or deputy)

8.18.11

It is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. An effective whole school and college approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate pupils, students, and staff in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns where appropriate

8.18.12

Schools and colleges should ensure online safety is a running and interrelated theme whilst devising and implementing policies and procedures. This will include considering how online safety is reflected as required in all relevant policies and considering online safety whilst planning the curriculum, any teacher training, the role and responsibilities of the designated safeguarding lead and any parental engagement.

8.18.13

Online safety and the school or college’s approach to it should be reflected in the child protection policy.

8.18.14

Remote learning Where children are being asked to learn online at home the Department has provided advice to support schools and colleges do so safely:

Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Undertaking remote teaching safely | NSPCC Learning

8.18.15

Filters and monitoring  Whilst considering their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and provide them with a safe environment in which to learn, governing bodies and proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school’s or college’s IT system. 

The appropriateness of any filters and monitoring systems are a matter for individual schools and colleges and will be informed in part, by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty. 33 The UK Safer Internet Centre has published guidance as to what “appropriate” filtering and monitoring might look like: Appropriate Filtering and Monitoring | Safer Internet Centre

8.18.16

The NSPCC has free activies and resources for teachers of key stages 3-4 to help children and young people know what to do if they see bulliying online. Stop Speak Support school pack | NSPCC Learning 

Key Measures for Limiting Online Safety Risks

8.18.17

The Sussex Safeguarding Partnerships support the use of the Becta PIES model which offers an effective strategic framework for approaching online 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

8.18.18

Any organisation that has contact with children and young people should:

  • Appoint a dedicated online safety lead;
  • Create and maintain an online safety policy;
  • Make sure that appropriate Acceptable Use of ICT Policy and Staff User Agreements are in place;
  • Have a procedure in place for reporting an e-safety incident, e.g. clear lines of reporting incidents of misuse of ICT by users and safeguarding incidents when a user is at risk or has come to actual harm through the use of ICT;
  • Review and evaluate all internal policies and procedures (at least every 12 months or in response to new technologies or online safety incidents if sooner.

Infrastructure & Technology

All organisations providing services to children and young people which also provide access to ICT should:

  • Identify all technologies used within the organisation itself and carry out risk assessments with regards to e-safety;
  • Consider the use of additional software and/or settings for technologies to limit the e-safety risk;
  • Use up to date security software / solutions for technologies;
  • Where Internet access is available, Becta advises that a web content filtering product or service must as a minimum:
  1. Subscribe to the Internet Watch Foundation Child Abuse Images and Content (CAIC) URL List;
  2. Block 100% of illegal material identified by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF);
  • Capable of blocking 90% of inappropriate content in each of the following categories:
    • Pornographic, adult, tasteless or offensive material;
    • Violence (including weapons and bombs);
    • Racist, extremist and hate material;
    • Illegal drug taking and promotion;

Criminal skills and software piracy.

8.18.19

All organisations providing services to children and young people which also provide access to ICT should:

  • Identify all technologies used within the organisation itself and carry out risk assessments with regards to online safety;
  • Consider the use of additional software and/or settings for technologies to limit the online safety risk;
  • Use up to date security software / solutions for technologies;
  • Where Internet access is available, Becta advises that a web content filtering product or service must as a minimum:
  1. Subscribe to the Internet Watch Foundation Child Abuse Images and Content (CAIC) URL List;
  2. Block 100% of illegal material identified by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF);
  • Capable of blocking 90% of inappropriate content in each of the following categories:
    • Pornographic, adult, tasteless or offensive material;
    • Violence (including weapons and bombs);
    • Racist, extremist and hate material;
    • Illegal drug taking and promotion;
    • Criminal skills and software piracy.

Education & Training

8.18.20

Any organisation that has contact with children and young people should aim to raise awareness of online safety through education and training

8.18.21

Online 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 online safety and should be confident in their abilities to escalate an incident as necessary and appropriate

8.18.22

An organisation should also consider their role in giving online safety information and guidance to children, young people, parents and carers.

8.18.23

There should be training resources and support materials dealing with the issues of online safety with children, young people, parents and professionals avaliable within your organisation.

Contacts

8.18.24

Professionals -  See also page 150 -151 - Keeping children safe in education 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Safety Centre

http://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre

Childnet International

http://www.childnet.com

Know IT All

http://www.childnet-int.org/kia/

Professionals Online Safety Helpline (UKSIC)

Email helpline@saferinternet.org.uk or telephone 0844 381 4772

SWGfL Staying-Safe (South West Grid for Learning)

http://www.swgfl.org.uk/Staying-Safe

Think U Know (CEOP)

http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC)

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/

 

8.18.25

Children, Young People & Families

Keeping children safe in education 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk) - see page 151- 152 

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 online safety incidents).

Glossary of related terms

See Glossary of related terms.

Information and organisations

See Information and organisations.


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This page is correct as printed on Tuesday 30th of November 2021 06:22:29 PM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.
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