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15.18 Online Safety

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Where children are being asked to learn online at home the Department for Education has provided advice to support schools and colleges do so safely: Safeguarding in schools colleges and other providers and Safeguarding and remote education



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:

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

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.

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.



"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

E-safety risks and issues can be roughly classified into three areas: content, contact and conduct. The following are basic examples of the types of e-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
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 
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

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:

  • Appoint a dedicated e-safety lead;
  • Create and maintain an e-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 e-safety incidents if sooner.


Procedures Diagram

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.


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.




CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Safety Centre

Childnet International

Know IT All

Professionals Online Safety Helpline (UKSIC)

Email or telephone 0844 381 4772

SWGfL Staying-Safe (South West Grid for Learning)

Think U Know (CEOP)

UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC)


Children, Young People & Families


A Parent’s Guide to Technology (UKSIC)

Connect Safely



Get Safe Online

Know IT All

Think U Know


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).

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 Thursday 23rd of September 2021 12:38:46 AM please refer back to this website ( for updates.