COVID-19 Safeguarding online
COVID-19 Keeping pupils safe online
It is important to consider online safety for both pupils attending school, and those working from home. The government has provided the following advice:
Online safety in schools and colleges
It will be more important than ever that schools and colleges provide a safe environment, including online. Schools and colleges should continue to ensure that appropriate filters and monitoring systems (read guidance on what “appropriate” looks like) are in place to protect children when they are online on the school or college’s IT systems or recommended resources. Schools and colleges should consider who in their institution has the technical knowledge to maintain safe IT arrangements. Schools and colleges should also consider what their contingency arrangements are if their IT staff become unavailable.
The UK Council for Internet Safety provides information to help governing boards and proprietors assure themselves that any new arrangements continue to effectively safeguard children online.
The UK Safer Internet Centre’s professional online safety helpline also provides support for the children’s workforce with any online safety issues they face.
Online safety away from schools and colleges
The government have produced Safeguarding and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19) to help schools and teachers support pupils’ education at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
- Guidance on teaching online safely
- Resources for teachers, parents and carers
- Information on Reporting concerns
- Advice on communicating with pupils, parents and carers
- Guidance on virtual lessons and streaming – including guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on which video conference service is right for your school, using video conferencing services securely and advice on live online teaching
- Guidance on providing pastoral care remotely
- Guidance on personal data and GDPR
It should be read alongside Coronavirus (COVID-19): safeguarding in schools, colleges and other providers.
School contact with parents and carers during this time can also be used to reinforce the importance of children staying safe online.
It’s especially important for parents and carers to be aware of what their children are being asked to do, including:
- sites they will be asked to use
- school staff their child will interact with
Schools should emphasise the importance of a safe online environment and encourage parents and carers to set age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices and use internet filters to block malicious websites. These are usually free, but often need to be turned on.
Andrew Hall Safeguarding has produced this video to support schools with the latest government advice.
Resources for families
Home Activity Packs available on www.Thinkuknow.co.uk website. These have been created to support parents during Covid-19 and the closure of schools. Each fortnight, CEOP will be releasing new home activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at home.
The resources are split into age appropriate areas:
You can also access the new guidance for parents and carers designed to help manage some of the key challenges. #OnlineSafetyAtHome
Parent info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations.
Be SMART: Online Safety Video Lessons for 6 - 9 year olds (Childnet)
Childnet have released six new easy-to-follow videos for parents and children to work through together. The 10 - 15 minute videos offer simple, clear online safety advice using fun activities, games and discussion. There are optional follow-up activities to extend children's learning.
The videos can be found here: Video Lessons - Childnet
Internet matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
London Grid for Learning has support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online
Net-aware has support for parents and carers from the NSPCC, including a guide to social networks, apps and games
Let’s Talk About It has advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
UK Safer Internet Centre has tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services.
The BBC have a website and app called Own It. The website has a lot of content for children to help them navigate their online lives, and the free smartphone app comes with a special keyboard which can intervene with help and support in the moments that children need it the most. It can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
SafeToNet is an app for parents to help them safeguard their children from online risks like cyberbullying and sexting, whilst respecting their child’s rights to privacy. The SafeToNet Foundation is providing UK families with free access to 1 million licences during coronavirus.
Let’s Talk About It provides support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation.