Online safety policy

Next review due by: April 2022


1. Aims.

2. Legislation and guidance.

3. Roles and responsibilities.

4. Educating pupils about online safety.

5. Educating parents about online safety.

6. Cyber-bullying.

7. Acceptable use of the internet in school.

8. Pupils using mobile devices in school.

9. Staff using work devices outside school.

10. How the school will respond to issues of misuse.

11. Training.

12. Monitoring arrangements.

13. Links with other policies.

Appendix 1: EYFS and KS1 acceptable use agreement (pupils and parents/carers).

Appendix 2: acceptable use agreement (staff, governors, volunteers and visitors).

1. Aims

Our school aims to: 

  • Have robust processes in place to ensure the online safety of pupils, staff, volunteers and governors
  • Deliver an effective approach to online safety, which empowers us to protect and educate the whole school community in its use of technology
  • Establish clear mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate an incident, where appropriate

2. Legislation and guidance

This policy is based on the Department for Education’s (DfE) statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and its advice for schools on:

It also refers to the DfE’s guidance on protecting children from radicalisation.

It reflects existing legislation, including but not limited to the Education Act 1996 (as amended), the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the Equality Act 2010. In addition, it reflects the Education Act 2011, which has given teachers stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying by, if necessary, searching for and deleting inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices where they believe there is a ‘good reason’ to do so.

The policy also takes into account the National Curriculum computing programmes of study.

This policy complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1 The governing board

The governing board has overall responsibility for monitoring this policy and holding the headteacher to account for its implementation.

The governing board will co-ordinate regular meetings with appropriate staff to discuss online safety, and monitor online safety logs as provided by the designated safeguarding lead (DSL).

The governor who oversees safe guarding within school is Edward Powell .

All governors will:

  • Ensure that they have read and understand this policy
  • Agree and adhere to the terms on acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and the internet (appendix 3)

3.2 The headteacher

The headteacher is responsible for ensuring that staff understand this policy, and that it is being implemented consistently throughout the school.

3.3 The designated safeguarding lead

Details of the school’s DSL and deputy are set out in our child protection and safeguarding policy as well as relevant job descriptions.

The DSL takes lead responsibility for online safety in school, in particular:

  • Supporting the headteacher in ensuring that staff understand this policy and that it is being implemented consistently throughout the school
  • Working with the headteacher, ICT manager and other staff, as necessary, to address any online safety issues or incidents
  • Ensuring that any online safety incidents are logged and dealt with appropriately in line with this policy
  • Ensuring that any incidents of cyber-bullying are logged and dealt with appropriately in line with the school behaviour policy
  • Updating and delivering staff training on online safety.
  • Liaising with other agencies and/or external services if necessary
  • Providing regular reports on online safety in school to the headteacher and/or governing board

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.4 The ICT Technician

The ICT technician is responsible for:

  • Putting in place appropriate filtering and monitoring systems, which are updated on a regular basis and keep pupils safe from potentially harmful and inappropriate content and contact online while at school, including terrorist and extremist material
  • Ensuring that the school’s ICT systems are secure and protected against viruses and malware, and that such safety mechanisms are updated regularly
  • Conducting a full security check and monitoring the school’s ICT systems on a weekly basis.
  • Blocking access to potentially dangerous sites and, where possible, preventing the downloading of potentially dangerous files
  • Ensuring that any online safety incidents are logged (see appendix 5) and dealt with appropriately in line with this policy
  • Ensuring that any incidents of cyber-bullying are dealt with appropriately in line with the school behaviour policy

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.5 All staff and volunteers

All staff, including contractors and agency staff, and volunteers are responsible for:

  • Maintaining an understanding of this policy
  • Implementing this policy consistently
  • Agreeing and adhering to the terms on acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and the internet (appendix 3), and ensuring that pupils follow the school’s terms on acceptable use (appendices 1)
  • Working with the DSL to ensure that any online safety incidents are logged as per cpoms and dealt with appropriately in line with this policy
  • Ensuring that any incidents of cyber-bullying are dealt with appropriately in line with the school behaviour policy

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.6 Parents

Parents are expected to:

  • Notify a member of staff or the headteacher of any concerns or queries regarding this policy
  • Ensure their child has read, understood and agreed to the terms on acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and internet (appendices 1)

Parents can seek further guidance on keeping children safe online from the following organisations and websites:

3.7 Visitors and members of the community

Visitors and members of the community who use the school’s ICT systems or the internet will be made aware of this policy, when relevant, and expected to read and follow it. If appropriate, they will be expected to agree to the terms on acceptable use (appendix 2). 

4. Educating pupils about online safety

Pupils will be taught about online safety as part of the curriculum:

In Key Stage 1, pupils will be taught to:

  • Use technology safely and respectfully, keeping personal information private
  • Identify where to go for help and support when they have concerns about content or contact on the internet or other online technologies

Pupils in Key Stage 2 will be taught to:

  • Use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly
  • Recognise acceptable and unacceptable behaviour
  • Identify a range of ways to report concerns about content and contact

By the end of primary school, pupils will know:

  • That people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not
  • That the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others online including when we are anonymous
  • The rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them
  • How to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information including awareness of the risks associated with people they have never met
  • How information and data is shared and used online
  • How to respond safely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts, including online) whom they do not know

The safe use of social media and the internet will also be covered in other subjects where relevant.

Assemblies used to raise pupils awareness of the dangers that can be encounted online and may also invite speakers to talk to pupils about this.

5. Educating parents about online safety

The school will raise parents’ awareness of internet safety in letters or other communications home, and in information via our website and tweets. This policy will also be shared with parents.

Online safety will also be covered during parents’ evenings.

If parents have any queries or concerns in relation to online safety, these should be raised in the first instance with the headteacher and/or the DSL.

Concerns or queries about this policy can be raised with any member of staff or the headteacher.

6. Cyber-bullying

6.1 Definition

Cyber-bullying takes place online, such as through social networking sites, messaging apps or gaming sites. Like other forms of bullying, it is the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. (See also the school behaviour policy and antibullying policy.)

6.2 Preventing and addressing cyber-bullying

To help prevent cyber-bullying, we will ensure that pupils understand what it is and what to do if they become aware of it happening to them or others. We will ensure that pupils know how they can report any incidents and are encouraged to do so, including where they are a witness rather than the victim.

The school will actively discuss cyber-bullying with pupils, explaining the reasons why it occurs, the forms it may take and what the consequences can be. Class teachers and ICT teacher will discuss cyber-bullying with classes.

Teaching staff are also encouraged to find opportunities to use aspects of the curriculum to cover cyber-bullying. This includes personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, and other subjects where appropriate.

All staff, governors and volunteers (where appropriate) receive training on cyber-bullying, its impact and ways to support pupils, as part of safeguarding training (see section 11 for more detail).

The school also sends information/leaflets on cyber-bullying to parents so that they are aware of the signs, how to report it and how they can support children who may be affected.

In relation to a specific incident of cyber-bullying, the school will follow the processes set out in the school behaviour policy. Where illegal, inappropriate or harmful material has been spread among pupils, the school will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure the incident is contained.

The DSL will consider whether the incident should be reported to the police if it involves illegal material, and will work with external services if it is deemed necessary to do so.

6.3 Examining electronic devices

School staff have the specific power under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (which has been increased by the Education Act 2011) to search for and, if necessary, delete inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices, including mobile phones, iPads and other tablet devices, where they believe there is a ‘good reason’ to do so.

When deciding whether there is a good reason to examine or erase data or files on an electronic device, staff must reasonably suspect that the data or file in question has been, or could be, used to:

  • Cause harm, and/or
  • Disrupt teaching, and/or
  • Break any of the school rules

If inappropriate material is found on the device, it is up to the staff member in conjunction with the DSL or other member of the senior leadership team to decide whether they should:

  • Delete that material, or
  • Retain it as evidence (of a criminal offence or a breach of school discipline), and/or
  • Report it to the police

Any searching of pupils will be carried out in line with the DfE’s latest guidance on screening, searching and confiscation and the school’s COVID-19 risk assessment.

Any complaints about searching for or deleting inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices will be dealt with through the school complaints procedure.

7. Acceptable use of the internet in school

All pupils, parents, staff, volunteers and governors are expected to sign an agreement regarding the acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and the internet (appendices 1-2). Visitors will be expected to read and agree to the school’s terms on acceptable use if relevant.

Use of the school’s internet must be for educational purposes only, or for the purpose of fulfilling the duties of an individual’s role. 

We will monitor the websites visited by pupils, staff, volunteers, governors and visitors (where relevant) to ensure they comply with the above.

More information is set out in the acceptable use agreements in appendices 1 and 2.

8. Pupils using mobile devices in school

Pupils may bring mobile devices into school, but are not permitted to use them during:

  • Lessons
  • Tutor group time
  • Clubs before or after school, or any other activities organised by the school

Any use of mobile devices in school by pupils must be in line with the acceptable use agreement (see appendices 1).

Any breach of the acceptable use agreement by a pupil may trigger disciplinary action in line with the school behaviour policy, which may result in the confiscation of their device.

9. Staff using work devices outside school

All staff members will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. asterisk or currency symbol)
  • Ensuring their hard drive is encrypted – this means if the device is lost or stolen, no one can access the files stored on the hard drive by attaching it to a new device
  • Making sure the device locks if left inactive for a period of time
  • Not sharing the device among family or friends
  • Installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software
  • Keeping operating systems up to date – always install the latest updates

Staff members must not use the device in any way which would violate the school’s terms of acceptable use, as set out in appendix 2.

Work devices must be used solely for work activities.

If staff have any concerns over the security of their device, they must seek advice from Headteacher.

10. How the school will respond to issues of misuse

Where a pupil misuses the school’s ICT systems or internet, we will follow the procedures set out in our behaviour policies. The action taken will depend on the individual circumstances, nature and seriousness of the specific incident, and will be proportionate.

Where a staff member misuses the school’s ICT systems or the internet, or misuses a personal device where the action constitutes misconduct, the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the staff disciplinary procedures/staff code of conduct. The action taken will depend on the individual circumstances, nature and seriousness of the specific incident.

The school will consider whether incidents which involve illegal activity or content, or otherwise serious incidents, should be reported to the police.

11. Training

All new staff members will receive training, as part of their induction, on safe internet use and online safeguarding issues including cyber-bullying and the risks of online radicalisation.

All staff members will receive refresher training at least once each academic year as part of safeguarding training, as well as relevant updates as required (for example through emails, e-bulletins and staff meetings).

The DSL and deputy will undertake child protection and safeguarding training, which will include online safety, at least every 2 years. They will also update their knowledge and skills on the subject of online safety at regular intervals, and at least annually.

Governors will receive training on safe internet use and online safeguarding issues as part of their safeguarding training.

Volunteers will receive appropriate training and updates, if applicable.

More information about safeguarding training is set out in our child protection and safeguarding policy.

12. Monitoring arrangements

All staff will log behaviour and safeguarding issues related to online safety using CPOMs.  The DSL will then deal with them as appropriate.

This policy will be reviewed every year by the SLT. At every review, the policy will be shared with the governing board.

13. Links with other policies

This online safety policy is linked to our:

  • Child protection and safeguarding policy
  • Behaviour policy
  • Staff disciplinary procedures
  • Data protection policy and privacy notices
  • Complaints procedure
  • Colleague Code of Conduct

Appendix 1: Student Device Agreement Form

Students in need of remote learning can be issued a device for their educational use. If reasonable precautions and care are taken in the use of the device. Each parent/guardian should review this form carefully with their child.

All devices issued to students are to be used to access remote learning and other educational uses. Students are expected to follow the guidelines below and take any additional common sense precautions to protect the device. Students are responsible for taking care of the device. The policies outlined in this document are intended to cover all available technologies, not just those specifically listed.

By accepting this equipment I agree to ensure that my child adheres to the following:

Return of Device

This device is being loaned for the student’s use during remote learning. This device is the property of the Co-op Academy Brownhill. This device must be returned when on-site learning resumes, unless otherwise instructed by the Co-op Academy Brownhill.

Student Name______________________________________      Year Group _________________

Equipment Loaned __________________________________       Asset Tag __________________

Serial Number ______________________________________

Care and Maintenance

  • The student/family is responsible for the daily care and maintenance of the laptop. Any damage or theft must be reported to the Co-op Academy Brownhill within one school day.
  • Keep the laptop in a safe place when not in use.
  • Students/families should report problems to 0113 2489539 Do not attempt to remove, add, or change the physical structure of the device, including keys, memory, battery, screen, charger, ID labels, etc.
  • Carry the device carefully at all times. Do not store items on top of the device.
  • You are liable for the cost of replacing the equipment if it is damaged, lost or stolen.
  • The Academy cannot be held responsible for damage to files or data loss incurred whilst using the equipment.
  • The Academy assumes no responsibility for files stored on the hard drive or for the recovery of files accidentally left on the hard drive after the equipment has been returned.

Usage Guidelines

In general, all students are expected to use good judgment and common sense; be safe, appropriate, careful and kind online; not attempt to get around technological protection measures; and ask an adult if they need help.

Academy Student Acceptable Use – Agreement / eSafety Rules

  • I will only use ICT systems in Academy, including the internet, e-mail, digital video, mobile technologies, etc. for Academy purposes.
  • I will not download or install software on Academy technologies.
  • I will only log on to the Academy network/ Learning Platform with my own username and password.
  • I will follow the Academy’s ICT security system and not reveal my passwords to anyone and change them regularly.
  • I will only use my Academy email address.
  • I will make sure that all ICT communications with students, teachers or others are responsible and sensible.
  • I will be responsible for my behaviour when using the Internet.  This includes resources I access and the language I use.
  • I will not deliberately browse, download, upload or forward material that could be considered offensive or illegal.   If I accidentally come across any such material I will report it immediately to my teacher.
  • I will not give out any personal information such as name, phone number or address.  I will not arrange to meet someone unless this is part of an Academy project approved by my teacher.
  • Images of students and/ or staff will only be taken, stored and used for Academy purposes inline with Academy policy and not be distributed outside the Academy network without the written permission of the Principal. 
  • I will ensure that my online activity, both in Academy and outside Academy, will not cause my Academy, the staff, students or others distress or bring into disrepute.
  • I will respect the privacy and ownership of others’ work on-line at all times.
  • I will not attempt to bypass the internet filtering system.
  • I understand that all my use of the Internet and other related technologies can be monitored and logged and can be made available to my teachers.
  • I understand that these rules are designed to keep me safe and that if they are not followed, Academy sanctions will be applied and my parent/ carer may be contacted.
  •  Never interfere with any anti-virus software installed on Academy ICT equipment that you use
  • If your machine is not routinely connected to the Academy network, you must make provision for regular virus updates through your IT team
  • If you suspect there may be a virus on any Academy ICT equipment, stop using the equipment and contact your ICT support provider immediately. The ICT support provider will advise you what actions to take and be responsible for advising others that need to know

I acknowledge that I have read the above information and agree to the terms of the loan of the equipment.  I understand that it is my responsibility, as parent / carer of the named student, to ensure that they stay safe online.

Parent Name ______________________________________________ Date ___________________

Parent Signature___________________________________________

Appendix 2: KS2 acceptable use agreement (pupils and parents/carers)

Acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and internet: agreement for staff, governors, volunteers and visitors
Name of staff member/governor/volunteer/visitor:
When using the school’s ICT systems and accessing the internet in school, or outside school on a work device (if applicable), I will not: *Access, or attempt to access inappropriate material, including but not limited to material of a violent, criminal or pornographic nature (or create, share, link to or send such material)
*Use them in any way which could harm the school’s reputation
*Access social networking sites or chat rooms
*Use any improper language when communicating online, including in emails or other messaging servicesInstall any unauthorised software, or connect unauthorised hardware or devices to the school’s network
*Share my password with others or log in to the school’s network using someone else’s details
*Take photographs of pupils without checking with teachers first
*Share confidential information about the school, its pupils or staff, or other members of the community
*Access, modify or share data I’m not authorised to access, modify or sharePromote private businesses unless that business is directly related to the school
I will only use the school’s ICT systems and access the internet in school, or outside the school on a work device, for educational purposes or for the purpose of fulfilling the duties of my role.
I agree that the school will monitor the websites I visit and my use of the school’s ICT facilities and systems.
I will take all reasonable steps to ensure that work devices are secure and password-protected when using them outside school, and keep all data securely stored in accordance with this policy and the school’s data protection policy.
I will let the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and ICT manager know if a pupil informs me they have found any material which might upset, distress or harm them or others, and will also do so if I encounter any such material.
I will always use the school’s ICT systems and internet responsibly and ensure that pupils in my care do so too.  

Signed (staff member/governor/volunteer/visitor):                          Date: