The process of obtaining accreditation for this stand-alone award can be both rewarding from a personal point of view and beneficial to the children and young people you work with. The safeguarding of children and young people is of vital importance in this world of ever advancing technologies in which children and young people are the digital natives.

The award provides you and your organisation with a focus which can also help with self review processes. For schools the new OFSTED criteria refer specifically to:

“Safeguarding is not just about protecting children from deliberate
harm. It includes issues for schools such as: Pupils health
and safety; Bullying and racist abuse; Internet safety; school security.”

The latest OFSTED report “The Safe Use of Technologies” (Feb 2010) states:
“The extent and quality of training provided for staff was the weakest aspect of provision in the schools that were visited. ... 60% of schools visited were given this as an area for improvement. Training should draw on the views and concerns of pupils, families, staff and governors when identifying priorities for training. E-safety training should be formal training and responsibility should be delegated by the HT. Training should focus more on how to teach pupils to adopt safe and responsible behaviours rather than compliance with policy. The training needs to be evaluated and staff should receive feedback on esafety incidents.”

It was also noted that the best schools will have,

  • A well considered, active approach to keeping pupils safe when online.
  • All staff, including members of the wider workforce, have a shared responsibility for e-safety.
  • Training for staff that is well established – all staff and all governors

For all organisations that work with children and young people the emphasis is on safeguarding them from harm and the online safety qualification can assist you in safeguarding the young people in your care. South West Grid for Learning can also provide you and your organisation with training opportunities which can support an ongoing programme of development with you personally and within your organisation.

There are many individuals and organisations participating in the South West Grid for Learning EPICT Online Safety Qualification and there are opportunities to collaborate either with others in your local area and/or online with others further afield to share good practice.