With the launch of the 360 Degree Safe Report, we at SWGfL have broken down the key findings to make the information a bit more accessible. In general, the findings are encouraging, with areas, such as filtering and monitoring, and a number of policy aspects growing in strength. However, there are a number of aspects where schools recognise they are lacking. These are areas that have consistently been cause for concern over the past 10 years. Below is a breakdown of what was uncovered through the report.
- Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) - More than 90% of schools have some form of AUP. This helps to provide clarity to everyone within the school community around how technology and devices should be used.
- Filtering and Monitoring - 69% of all establishments have at least coherent and embedded Filtering and Monitoring. This ensures a high level of protection from inappropriate or upsetting content and enables monitoring that is both useful and proportionate.
- Policy - 73% of establishments have at least coherent and embedded Policy Scope. This is encouraging as it steers settings policy towards clear and consistent practice
- Parental Engagement - Nearly 80% of schools have practices in place around Parental Engagement.
The report we have released today is a landmark, not just reflecting where UK schools are today with their provision to protect children online, but also reviewing the last decade of activity and the progress that has been achieved. It also highlights the gaps that we have and the work we have yet to do.
David Wright (Director of UKSIC)
- Governor Education - Only 49% have Governor Education disclosed as level 4 or 5 (meaning no practice or only planned practice) around online safety issues. This raises the question of whether these schools are in any position for the board to present sufficient challenge to senior leaders at schools to ensure effective online safety is in place.
- Staff Training - 41% of establishments disclose level 4 or 5 for Staff Training, which is a statutory safeguarding requirement for schools. This complements the lack of governor education such that schools without a knowledgeable board are not in a position to ensure a school is carrying out its statutory duties regarding online safety training.
- Data Protection - 28% of schools have no data protection policy in place, which means they are not fulfilling statutory duties around data protection and storage. Only 19% of schools have anything about “basic” Data Protection practices, and over 50% are at level 3.
- Impact of Online Safety Policy and Practices - One aspect we would consider to be aspirational around online safety practice is Impact of Online Safety Policy and Practices, or whether an establishment would evaluate their current policy and practice in a school improvement strategy. Very few schools in our database (13%) have strong practice with this aspect, and almost 50% do not consider this at all.