SWGfL created AMS (Assisted Monitoring Service) to assist schools with their safeguarding responsibilities. Keeping the school community safe is a daily responsibility and one that needs attention from a number of different aspects. Monitoring online activity is a challenging task, particularly when schools operate on large scales and certain violations can pose considerable risk if not managed correctly. Discover what benefit AMS can provide for the new school year as well as find out what some of the feedback has been from those who use it.
Assisted Monitoring Service
Specialists at SWGfL work with schools to monitor online activity across the school community (which includes students, staff and visitors). The team will then notify the school within 3 working hours if they spot an issue that is considered a serious violation. Violations cover a variety of areas but include illegal content, terrorist content, general ‘Adult’ content as well as harmful or inappropriate content. This continuous monitoring aims to save schools the burden of monitoring systems themselves as well as giving them clear notification of when a response is needed. This is followed up with appropriate advice and support around how to respond to incidents.
The work of the Professionals Online Safety Helpline (hosted by SWGfL and part of UK Safer Internet Centre) has guided this service to review and respond to particular safeguarding concerns so schools can effectively stay up-to-date and consistently promote safer internet use within their communities.
What has AMS seen?
The Assisted Monitoring Service has assisted schools with identifying a number of harmful violations across school systems. The biggest volume of content that AMS captured relates to ‘Adult Content’, this includes pornographic content as well as specific swear words being picked up.
Since January, AMS has seen an increase in the number of captures that were flagged as “Needs Immediate Attention”. Specialists generally found that these related to the issue of self-harm in particular. Interestingly, captures from AMS seemed to peak when schools were in exam periods, possibly due to students being online more throughout this time.
AMS has been able to identify these concerns and notify the schools around appropriate action within a timely fashion.
What Do Professionals Say?
Those schools who have used AMS have highlighted the benefit it can bring towards the school community. Some of the feedback we have received is below:
“A great service”
“As always thank you for your great work”
“Another great reason why we have your service”
“…a huge relief not to worry about missing something important”
“It dealt with issues that I would not have considered”
“It has relieved pressures from the Safeguarding Team and improved our productivity”
Assisted Monitoring is an effective way for schools to ensure safeguarding duties are met. If you are looking to improve your online safety policy and practice for the new school year, find out how AMS can support you in monitoring online activity.