More than 15,000 schools in the UK have used the free 360 degree safe online safety self-review tool to review and improve their online safety practice.
With technology and its related behaviours constantly changing, there is a need for schools to receive updated guidance. The 2023 version of the DfE Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance states that: “The designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety and understanding the filtering and monitoring systems and processes in place)”. The DfE Technical Standards for Schools and Colleges provides updated guidance on filtering and monitoring and states that “Senior leaders should work closely with governors or proprietors, the DSL and IT service providers in all aspects of filtering and monitoring. The IT service provider may be a staff technician or an external service provider.”
What Are the New Updates?
The updated guidance is reflected in the latest version of the SWGfL 360 degree safe online safety self-review tool. A number of aspects have been updated in response to the new guidance referred to above:
- The Responsibilities aspect reflects the enhanced role of the DSL and Governors
- The filtering, monitoring and the technical security aspects have been significantly updated in line with the new guidance
- The mobile technologies aspect has been re-written to provide a clearer policy template
Online Safety Policy Templates
Related to these changes, the SWGfL Online Safety Policy Templates have been significantly updated.
The appendices to the template policies have been updated as follows:
- The main policy template has updated sections on responsibilities, reporting and responding, technical security and mobile technologies
- In addition, there are significant updates to the Technical Security Policy Template and the Mobile Technologies Template.
Schools that have used these policy templates as the basis for their own policies are strongly recommended to download the new versions and update their own policies in line with these changes.
360 Online Safety Self-Review
With the updates to the 360 safe tool, schools are encouraged to re-visit their review to check that their provision continues to meet recommended standards.
If you have not yet signed up to 360 Degree Safe, you can register for free and see how you can improve your online safety policy and practice. You can also visit our Back to School Hub to find out why this is so important.