In 2014 South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) bid for and successfully won a contract to support Welsh Government in the delivery of e-Safety education across Wales. Since then activities have focussed around 4 key recommendations following a Landscape report produced in May 2014. Those recommendations were:
- Build local capacity in schools and other agencies that empowers them to sustain their own online safeguarding strategy
- Improve Online Safety Awareness and Professional Development across the Children’s workforce
- Foster positive connections with families to support and sustain online safety at home and in the local community
- Signpost national online safety expertise and activity
Since the publication SWGfL has been working in conjunction with Welsh Government colleagues to deliver activities linked to these recommendations.
360 degree safe Cymru – a self review framework for e-Safety in Wales officially launched in October 2014 when just 196 schools in Wales were using the original, English language 360 degree safe tool. The outreach and education work carried out over the last 18 months has precipitated a significant change in the e-Safety landscape in Wales.
SWGfL are delighted to announce that well over 1000 schools in Wales are now using 360 degree safe Cymru, representing 71% of all schools in Wales. 75% of all registered schools are active in the tool and an increasing percentage of schools are completing all 28 aspects.
These figures demonstrate the hard work and commitment of schools across Wales to protect children from the risks of online harm. Further work is planned for the Summer term 2016. You can find 360 safe Cymru tool in the top black bar when you log into Hwb.
The Digital Literacy Resource for Wales was also launched in October 2014. This provides schools with 5 lessons for every year group across 8 areas of digital literacy. Usage of this resource has grown from an average of 1,500 hits a month to 2,000 hits per month. Additionally during the academic year September 2015-16 we produced a series of playlist resources based on the Digital Literacy topics. This amazing collection of ideas and classroom opportunities is available through the e-Safety zone on Hwb.
As part of the commitment from Welsh Government to improve awareness and development in e-Safety across the workforce, a series of briefing sessions have been made available in all LA areas in Wales. So far we have delivered 31 e-Safety training days across Local Authorities in Wales attended by 1,069 delegates including school staff, safeguarding professionals and governors. We’re still providing dates across Wales, please check out our map at hwb.wales.gov.uk.
As part of our work to promote the Digital Literacy Resource, we have ensured the promotion of the Parental Materials included in this resource. These resources, originally produced by Common Sense Media, provide parents with pragmatic and practical resources to help them support their children online. In all our presentations, support and advice has been offered to schools in how to help their parents tackle e-Safety issues.
We are fortunate in our role as the lead partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre to have set-up and operate the world’s first Professionals Online Safety Helpline. The team on this service are experts in this field and regularly support schools with issues they face. We have ensured that all schools in Wales that attend our events know about and understand the support that the helpline can provide.
Have you seen the e-Safety zone on Hwb? It’s packed full of ideas and thoughts that we’re currently updating once again. This open access section to Hwb provides all users with information about where to go for help and support and the resources that are available in Hwb.
We have supported colleagues across Wales from within local authorities develop their own skills in supporting e-Safety challenges and issues.
We look forward to continuing and developing the support offered to Wales. Here is a summary of what we have achieved so far: