As part of the Department for Educations updated ‘Keeping children safe in education’ statutory guidance, which becomes active on the 1st September for schools and colleges in England, it has highlighted updated aspects relating to filtering and monitoring. As schools are making their return, we thought it best to remind schools of what free service is available to help them in their filtering and monitoring responsibilities.
We have created the Test Filtering tool to ensure that school internet connections are able to block out harmful online content. Ensuring that your school systems are protected is an essential task during the transition back to school after the summer break. Find out more about what the guidance says and how Test Filtering can support you.
What Does the Guidance Say?
As part of the Prevent Duty Guidance, schools in England and Wales are required “to ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when accessing the internet in school, including by establishing appropriate levels of filtering”.
As part of the Department for Education’s updated statutory guidance ‘governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their school or college has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place’ whilst adding to ‘regularly review their effectiveness’. Added to the guidance, schools ‘should ensure that the leadership team and relevant staff have an awareness and understanding of the provisions in place and manage them effectively and know how to escalate concerns when identified'.
How Does Test Filtering Support?
The guidance specifically highlighted the Test Filtering ‘tool to check whether a school or college’s filtering provider is signed up to relevant lists (CSA content, Sexual Content, Terrorist Content, Your Internet Connection Blocks Child Abuse & Terrorist Content)'. Basically, it can support you to see if the school’s current filtering process adequately blocks online content that is illegal. This includes:
- Child Sexual Abuse Content
- Unlawful terrorist content
If you are a school who wants to check their filtering, using Test Filtering is simple and free to use. All you need to do is:
- Select your organisation type
- Enter your school’s name and postcode
- Provide what filtering provider you have
- Begin the test
Test Filtering is not just reserved for schools and educational establishments, the tool can also be used for personal internet systems, businesses as well as public sectors. Filtering can be a complicated topic, but there is guidance from the UK Safer Internet Centre around appropriate filtering as well as monitoring. You can also see responses from some of the leading filtering providers. Get started with ensuring your school systems are doing everything they can to protect against harmful online content.