The State of Online Safety in Schools 2014

Online Safety with Plymouth University360 degree safeNew research concludes that most teachers don’t have access to even basic Internet Safety training

South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and Plymouth University are today publishing their annual assessment of the state of online safety in schools and their readiness to safeguard children online; UK Schools Online Safety, Policy and Practice Assessment 2014.

Using evidence from over 5,500 schools using the multi award winning 360 degree safe self review tool, the report discloses the strength and weaknesses of wider e-safety provision in schools in the UK. It concludes that strongest aspects are still ‘policy and filtering’, whilst consistently the weakest area is still staff training. 

Clearly this is worrying as teachers are often at the vanguard of online safety issues.

The author, Prof Andy Phippen from Plymouth University, commented that:
“It is exciting to again publish this ‘state of the nation’ report, highlighting that staff training remains consistently the weakest part of school e-safety policy and practice. The data suggests that schools spend more effort training parents than they do their own staff”

David Wright, Director UK Safer Internet Centre at SWGfL added that:
“We face an array of new online issues, risks and threats and it is imperative that school staff are aware of these and equipped to support their children. We see these threats in headlines all the time, such as privacy, sexting and not least extremism and radicalisation. In many ways this is exactly why we have created BOOST – a unique service that keeps schools updated with the latest online issues and solutions”

The data also discloses that Secondary schools have made most progress over the last 12 months compared to their Primary counterparts. 

Other emerging issues relate to an increase in variability of the management of technology including the filtering services that schools are using together with how they are managing mpersonal and mobile devices

The report can be downloaded here

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360 Report 2014 Infographic

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