Why you should not compromise on a School Broadband filtering solution?
School Broadband filtering is a vital safeguarding tool. Coconnect is a specialist provider of broadband and filtering for primary and secondary schools; this is why we strongly feel that you should not compromise on your filtering.
What is School Broadband filtering?
School Broadband filtering or Web filtering blocks pupils from inappropriate and harmful content by blocking the website/webpage or allowing access to the page but removing the inappropriate content from view. Most Broadband Filtering is customisable, allowing schools to control their levels of control, customising them for different age groups and subjects.
Types of School Broadband Filtering
- DNS Filtering: blocks websites based on their domain name. (If the Youtube.com domain is blocked, students will not be able to access any web pages with this domain).
- URL Filtering: URL filtering blocks specific webpages depending on predetermined URL restrictions. (URL restrictions, including Pornographic content, will block URLs with this type of content) Differs from DNS because URL filtering blocks specific web pages, not whole websites.
- Content Filtering: Content filtering blocks harmful content from view while allowing access to the learning content from the web page. (A sex education website has learning resources, but pictures deemed pornographic; content filtering allows students access to the web page but will block any pictures deemed inappropriate.)
Why is School Broadband filtering a necessity?
Yes, Broadband filtering is a necessity. Schools are legally obligated to have a filtering solution to safeguard students from harm.
Read the KCSIE 2022 full document here.
What can an unreliable or poor School Broadband Filtering cause?
A poor Broadband Filtering system can cause a lot of safeguarding concerns. A school must protect students from harm from others and themselves; a low-quality system increases the change of issues.
Unreliable broadband filtering can cause IT staff and DSLs headaches with constantly having to contact their provider to sort issues with blocking or system issues.
Additionally, a poor-quality filtering system will not be customisable, not allowing schools the flexibility to control the levels of restrictions and adjust them for age ranges.
Imperatives for your Broadband Filtering solution:
Here are a few imperatives to consider when deciding on your filtering system.
KCSIE and Prevent Duty Compliant
It is essential to procure a school broadband filtering system compliant with KCSIE and Prevent Duty standards. The KCSIE 2022 document states that filtering systems must be ‘appropriate’; UKSIC definitions of ‘what is appropriate filtering’ have helped schools to understand what it means.
Please find out more here.
Multilingual Filtering System
We would advise schools to discuss multilingual systems when deciding on providers. Most schools in the UK will have a student whose first language is not English or who can speak multiple languages. These students will use their native language or if they are trying to bypass the filtering by using their second language to search.
Like age restrictions on movies, inappropriate and appropriate content differs for different school years. A school broadband filtering system should allow schools to customise their restrictions based on age.
Filtering and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
It is becoming more commonplace for students to bring their tablets, smartphones and laptops to school and connect to the school’s network. Schools must ensure their broadband filtering system has a mechanism to filter their devices to block BYOD devices from accessing harmful content.
To conclude, school broadband filtering is not a service for compromising the quality and reliability in the case of a cheaper system. A school’s duty and legal obligation are to protect students from harm from others or themselves, and KCSIE and Prevent standard compliant systems are recognised as such.
Looking for a School Broadband Filtering Provider?
Coconnect provides industry-leading filtering systems that comply with KCSIE and Prevent Duty standards in partnership with Netsweeper and Smoothwall.