Coconnect’s free online safeguarding guide

Our free online safeguarding guide.

Create a safe space for children to learn online with our free online safeguarding guide! There’s a strong focal point of online school safety with the KCSIE guidance. It focuses on good practices, online safety policies, the importance of school filtering and monitoring and key school online safeguarding areas. So we’ve put together a free online safeguarding guide for you to download to help on your digital safeguarding journey!

free online safeguarding guide

Today’s generation of children have access to a number of devices they can use to get online, and connecting to others is easier than ever. Children have the right to enjoy and benefit from the online world.

Back in 2020, the government reported that almost 9 in 10 children said they went online every day. While most children only spoke to people they know, some said they spoke to someone they’d never met before.

Breaking down online safety policies with our free online safeguarding guide

The Department for Education recommends that your school has online safety policies in place. Setting out policies for all school stakeholders to follow will create a culture of online safety across every level. These policies should be communicated and enforced to make sure your students and staff gain the digital safeguarding benefits.

What are online safety policy good practices?

  • Review your online safety policies regularly to make sure they’re always relevant.
  • Make your policies easily available, so staff, students and parents are aware of them – they can be a valuable resource to check when needed.
  • Make sure your staff, students and parents understand the proper use of school and personal devices, especially with students’ home learning.
  • Your policies recognise peer to peer online abuse. Online abuse on school devices can be proactively monitored, captured and filtered.
  • Link your policies to other safeguarding and policies. This creates a culture of safety through all school levels.

Following these guidelines means the school will create a safe space to learn online. Governors should only be concerned if there are generic, minimal or no policies, no regular reviews, or if the policies aren’t easily accessible.

Importance of filtering and monitoring in Online Safeguarding

Governing bodies should do all they can to limit pupils’ access to unsuitable materials through the school network and devices. Governors should ensure their schools have appropriate filtering and monitoring in place. Check out the guide for implementing appropriate filtering and monitoring systems from UKSIC.

What’s the difference between school filtering and monitoring?

School Filtering systems block students from accessing harmful content. It denies access to harmful content by defining what is and isn’t appropriate.

Monitoring systems monitor the on-screen activity of students. They report what websites students are on, the content of the website, and what students are typing online and offline in search bars, word documents, and chat messages.  There is proactive and active monitoring.

Proactive vs active monitoring

Proactive and active monitoring are both technology-based solutions but with the key differences:

  • Proactive monitoring is where alerts are managed by an expert/moderator in real time (and may provide schools with additional support). It can report behaviour patterns and alert if a student behaviour shows vulnerability. This allows early intervention and potentially digital safeguarding vulnerable students before they become at risk to themselves or others.
  • Active monitoring violations are reported and sent to the school, and they will review to act on them (with immediate action taken for high-risk alerts).

How can Coconnect help you?

We can provide your school or MAT with industry leading web filtering powered by Netsweeper or Smoothwall. It complies with KCSIE, Prevent Duty, Internet Watch and national standards. We also offer proactive monitoring to complement our web filtering to add another layer of digital safeguarding for your pupils.

We’ve also put together a free online safeguarding guide to help understanding of key areas of online safeguarding including:

  • Online safety policies
  • School Filtering and monitoring
  • Online safeguarding in education
  • Cyber-security and data protection

Download your copy for free now!

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