Ofsted briefing for inspectors (September 2012) – Inspecting e-safety

Ofsted recently released new documentation for use during inspections of maintained schools and academies. Click here to access the updates that have been released. One of the documents that several schools have raised concerns with us about is the Inspecting e-safety section. The document states:-

‘In the context of an inspection, e-safety may be described as the school’s ability to protect and educate pupils and staff in their use of technology and to have the appropriate mechanisms to intervene and support any incident where appropriate.’

The breadth of issues classified within e-safety is considerable, but can be categorised into three areas of risk:

content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.’

The document outlines key features of good and outstanding practice and it also outlines the indicators of inadequate practice that we would like all schools to be aware of.

The indicators of inadequate practice include:-

  • Personal data is often unsecured and/or leaves school site without encryption
  • Security of passwords is ineffective, for example passwords are shared or common with all but the youngest children
  • Policies are generic and not updated
  • There is no progressive, planned e-safety education across the curriculum, for example there is only an assembly held annually
  • There is no internet filtering or monitoring
  • There is no evidence of staff training
  • Children are not aware of how to report a problem.

The e-safety inspection briefing document states:-
‘High quality leadership and management make e-safety a priority across all areas of the school (the school may also have achieved a recognised standard, for example the e-Safety Mark.)’

We strongly advise schools make use of an e-safety audit review tool such as the ‘360 degree safe’ tool recommended by Ofsted to ensure their policy, practices and curriculum meet the standards set by Ofsted.

The Curriculum ICT team are qualified CEOP ambassadors and e-safety Mark assessors.
We are delivering a whole day course around ‘Developing and Assessing Effective Whole School E-Safeguarding Strategies’ shortly, click here for details.

If you would like us to support you with regard to a whole school e-safety review please contact Sarah.hawkins@bradford.gov.uk

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