Online Safety Update and Resources

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Online Safety Update and Resources

The West of England online safety conference at BAWA on 12 June was attended by 98 delegates. We had a range of national speakers and thought it might be useful to share some of the information from the day.

We were well supported by South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL). Ken Corish opened the conference talking about the need for online safety teaching to evolve. The SWGfL are developing progressive online safety competencies to support teaching at all key stages.

Other colleagues from Safer Internet Centre and SWGfL also joined us to present sessions:

  • Carmel Glassbrook talked about trends from the Professionals Online Safety Helpline and sexting best practice and response.
  • Andrews Williams presented a session about online reputation.
  • Alan Earl talked about parental responsibility in online safety and what governors need to know.


We were joined by John Nixon HMI for a keynote and he highlighted the following points.

  • He reiterated that Ofsted do not make the requirements but inspect against DfE requirements including Keeping Children Safe in Education. Online safety is inspected as part of safeguarding.
  • He reminded us that safeguarding is the responsibility of all and that all staff should be trained and given regular updates.
  • Ofsted will check that policies are working for all and will look at policy into practice to see how policies are impacting in the classroom in everyday life. Policies need to provide a clear expectation for acceptable use for staff so that leaders can hold staff accountable. Policies must also take account of the Early Years requirements about use of cameras and technology. Schools can use local authority policies but should check that it meets the requirements. Ofsted do not require any preferred style or length of policy but they must meet the requirements in legislation.
  • Appropriate monitoring and filtering is a requirement on governors and the onus is on the school to check that their filtering and monitoring is appropriate even if it is provided by the local authority. The governing body is culpable for this as it is a statutory requirement.
  • John mentioned that locking everything down is not the way forward as we need to educate young people to manage the risk.
  • Questions were asked about use of cloud based resources and their safety. John stated that all platforms carry a level of risk and schools must make provision and plan. If schools are using something for free there is a price to pay, for example, the resource might track users or circulate their details. Schools should do an impact assessment or risk assessment.
  • He also mentioned the need to prepare for new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) data laws which are coming in.

We intend to run a session on the new data laws.


Will Gardner, CEO of Childnet, also spoke at the conference and focused on resources for online safety. Some of these resources are highlighted below:

  • Trust Me is a resource designed to support teachers in exploring critical thinking online so that they can start a conversation around extremism and online content. It aims to educate young people about the sort of inaccurate information they might meet online. There is teacher guidance which includes case studies and primary and secondary packs which include PowerPoints and relevant resources. The resources can be accessed here.
  • Crossing the Line: PSHE toolkit is a practical OSHE toolkit with films and lesson plans designed to explore key online issues with 11-14 year olds. There are films, lesson plans, guidance and worksheets on key topics of cyberbullying, sexting, peer pressure and self-esteem. The resources can be accessed here.
  • Cyberbullying: Understand, Prevent and Respond – Childnet guidance on cyberbullying has been updated and is designed to support schools with preventing and responding to cyberbullying. The guidance is split into sections on understanding cyberbullying, preventing cyberbullying, responding to cyberbullying, and supporting school staff. It is informed by a range of experts and the voice of young people. Examples from the work of schools are also included. The website includes a film of Ofsted’s David Brown speaking about cyberbullying. The guidance can be accessed here.
  • Childnet Film Competition 2017 – the film competition finalists’ event took place on 3 July and the winning primary and secondary films are available to use as a resource. Young people aged 7-18 were asked to create a short film about internet safety showcasing positive and inspiring use of the internet. The films can be accessed here.

Online Safety Support

We have an Online Safety Information Site which is available at this link. There is a drop down menu where colleagues can access information for school leaders, information on teaching and information for parents. Resources include web-links and information from a range of organisations concerned with online safety as well as resources that we have created. The site also includes our online safety policy templates based around those designed by SWG and checked against the Ofsted framework and Keeping Children Safe in Education. These have been ratified by the South Gloucestershire online safety group of the safeguarding board.

The teaching section of the site links to our primary online safety scheme of work which is part of our computing scheme of work. The online safety strand utilises freely available online resources as well ones we have created. Some of the activities are based around the South West Grid for Learning Digital Literacy Curriculum. There is a section for each primary year group which provides termly planning, web-links and resources. Although our complete scheme requires schools to subscribe we have made the online safety strand free for schools to adapt and use. It is hosted online as we are continually adapting it, adding to it and improving it at the suggestion of schools. If you have any suggestions please let us know.