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7 September 2018
By Rebecca Avery

Online Safety within "Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings" September 2018

On the 6th September 2018, Ofsted updated the "Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings” handbook. This document reflects the new Keeping children safe in education 2018 (KCSIE) guidance as well as ‘Working Together to Safeguard Children’ 2018 and needs to be read alongside the ‘Common inspection framework: education, skills and early years’ and the individual inspection remit handbooks.

Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) within the Education People, Education Safeguarding Team has produced a summary document which explores online safety within the updated handbook. It is recommended that educational setting leaders and managers read the entire document when considering their current safeguarding practice.

Additional guidance and resources for educational settings relating to online safety can be found at:

Summary points related to online safety:

  • Managers and leaders should have strategic oversight regarding the use of technology within the setting
  • Settings should have clear policies and procedures for responding to, reporting and recording online safety concerns. Policies should explicitly cover:
    • Peer on peer abuse issues, such as sexual harassment/violence, online bullying and sexting
    • Use of mobile phones and personal devices (specifically relevant to early years)
    • Use of social media and staff communication
  • Online safety is recognised as a safeguarding issues. As such the DSL has overall responsibility and  should be appropriately supported to enable them to identify and respond to online safety concerns
  • All members of staff should be provided with appropriate online safety training, which should include safeguarding learners as well as ensuring staff understand and manage their online reputation
  • Settings should ensure appropriate filtering and monitoring is in place to reduce the risks of learners accessing unsuitable content online
  • There should be a proactive, robust age and ability appropriate embedded curriculum which enables learners to identify, understand and respond to online safety risks
  • Leaders and managers should be mindful of the settings online reputation and the impact this could have on inspections

This document is available for educational settings to use to help consider their online safety practice. Other organisations may use the document for educational (not for profit) use only, with credit to the Education People.