5 September 2017
By Rebecca Avery

Updated Kent Online Safety Policy Template and Guidance #esafety

The Education Safeguarding Team have updated the Kent Online Safety policy template and supporting guidance for September 2017. Educational settings need to ensure that appropriate action has been taken to help protect staff, children, young people and the wider community online; an online safety policy can help set out these actions as well as procedures to follow. Education leaders and managers must also decide on the right balance for their community regarding controlling access to the internet and technology, setting rules and boundaries, and educating their community about responsible use and Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs) will need to recognise the online world when implementing their safeguarding responsibilities. The Kent Online Safety policy template is provided as a basis to enable educational settings to create an appropriate policy. Within the  template, content written in green requires  leaders, managers and DSLs to consider their own practice and amend as appropriate.  Leaders, managers and DSLs may need to work with other members of the community, for example curriculum leads and technical staff to ensure the policy is up-to-date and fit for purpose. For simplicity, the terms ‘school’ or ‘pupils’ may appear within the template, but we stress that it is relevant and appropriate for other educational settings. The updated 2017 online safety policy template is  supported with: "How to write an Online Safety Policy: Guidance for Leaders, Managers and Designated Safeguarding Leads". This document seeks to enable leaders and managers to explore policy decisions and to implement actions which best suit the needs of their community. It is recommended that leaders, managers and DSLs access this guidance before using the policy template.Updates within the template and guidance include:
  • Reordered layout
  • Updated content regarding social media
  • Updated content regarding the use of mobile phones and personal devices
  • Updated information regarding local and national guidance, contacts and resources
  • Updated suggested procedures regarding online safety concerns, including sexting and cyberbullying
  •  'How to respond to an online safety concern' flowchart
To support educational settings to review their current practice and action plan for the future, the Kent Online Safety self-review tools have also been updated:Kent educational settings can consult with Rebecca Avery, Education Safeguarding Adviser (Online Protection) and/or Ashley Assiter, e-Safety Development Officer, to discuss policies and procedures in relation to online safety responsibilities.