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Online Safety: Professional Practice

Professional Practice with Technology

Technology is a fantastic tool for teaching and learning, but staff can put children at risk and/or leave themselves vulnerable to allegations if they do not maintain clear boundaries with regards to their own online behaviour, both in the classroom and through their personal use of technology.

KCSIE states that all members of staff working in schools/colleges should be provided with an understanding of the expectations, applicable roles, and responsibilities in relation to filtering and monitoring as part of the settings induction process, and as part of their child protection staff training.

The 'Safer Practice with Technology' guidance from Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-agency Partnership (KSCMP) aims to support managers and safeguarding leads make decisions and have discussions with staff about appropriate online behaviours and professional practice.

Designated Safeguarding Leads, leadership staff and managers should ensure that their staff behaviour policy or code of conduct includes the acceptable use of technologies, staff/learner relationships and communications via social media. Template resources can be found here. The Safer Recruitment Consortium have also published  'Guidance for Safer Working Practice for professionals working in education settings' which may be helpful for developing a staff behaviour policy/code of conduct.

If you are worried

If you are a Designated Safeguarding Lead in a Kent school or setting and would like specific support or guidance on safer professional practice with technology, contact the Education Safeguarding Service.

Alternatively, the UK Safer Internet Centre provides an online safety helpline for professionals working with children and young people in the UK. The Helpline aims to resolve any online safety issues professionals may face themselves, such as protecting professional identity and digital reputation.

If you are concerned about online safety practice within your school or setting and/or believe there is evidence of misconduct by any member of staff, this should be reported to your headteacher/manager. If an allegation is made against a member of staff, it should be reported to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) as soon as possible.

The NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line offers free advice and support to professionals with concerns about how child protection issues are being handled in their own or another organisation.


Other resources which explore professional practice for education settings includes: