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Safeguarding: Online Safety

What is Online Safety?

It is essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material and behaviours. An effective approach to online safety enables educational settings to empower, protect and educate learners and staff in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any concerns where appropriate.

The breadth of issues classified within online safety is considerable, but can be categorised into four areas of risk:

  • content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content  For example, pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism.
  • contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users. For example, peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes.
  • conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm. For example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images or videos) and/or pornography or other explicit images and online bullying.
  • commerce - financial risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams.

What we do

The Education Safeguarding Service have a specific Online Safety team who are responsible for providing specific advice and supporting the delivery and oversight of online safeguarding arrangements in Kent schools, education settings and early years childcare settings.

The online safety team provide specific advice and guidance for Kent schools and educational settings, acting as an initial point of contact for local online safety enquiries, and developing links with relevant local and national agencies. The online safety team also provide staff training and support DSLs in promoting safe practice in line with local and national guidance.

You can find out more about the role of the Education Safeguarding Service and our contact details here.

Useful Resources

Use the toolbar on the left to access specific online safety guidance and resources that are suitable for all education settings. These links are regularly updated so bookmark this page to help you access materials easily.

The resources listed support a wide range of issues, such as cyberbullying, gaming and nude and semi-nude image sharing, as well as signposting to materials which can support education settings in raising awareness and enhancing their own practice.

These wide-ranging resources can support or be used to support:

  • Designated Safeguarding Leads (DSLs)
  • education staff, leaders/managers and governors
  • children and young people
  • parents and carers.

Do you have an Online Safety Concern?

Kent schools and settings can access online safety consultations from the team by calling 03000 415 797. You can find the contact details for our wider Education Safeguarding Service here.

General queries can be sent to our central email address but please note this email is not always monitored so must not be used for consultation purposes or to report specific child protection concerns.

If a Kent child is at risk of imminent harm, call the Integrated Front Door on 03000 411 111 (outside office hours - 03000 419 191) or the Police on 999.