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Online Safety: Professional Practice

Professional Practice

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.

This guidance from Kent Safeguarding Children Multi-agency Partnership aims to support managers and safeguarding leads make decisions and have discussions with staff about appropriate online behaviors and professional practice:

Designated Safeguarding Leads and managers should ensure that their staff behaviour policy or code of conduct includes the acceptable use of technologies, staff/pupil relationships and communications via social media.

If you are a designated safeguarding lead in a Kent school and you would like specific support or guidance on safer professional practice with technology, contact the Education Safeguarding Advisor: Online Protection.

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 designated safeguarding lead. 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.