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Online Safety: Filtering, Monitoring and Information Security

Appropriate Filtering and Monitoring

Schools and colleges in England are required by Keeping Children Safe in Education 2022 to "ensure their school or college has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place and regularly review their effectiveness." They should ensure their leadership team and relevant staff have an awareness and understanding of the filtering and monitoring provisions in place, manage them effectively and know how to escalate concerns when identified. They should however also "be careful that "over blocking" does not lead to unreasonable restrictions as to what children can be taught with regards to online teaching and safeguarding".

Schools and childcare providers in England and Wales must also: "ensure children are safe from terrorist and extremist material when access the internet in school, including by establishing levels of filtering" Revised Prevent Duty Guidance: for England and Wales, 2015.

The appropriateness of any filters and monitoring systems are a matter for individual educational settings and will be informed in part, by the risk assessment required by the Prevent Duty and will vary based on the age range of children, the number of children, how often they access IT systems and the proportionality of costs vs risks.

The UK Safer Internet Centre have published guidance for education settings and filtering providers about establishing 'appropriate levels’ of filtering and monitoring.

Remote Learning

Where children are being asked to learn online at home schools and colleges should ensure they do so safely. The Education Safeguarding Service have produced a number of guidance documents for schools and settings in response to Covid-19 pandemic. The following links are specific to safeguarding whilst remote learning:

National Guidance

National Cyber Security Centre 

Information Security and Access Management

Education settings are directly responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate level of security protection procedures in place in order to safeguard their systems, staff and learners, and should review the effectiveness of these procedures periodically to keep up with evolving cyber-crime technologies.

Guidance on e-Security

Also see our section on Cybercrime and Commerce