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Keeping Children Safe in Education

The increasing use of technology within schools has meant that it has become a notable component of many safeguarding issues, including but not limited to child sexual exploitation, radicalisation and cyber bullying.

In May 2016, the Department for Education released its revised statutory safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges, ‘Keeping children safe in education’, replacing ‘Keeping children safe in education’ July 2015. 

Unfortunately, whilst technology in schools and colleges can greatly improve academic learning, it has also become a platform that facilitates harm when misused. It is essential that you have an effective approach to online safety whilst protecting users whilst using technology. 

There are three main areas of risk when it comes to protecting children in schools or colleges. These include content that is available on the internet such as illegal or harmful material. Providing content filtering and monitoring needs to protect users from being contacted and being subject to harmful interaction with other online users. 

What is appropriate filtering? 

Appropriate Filtering considers the restriction of access to online material which can be divided into two different categories: Illegal Online Content and Inappropriate Online Content. The Department for Education have outlined the following criteria that must be met for your filtering to be deemed appropriate.

Illegal Online Content

When it comes to choosing your filtering provider you should ensure that access to illegal content is blocked, specifically that the filtering providers:

  • Are Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) members and block access to Illegal Child Abuse Images and Content (CAIC)
  • Integrate the ‘the police assessed list of unlawful terrorist content, produced on behalf of the Home Office’ 

Inappropriate Online Content

Web filtering providers must be able to demonstrate that they can filter and block content that can cause harm or distress to its users. This includes sites that promote unjust treatment of people on grounds of race, religion, age or sex. It must also minimise the exposure of drugs and substance abuse.

Appropriate monitoring and what is expected

Monitoring is defined as the activity of supervising or reviewing the activities undertaken by users. There are different types of monitoring which are: 

Physical Monitoring

This is when schools or colleges are deemed low risk and staff will directly supervise users whilst they are using technology. 

How Smoothwall & Pinacl can help

Smoothwall are committed to keeping children safe online and our portfolio is constantly updated to reflect new legislation changes or requirements. Working with Smoothwall we can provide you with a complete end-to-end solution through their established filtering solution that is used by over 2000 schools in the UK.

Pinacl is a premier partner of Smoothwall and the preferred supplier on Lot 2 of the Jisc Web Filtering Monitoring and Reporting Framework for Local Appliance Based Web Filtering Services. Pinacl was considered to provide the Most Economically Advantageous Tender; which means that you can:

Place Lot 2 orders directly with Pinacl without reopening competition or 

Run a mini-competition against your specific requirements with all capable suppliers in that Lot.

For more information on web filtering please visit our Smoothwall page here or to arrange a live demonstration please call us on 01745 535300.