Before getting into the technical requirements for filtering and monitoring in schools, it’s important to understand that in primary and secondary schools, pupils are taught about online safety in an age-appropriate way.
In Primary Schools,
children are taught:
- that people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not.
- that the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others.
- the rules and principles for keeping safe online: how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them.
- how to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information.
In Secondary Schools,
children are taught:
- their rights, responsibilities & opportunities online.
- not to provide content to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material which is sent to them.
- what to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online.
- the impact of viewing harmful content.
- that sexually explicit material like pornography presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours.
- that sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties.
- how information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online.
This also includes being taught:
- what positive, healthy & respectful online relationships look like.
- the effects of their online actions on others.
- how to recognise and display respectful behaviour online.
- how to use technology safely, responsibly, respectfully & securely.
- where to go for help and support when they have concerns.
The DfE Education Hub is a site for all education professionals, including pupils and parents, where you can find accessible and informative information on various education topics, including online safety.
Read the full article here: https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/02/01/how-we-promote-and-teach-online-safety-in-schools/
Technical requirements for filtering and monitoring standards in schools and colleges
To meet the DfE’s standard for filtering and monitoring, schools and colleges must fulfill the following technical requirements:
- Procuring Systems: The senior leadership team is responsible for acquiring appropriate filtering and monitoring systems.
- Documenting Decisions: Clear records of decisions on blocked or allowed content must be maintained.
- Reviewing Effectiveness: Regular evaluations are necessary to assess the effectiveness of the systems.
- Overseeing Reports: The senior leadership team should monitor filtering and monitoring reports for concerns.
Staff members should:
- Understand Roles: Staff must be aware of their responsibilities regarding filtering and monitoring.
- Receive Training: Proper training should be provided to enable effective system utilization.
- Follow Policies: Staff members should adhere to established policies and procedures.
- Address Reports and Concerns: Prompt action should be taken on reports and concerns identified through the systems.
Collaboration is essential between the senior leadership team, designated safeguarding lead (DSL), and IT service providers.
The DSL oversees filtering and monitoring reports, safeguarding concerns, and system checks, while the IT service provider maintains the systems and addresses concerns.
Procurement, risk identification, reviews, and checks require cooperation between the IT service provider, senior leadership team, and DSL.
Meeting these technical requirements ensures a safe online environment in educational institutions.
Securus meets the DfE requirements for filtering and monitoring
By using Securus for digital monitoring in your school or college, you can meet the DfE’s technical requirements and proactively safeguard students online.
Speak to us today to find out more about our suite of device and network-level monitoring solutions.
Full guidance on the standards your school or college needs to meet for filtering and monitoring requirements can be found on the GOV.UK website, by following the link below: