E-Safety Policy

At St Thomas a Becket we aim to provide a healthy, safe environment for everyone in our school. We take serious our responsibility to promote the health, welfare, safety and guidance of our pupils. This policy outlines the procedures, and provides information to assist in making and recording issues concerning sfaety in regards to information technologies.

E-safety Policy

St Thomas a Becket School is a primary school of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Southwark.

The aim of the school is to offer excellence of education in accordance with the teaching of the Church and to value and develop each child’s potential in a community in which every member is fully respected.

We try to ensure that this is done by

  • Praying together
  • Valuing the experiences of each member of the community
  • Being a caring, forgiving community
  • Living and working and playing together
  • By encouraging the children to achieve the best of their ability

 

Rationale

We live in a growing technological age where technology has become an integral part of the lives of children and adults alike. The internet hosts many exciting and enriching opportunities for our children. It is a boundless source of information, entertainment and creativity. We want to encourage our children to make use of this valuable resource but like the real world there are risks and dangers that we should be aware of and act to protect them from. Some of the dangers they may face include:

  • Accessing illegal, harmful or inappropriate material.
  • Unauthorised sharing or loss of personal information.
  • The sharing and distribution of personal images without consent or knowledge.
  • Inappropriate communication with others, including strangers.
  • Cyber bullying
  • Sexting
  • Being subject to grooming by those they meet on the internet.
  • Plagiarism and copyright infringement.
  • Illegal downloading of music and video files.

As it is not possible to eliminate these risks, it is important that all members of St Thomas a Becket school are educated on how to use these technologies safely, as we expect all members of St Thomas a Becket to use information and communication technologies safely and responsibly. 

Within this policy clear expectations of behaviour and codes of practice relevant to responsible use of the Internet for educational, personal or recreational use will be outlined.  This policy will also outline the clear structure in place to deal with online abuse such as cyberbullying which are cross referenced with other school policies. The school will ensure that all members of the school community are aware that unlawful or unsafe behaviour is unacceptable and that, where appropriate, disciplinary or legal action will be taken. 

Teaching and Learning

The internet is a fundamental part of modern society, for communication, education and much more. Internet use is part of the National Curriculum and it is an excellent tool for both staff and pupils.  Therefore it is important to use the internet whilst teaching to enrich learning. There are several things the schools shall do to enable this:

  • It is the schools responsibility to provide its pupils with good quality access to the internet.
  • Pupils use the internet extensively outside of school and so they shall learn how to evaluate the information they come across, as well as learning how to be responsible for their own safety.
  • The schools internet access will be designed specifically for the pupils and filters will be used to help keep the sites they access appropriate for the age of the pupils.
  • Pupils will be taught how to use the internet appropriately and they shall be given clear objectives for their internet usage.
  • Internet access will be planned and only be used to enrich and extend pupils learning. Furthermore all online activities should be planned to suit the pupils’ age and maturity.
  • Pupils should be guided through all online activities by staff.
  • All pupils will take part in e-safety lessons where they will engage in age appropriate activities. Furthermore staff should ensure e-safety awareness is regularly promoted in class.
  • Pupils will be taught to evaluate internet content, including how to validate information before accepting its accuracy.
  • The school will ensure that all materials used by staff and pupils, deriving from the internet, comply with copyright laws.
  • Pupils will be taught to acknowledge the source of any information they use and to respect copyright laws.

Managing Internet Access

Security

The school shall do the following to ensure all members security:

  • Schools ICT systems capacity and security will be regularly reviewed.
  • Virus protection will be maintained and updated frequently.
    • There will be regular reviews and audits of the safety and security of school  technical systems.
    • Servers, wireless systems and cabling must be securely located and physical access restricted.
    • All users will have clearly defined access rights to school technical systems and devices.
    • The “master / administrator” passwords for the ICT system, used by the Network Manager (or other person) must also be available to the Head teacher or other nominated senior leader and kept in a secure place (e.g. school safe).
    • In partnership with Qubic and LGFL security strategies will be discussed and website access will be filtered.

Managing filtering

  • Any inappropriate material discovered by staff or pupils must be reported to the Child Protection Officer, Mrs Greally.
  • The school will work with outside agencies to devise, uphold, review and improve systems to protect pupils.
  • Regular checks shall be made to ensure filters are appropriate and affective.
  • Any illegal material found shall be reported to appropriate agencies, such as CEOP.

 

Email

Electronic mail is now an important means of communication. An email can be sent anywhere in the world, rapidly and it is simple and quick. Emails are fantastic tools but must be use sensibly and safely:

  • Pupils may only use whole class email addresses.
  • A teacher must be informed immediately if an offensive email is received.
  • Pupils must not share their personal information, or that of others, in emails.
  • Pupils must not arrange to meet anyone they have talked to online without specific permission.
  • Chain letters are not permitted.
  • Any emails to be sent to external organisations should be written carefully and thoughtfully as a representative of the school.  Before being sent they must be authorised by a class teacher or the Head teacher.

Published content, the school blog and the school website.

The school website and blog are fantastic resources to keep our school community informed and celebrate achievements. When using the schools website and blog, or other means to publish content relating to pupils and staff the following needs to be followed:

  • When using digital images, staff should use the opportunity to inform and educate pupils about the risks associated with the taking, use, sharing, publication and distribution of images.
  • In accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office, parents / carers are welcome to take videos and digital images of their children at school events for their own personal use (as such use in not covered by the Data Protection Act). To respect everyone’s privacy and in some cases protection, these images should not be published / made publicly available on social networking sites, nor should parents / carers comment on any activities involving other pupils in the digital / video images.
  • Staff and volunteers are allowed to take digital / video images to support educational aims, but must follow school policies concerning the sharing, distribution and publication of those images. Those  images should only be taken on school equipment, the personal equipment of staff should not be used for such purposes.
  • Pupils must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission.
  • Photographs will be selected carefully and will comply with good practice guidance on the use of such images. They will only be published if permission from parents/carers has been received.
  • Pupils’ full names will not be used anywhere on a website or blog, particularly in association with photographs.

The e-safety policy will be put on the school website.

Social networking and personal publishing

  • Newsgroups will be blocked unless specifically approved.
  • The school blog shall be used to teach pupils about acceptable, appropriate and safe social networking behavior. Parents/carers will be encouraged to also use the school blog as a tool to educate their children.
  • Pupils will be advised to never share their personal information, specifically anything which may be used to identify who they are and where they are.
  • No reference should be made in social media to pupils, parents /carers or school staff
  • There should be no online discussions of personal matters relating to members of the school community.

 

Managing emerging technologies

Frequently new technologies come onto the market presenting exciting opportunities. These technologies often have educational benefits and the school considers introducing them to the children. Any emerging technologies shall be looked at and reviewed for its educational benefits. Then risk assessments will be carried out on any educationally beneficial technologies before they are introduced to the pupils.

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are not permitted to be used during school time. Mobile phones brought into school must be handed into the school office at the start of the day and collected at the end of the day. Abusive and inappropriate texts messages are forbidden. Staff will use a school phone where contact has to be made with parents/carers or pupils.

Protecting personal data

In accordance with the Data protection Act 1998, all personal data will be recorded, processed, transferred and made available.

Authorising Internet Access

All staff must read and sign the “Staff Acceptable Use Policy” before accessing the internet.

Assessing risks

Reasonable precautions shall be taken by the school to ensure users of the internet only access appropriate material. Due to the extensive nature of the internet it is not possible to guarantee all unsuitable material will be blocked. Neither the school nor LGFL can accept liability for material access or any consequences of Internet access. The school will audit ICT provision to ensure the e-safety policy is adequate and its implementation is effective.

Handling e-safety complaints

Complaints of internet misuse by a pupil will be dealt with by a senior member of staff. Any complaints of staff misuse must be referred to the head teacher. Any complaints relating to child protection must be dealt with in accordance with the child protection policy and the child protection officer informed. It is important that the school works in partnership with Parents/carers and pupils to resolve any issues.

Introducing the e-safety policy to pupils

In every room which has internet access e-safety rules will be displayed and discussed with pupils at the start of each year. Pupils will also be informed that the network and their internet use shall be monitored.

Staff and the e-safety policy

All staff will be given the e-safety policy and its importance shall be explained to them. Staff should also bee aware that internet traffic can be monitored and traced to an individual user. Therefore discretion and professional conduct is essential. Staff training on e-safety and on the policy will be provided as required. If the staff has any queries about safe and responsible Internet use they should approach the website co-ordinator or the head teacher.

Enlisting Parent/carer support.

The school e-safety policy will be on the school website, along with additional information for parents/carers. Any issues with the internet encountered in school will be handled sensitively and parents/carers will be advised accordingly. The school aims to work with the parents/carers to educate pupils on how to be safe and responsible online and the school has asked parents to model good online behaviour on our school blog.

Rules for Internet use in school

  • Only use the internet with the teacher’s permission and in the teacher’s presence.
  • Only use the internet for educational purposes.
  • Never use offensive or rude messages or materials
  • Never share yours or anybody else’s personal information
  • Only use your first name.
  • Tell an adult if you come across something which makes you uncomfortable.

 

 Policy ammended : February 2015

Lead person: Mrs Greally, Headteacher