I have heard of E-Safety, but do we really need it?

In the Governments continued effort to safeguard children, in May 2016 the Government released its revised statutory guidance for schools and colleges ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ replacing the 2015 release. These revisions are effective from the 5th September and need to be followed by all governing bodies of both maintained and independent schools.

 

Online safety is a key factor in protecting children and their welfare. Therefore it’s no surprise that the Department of Education has tightened its guidelines in regards to what schools are expected to do to protect children from both inappropriate online material and also monitoring. Not only is it important that schools and colleges have an effective web filtering solution but also a monitoring tool installed on their network and systems alongside this.

 

As technology use in schools is increasing due its benefits to both students and teachers, it also has brought with it its own risk’s that need to be addressed to prevent harm. Protecting children from abuse, drugs, cyber bullying, radicalisation and sexual exploitation is at the forefront of the Department of Education’s focus in order to keep children safe online.

 

The presence and use of filtering and monitoring solutions will be assessed as part of the Ofsted inspection. In order for a school to achieve outstanding they must achieve outstanding in this category.

 

We already block certain types of websites, isn’t that enough?

Schools should already have some form of filtering for their network, however filtering these websites so they cannot be accessed is not enough alone. Schools and colleges also have a responsibility to monitor these activities to highlight any issues they may have in their communities.

 

By monitoring and logging the entries made on the devices schools can not only find out what their risk areas are, which may be different for each school, but also which individual it effects so they can act accordingly. For example a school in a city may have very different issues to a school in rural surroundings. Also life threatening issues like suicide can be addressed with the students individually, this can then be dealt with in a swift and sensitive manner to prevent harm.

 

Okay, so we need to improve our e-safety solution, but what options do we have?

There are a variety of suitable software solutions available that can help you to achieve this requirement. These solutions come with easy to use user interfaces and also options for additional functionality. So not only can they fill your e-safety requirement needs, they can also boost the learning experience in the classroom and ease the management of the schools network.

 

There are products available boasting features such as power management, asset management, patch management, muting devices, viewing devices screen’s, monitoring the audio, push web links and videos to devices, sending quiz’s to students in the classroom and much more with new features being added all the time. Web filtering solutions also come with firewall protection so they not only keep the students safe, they keep your network safe too! Alternatively if you’re only looking for filtering and monitoring tools without the extra features, there are options available here too.

 

Stone’s software team are here to help demystify what the best solution is for you based on your individual requirements and needs. We understand how confusing it can be so why not speak to the experts? If you have a specific requirement in mind then please get in touch with the Stone sales team to discuss this further. We can provide expert advice as well as arranging demos and trials so you can see it working for yourselves. Once you’ve found a product that works for you we can work together to ease deployment and you can rest assured that you have a solid future proof solution that meets and sometimes exceeds your statutory obligations.