Helping safeguard your school

Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2021

Understanding your

Statutory safeguarding requirements for Online Safety

The ‘Keeping children safe in education’ document sets out the legal duties with which schools and colleges must comply and also contains information on what schools and colleges should do in order to keep children safe.

National Online Safety have reviewed the ‘Keeping children safe in education’ guidance to provide schools with a summary of their Online Safety safeguarding duties

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Our products and services have been designed in line with the follow extracts from the policy.

A Whole School Community Approach to Online Safety

An effective approach

The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation: technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any incident where appropriate.

Annex C | p.102

Clear policy

Whilst filtering and monitoring is an important part of the online safety picture for schools and colleges to consider, it is only one part. Governors and proprietors should consider a whole school or college approach to online safety. This will include a clear policy on the use of mobile technology in the school or college. Many children have unlimited and unrestricted access to the internet via 3G, 4G and 5G in particular and the school and college should carefully consider how this is managed on their premises.

Annex C | p.103
The Role of Designated Safeguarding Leads (and Deputies) in Safeguarding Children Online

Appointing a designated safeguarding lead

Governing bodies, proprietors and management committees should ensure an appropriate senior member of staff, from the school or college leadership team, is appointed to the role of designated safeguarding lead. The designated safeguarding lead should take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety). This should be explicit in the role holder’s job description. This person should have the appropriate status and authority within the school to carry out the duties of the post. They should be given the time, funding, training, resources and support to provide advice and support to other staff on child welfare and child protection matters, to take part in strategy discussions and inter-agency meetings, and/or to support other staff to do so, and to contribute to the assessment of children. [Annex C | Page 93]

Annex B | p.97

Deputy designated safeguarding leads

It is a matter for individual schools and colleges as to whether they choose to have one or more deputy designated safeguarding leads. Any deputies should be trained to the same standard as the designated safeguarding lead and the role should be explicit in their job description. Whilst the activities of the designated safeguarding lead can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for child protection, as set out above, remains with the designated safeguarding lead, this lead responsibility should not be delegated.

Annex B | p.97


The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) should undergo training to provide them with the knowledge and skills required to carry out the role. This training should be updated at least every two years. The designated safeguarding lead should undertake Prevent awareness training.

Annex B | p.98

Working with others

The designated safeguarding lead is expected to liaise with staff (especially pastoral support staff, school nurses, IT Technicians, and SENCOs or the named person with oversight for SEN in a college) on matters of safety and safeguarding (including online and digital safety) and when deciding whether to make a referral by liaising with relevant agencies.

Annex B | p.98

Knowledge & Skills: Online safety and supporting pupils with SEND

In addition to the formal training set out above, their knowledge and skills should be refreshed (this might be via e-bulletins, meeting other designated safeguarding leads, or simply taking time to read and digest safeguarding developments) at regular intervals, as required, and at least annually, to allow them to understand and keep up with any developments relevant to their role so they:

  • are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school or college
  • can recognise the additional risks that children with SEN and disabilities (SEND) face online, for example, from online bullying, grooming and radicalisation and are confident they have the capability to support SEND children to stay safe online
Annex B | p.99
Online Safety Training for Staff

Training should be regularly updated

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) at induction. The training should be regularly updated. Induction and training should be in line with advice from the local three safeguarding partners.

paragraph 89 | p.24

Training should be considered as part of overarching safeguarding approach

Governors and proprietors should ensure that, as part of the requirement for staff to undergo regularly updated safeguarding training (paragraph 84) and the requirement to ensure children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety (paragraph 87), that online safety training for staff is integrated, aligned and considered as part of the overarching safeguarding approach.

Annex C | p.104

Awareness of online radicalisation

There is no single way of identifying whether a child is likely to be susceptible to an extremist ideology. Background factors combined with specific influences such as family and friends may contribute to a child’s vulnerability. Similarly, radicalisation can occur through many different methods (such as social media or the internet) and settings (such as within the home).

Annex A | p.89
Teaching & Learning Online Safety

Curriculum requirements

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including online safety. Schools should consider this as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum.

paragraph 93 | p.24

Education and Resources

Resources that could support schools and colleges include:

  • Education for a connected world framework from the UK Council for Internet Safety supports the development of the curriculum and is of particular relevance to RSHE education and Computing. It is designed, however, to be usable across the curriculum and beyond (covering early years through to age 18) and to be central to a whole school or college approach to safeguarding and online safety.
  • Teaching online safety in school is departmental guidance outlining how schools can ensure their pupils understand how to stay safe and behave online as part of existing curriculum requirements.

[National Online Safety have a suite of lesson resources and classroom packs produced by teachers for teachers directly aligned to the above guidance documents]

Annex C | p.102 - 103
Filters and Monitoring

Governing bodies and proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school’s or college’s IT system. As part of this process, governing bodies and proprietors should ensure their school or college has appropriate filters and monitoring systems in place.

Annex C | p.103
Support for Victims

Sexual violence and/or sexual harassment

Children who are victims of sexual violence and sexual harassment will likely find the experience stressful and distressing. This will, in all likelihood, adversely affect their educational attainment. Sexual violence and sexual harassment exist on a continuum and may overlap, they can occur online and offline (both physical and verbal) and are never acceptable. It is important that all victims are taken seriously and offered appropriate support. Staff should be aware that some groups are potentially more at risk. Evidence shows girls, children with SEND and LGBT children are at greater risk.

Annex A | p.87
Education at home

Where children are being asked to learn online at home the department has provided advice to support schools and colleges do so safely.

[All National Online Safety Courses now include modules on remote learning and safeguarding and we have a wealth of material to help support schools with children who are learning from home]

Annex C | p.104
Other Policies

Ofsted Education Inspection Framework (EIF)

View policy
Other Policies

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education

View policy
Other Policies

Inspecting Safeguarding

View policy
Other Policies

UKCIS Education for a Connected World

View policy
Other Policies

DfE Teaching Online Safety in Schools Guidance

View policy
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