Leigh Academy Rainham places the utmost importance on safeguarding its pupils.
Headteacher Alexandra Millward joined us to discuss how a Certified School Membership with National Online Safety has empowered the whole school community to respond to developments in the digital world, using the variety of resources on our platform.
Joining National Online Safety
Keeping on top of the latest online safety issues is essential. Our comprehensive range of training and resources provides thorough knowledge of emerging risks and how to respond to them.
To equip their whole school community to help keep children safe online, Leigh Academy Rainham signed up for our Certified School package.
Alexandra explained: "We recognised that National Online Safety was a really good programme to buy into. It provided a strong, high-quality bank of resources and training that we could direct staff to.”
"It really took flight during lockdown,” she recalled. “We were having to provide people with access to CPD remotely – it then became a really useful tool."
National Online Safety’s training and resources are designed in line with statutory safeguarding requirements for schools – leaving Alexandra with no doubts when it came to the product’s validity.
She confirmed: "We wanted something that provided ongoing safeguarding training, which would help us implement changes coming from the DfE's 'Keeping Children Safe in Education' guidance. I knew what a useful tool it was, in terms of supporting the whole school community with online safety."
Online safety training for all stakeholders
Parents and carers can obviously play a massive role in preventing their child from being exposed to harmful content and behaviours online, so Leigh Academy Rainham focused on increasing that parental engagement.
"An important aspect of the Certified School Programme is that we can provide the training and resources with parents and carers,” Alexandra agreed. "We wanted to engage with all stakeholders – not just our teaching staff."
She revealed: "We’ve asked all parents to complete the online safety courses from National Online Safety."
Award-winning online learning hub
At National Online Safety, we’ve made it simple to track and monitor the progression of staff development on our award-winning online learning hub. Alexandra concurred that this has been immensely useful for the school.
"We've had a push on creating watchlists and user groups too," she added. "Over the last few weeks, I've been creating user groups, and we now have one for the safeguarding team, along with a user group for TAs and our inclusion team.
"We've said that each term we'll provide a few hours of CPD time for staff to complete the training that we have identified to be most important to them," she elaborated. "That's one of the ways that we’ve really started to engage with the programme."
In addition to award-winning online safety training, our weekly #WakeUpWednesday series has given Leigh Academy Rainham another avenue for providing informative, eye-catching online safeguarding advice to the school community.
"We've been using our social media platforms to remind parents and carers of what is available," Alexandra commented. "We share the #WakeUpWednesday guides weekly, signposting parents to the appropriate resources for certain apps, games and devices.
"We've been getting a lot of engagement on social media from parents and carers when we’re sharing the resources from National Online Safety. It's been so helpful."
A wealth of features and benefits
Alexandra highlighted some of the standout features of our programme: "The ability to push out CPD remotely and track the completion of it is extremely useful.
"One of the things that is really good about National Online Safety is that you tailor the training to different roles within the school," she nodded. "It works for SENCOs, DSLs, parents ... the whole school community."
Alexandra continued: "We've created a watchlist for all of your mental health related resources too. That ties in nicely with our own CPD in the school."
She concluded: "For me, what I like the most about it is the guides and information for parents – so that they can understand online risks. From a DSL point of view, those courses and certificates are fantastic. It provides reassurance that we're covering what we need to."