Before choosing a provider to support their students’ online safety needs, Badminton School needed assurances that the package they chose would benefit the whole school community.
With National Online Safety, the independent school in Bristol were guaranteed that all their requirements would be met and, after taking an across-the-board approach to protecting their pupils online, they achieved their certified school status in December 2019.
We were keen to find out just exactly how the school were benefiting from our training and resources so we spoke with Marketing Manager, Helen Read, to find out a little more.
Why did you choose National Online Safety?
Once we had done our research it was an easy decision; the resources provided by National Online Safety ensured that we were able to support and empower staff, parents and children alike. This highlights that online safety it is a whole school responsibility and a joined-up approach which ensures that everyone is aware of the risks and ways to mitigate them.
What package/resources did you purchase and how did you find these?
We purchased the Certified School Accreditation. The resources were excellent, in particular the staff training videos. We particularly like the weekly #WakeUpWednesday emails with the attached PDFs that address different risks each week. These have been excellent for both staff, pupils and parental engagement.
How have you found the service from National Online Safety?
The support team, particularly for helping to set up all members of staff with logins in the first instance, were exceptional. The information went live on the day we requested, and email sent out. Any updates were quickly actioned whether contact via email or on the phone. There have been email updates and several phone calls since we became accredited that have kept us on track and ensured that we were aware of any new resources and training opportunities.
How much of a benefit has National Online Safety’s resources been to your school?
There have been many benefits to the school; the most significant being in teacher confidence in how to identify and report any concerns they might have. The training has also highlighted areas for consideration with their own use of social media and the ways in which it can make us vulnerable.
The #WakeUpWednesday advice sheets ensure that staff and parents are current with the latest apps that their children might be using. These have been very useful in providing a vehicle to start conversations about any risks that they are worried about with their children and pupils.
What were the goals for using our resources?
Our ultimate goal has always been to ensure that our community was equipped with the knowledge and skills to ensure that they are safe online and to know how and where to report any concerns they might have. Going through the process to become an accredited school has helped us to achieve this.
How beneficial has our remote learning platform been during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have been using the #WakeUpWednesday resources with staff, parents and children through our weekly online newsletter. The E-communications leaders have also created videos based around some of these resources which will also be available to our whole community (particularly the top tips for online learning).
If you could draw one positive from National Online Safety’s resources, what would it be?
We would definitely say its simplicity; it is very easy to find whatever you need on whatever topic you are looking for. Our pupils commented on how easy it was to locate the resources needed when preparing for their Safer Internet Day assemblies in February.
What is your feedback on our weekly #WakeUpWednesday guides? How would you say they’ve added to your e-safety approach?
The guides are great and feedback from parents has been very positive. The layout is eye catching and they are engaging with useful suggestions on safer use of online resources and apps. The language used is always appropriate and accessible for its desired audience; pupils, parents and staff alike.
How much of a benefit has the ability to undertake courses and training on an online platform, in your own time been?
In an ever-changing online world, it is a challenge to stay abreast of the new apps that keep appearing and the risks that these can pose. The flexibility offered by the training meant that staff could fit it in around other commitments and work through the material in their own time to maximise learning.
How have you found the use of our new Online Safety Hub?
The new layout is definitely more eye catching and the navigation panel on the left-hand side is easy to use. Each section is self-explanatory and the search tool to find resources on a particular aspect is essential.
You recently achieved your Certified School Status – how rewarding has it been to be awarded with this?
It has been very rewarding for the school as we are able to be clear in the importance of Internet Safety to our whole community. Being able to use the logo on all of our digital resources demonstrates our confidence and ensures that it stays a priority in everyone’s minds.