COVID-19: What should schools be considering around their online safety provision?

Lockdown has been extended for a further three week period. The UK has never known anything like it. Social distancing has forced countries to close their barriers, business to close their doors and schools to partially shut down.

We are in unprecedented times and many of us are still trying to reach a level of stability and certainly amongst all the guidance documents being released by the government and what we are hearing on the news.

Online Safety Measures

With summer term about to start, it’s important that schools are on top of their online safety provision now more so than ever. Parents and carers will be looking to schools for guidance and direction around how they can keep their children safe online whilst they are spending more time at home.

With that in mind, we have put together an online safety checklist to help give schools some clarity around what they should be considering.

Safeguarding Remote Learners

• Does your school have an appointed a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and Deputy DSL?

• Have/Can both your DSL and Deputy DSL:

o Received comprehensive online safety training?

o Recognise additional risks children with SEND face online?

o Provide appropriate support to staff and students working remotely?

o The correct procedures in place to deal with safeguarding concerns online remotely

Remote Online Safety Training for Staff

• Is your online safety training integrated, aligned and fluid enough to continue whilst schools are closed?

• Are all staff comfortable advising on the range of different online harms and risks?

• Have all your staff received training in safeguarding and online safety? This includes:

o Governors and Senior Leadership

o Teaching and non-teaching staff

o DSLs and Deputy DSLs.

• Do all school staff have an awareness of how radicalisation, online grooming and sexual exploitation can occur online?

Remote Teaching and Learning for Pupils

• Are you confident that children are still receiving relevant teaching and learning in online safety remotely?

• Do you need help engaging children in online safety whilst at home?

• Do your lesson plans and resources lend themselves more to classroom-based learning rather than independent learning?

• Are your lesson plans fun, imaginative and interactive and can they be delivered remotely?

• Are your online safety lessons in line with curriculum requirements and do they follow the UKCCIS ‘Education for a Connected World’ framework?

Engaging Parents and Carers to Keep Remote Learners Safe

• Does your school effectively engage parents and carers in online safety?

• Will your school effectively disseminate messages and concerns around online risks whilst being closed?

• Is your school able to integrate training and learning for parents and carers in online safety remotely?

• Do parents and carers know who to raise online safety concerns with whilst schools are closed?

• Do staff know how to report any online safety concerns raised by parents and carers during school closures?

• Do staff know who to report any online safety concerns to which are raised by parents and carers during school closures?

Staying up to date during school closures

• Are you confident your school is receiving the latest updates on the most relevant online risks and platforms during closures?

• Are you confident that when schools reopen, you will be up to date with the latest online risks and harms that children need to be aware of?

Is your school in need of support during the coronavirus outbreak?

It’s our mission at National Online Safety to ensure children are kept safe online. This includes both when they are at school and now even more so, when they are at home.

As a school, it’s important that you continue to encourage online learning and education around online harms and dangers, particularly in these uncertain times and now that many children at remote learning.

But is your school confident in its ability to deliver the key messages around online safety? Are you complying with relevant statutory guidance and doing all you can to ensure you are safeguarding children remotely? Have all your staff completed role specific online safety training?

If you’re not confident in any of the above, National Online Safety can help. Our Certified School Programme is a perfect solution for schools during these unprecedented times.

You can learn more about the programme here or you can email us at and one of our Online Safety Consultants will be available to help.

Still Have Questions?

Interested in becoming a member? Contact us today to find out more.

An Online Safety Advisor will be in touch within 24 hours