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Engaging Online Safety Training: Case Study from Barwell Academy

Barwell Academy’s approach to online safety speaks for itself: they have now achieved both Certified School Status and Safe Remote Education Accreditation.

Engaging with their whole community, Barwell Academy has developed an online safety ethos thanks to the expertise and resources provided by National Online Safety.

Katie Harris, Deputy DSL, says there’s now a sense of pride within the school and they are looking forward to continuing the training.

An ever-evolving digital world

Katie recognises the central role which the internet plays in a child’s everyday life.

Ensuring all key stakeholders are kept abreast of the latest developments in online safety, therefore, is key – as is providing them with the education to empower them in supervising children’s use of digital technology.

Katie explained: "We're in a world where technology is such a huge part of daily life; we're constantly reaching for it."

"It's a necessity that children understand that digital world and know how to keep themselves safe. We all know the internet can be such a huge advantage, but we also know the pitfalls," she continued.

"Equipping children with the skills to tackle those dangers is vital"

A whole-school approach to safeguarding is crucial for Barwell Academy, and National Online Safety’s package fully aligned with the school’s values and ambitions.

"We wanted the comprehensive coverage that National Online Safety provides. Not just for the teaching staff but for the whole school community," Katie confirmed.

"Knowing how important online safety is for children, we wanted our staff to become knowledgeable about the subject and aware of the correct way to tackle situations."

Flexible training for all staff

After an unprecedented year dominated by the pandemic, it was important that the school’s online safety training was flexible – something that we at National Online Safety were able to cater for.

"One of the key things was the flexibility you offer with your programme," Katie concurred. "We wanted something staff can pick up, put down and go back to."

A whole-school approach to online safety

A benefit for Barwell Academy was our package’s comprehensive nature – with the ability to empower not only school staff but members of the wider community.

As well as strong engagement levels from school staff, parents and carers have shown a real enthusiasm, too – something that’s delighted the school.

"One of the first things that caught my eye were the parent guides that you produce for each app, game or device," Katie recalled. "It's a fantastic resource for parents to learn how to deal with situations if they arise."

She added: "When I delved deeper into National Online Safety, it seemed like the way forward for our school and something that would come in handy for every single member of our school community."

"As with any school, there are always going to be issues surrounding online safety – especially with the number of children who now own a mobile phone and are digitally savvy. Having the parent guides available has been extremely helpful."

Katie continued: "We've had teachers using the lesson plans and guides when there has been a particular issue with online safety."

"The biggest positive has been the quality and range of training available."

Certified School and Safe Remote Education Accreditations

Reflecting on the overall accomplishment of both accreditations, Katie says the overwhelming feeling is one of pride, which will only spur everyone on to further utilise our resources and training.

"The Safe Remote Education Accreditation was invaluable to inform more staff about the 'new normal' and clarifying that we were taking the right steps moving forwards."

"We're really proud to be a Certified School. It acknowledges that our staff have had all of that relevant training to help support children with online safety," she concluded.

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