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Engaging Online Safety Training: Case Study from GEMS Modern Academy

For GEMS Modern Academy, equipping their staff with up-to-date online safety knowledge is of paramount importance. Dariush Saheli, Head of School Improvement, explained how staff have embedded a culture of online safety across the whole school community.

Joining National Online Safety

Reflecting on GEMS Modern Academy’s journey as a Certified School, Dariush began: “We've been members of National Online Safety for a long time.”

“We really looked into the programme, and it was clear that the best thing to do would be to join as a Certified School.

“We felt that online safety was an area that we could certainly improve in the school,” Dariush continued.

“We appreciated the opportunity that National Online Safety offered, and the fact it was a one-stop shop for online safety CPD.

“We knew it was going to be a fantastic tool for us.”

Excellent feedback from all stakeholders

Realising that staff feedback is pivotal when assessing the impact of an external provider, Dariush revealed that the response to National Online Safety’s offering has been overwhelmingly positive.

He confirmed: “Looking at the statistics, our staff members love the platform and there was very little push needed from us to get them on board.

“Staff really appreciate the certificates and the recognition, alongside the fact that they are improving their knowledge and skills on online safety.”

He explained: “The teachers see that National Online Safety is helping them to become better practitioners."

“Our team have taken to the training and resources really well,” Dariush nodded. "We haven't needed a lot of management on the platform.

“Although I have been setting courses and webinars to be completed, people are going above and beyond that, which is nice.”

Increasing parental engagement

Parents and carers can play a huge role in preventing their child from being exposed to harmful online content and behaviours, so GEMS Modern Academy focused on increasing that parental engagement.

“Our parents and carers appreciate the platform too,” Dariush commented. “Since the pandemic and the introduction of remote learning, technology is being used a lot more.”

“This programme is current and relevant,” he stated. “It allows parents and carers to open that dialogue at home.”

Dariush expressed his appreciation for the Certified School programme, highlighting the amount of knowledge, awareness and learning for all stakeholders involved.

“It's helping the whole school community,” he smiled. “We're very, very happy with the programme.

"From an accreditation point of view, it's great too,” Dariush elaborated. “It shows that we are a school that encourages best practice in terms of online safety.

“But it's more than just ticking a box: it's so useful, and it's starting those important conversations around online safety.”

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