Fully aware of the risks that the online world can pose to their pupils, Wellfield School had an ambition to empower staff, parents, carers and children through high-quality online safety training.
They then discovered National Online Safety and, more specifically, our Certified School Programme. Soon after, the programme led to accreditation, with Wellfield awarded with their certification in July.
Fran Swinburn, who is the Deputy Headteacher at the Durham-based school, has been excited with the steps taken by the whole-school community and has no doubts they’ll be built upon moving forward.
Responding to online issues
That acknowledgement of heightened online risks and the need to access expert-led training was seconded by everyone at Wellfield.
Mrs Swinburn said: “We’ve seen an explosion in terms of difficulties which our young people are facing and the disclosures which they make.
“We saw the increase in online issues, such as sexting or online activity which comes within a bullying remit and then the availability of information to young people, which they shouldn’t be looking at and shouldn’t have access to.”
“Something which would tick all boxes for us”
Furthermore, Mrs Swinburn liked our platform’s comprehensive nature and that “one-stop” method of learning.
As a result, pupils’ online queries and concerns have been subsequently quelled.
“Having looked into it (National Online Safety) before I had the first information meeting, it seemed to be something which would tick all boxes for us,” she explained.
“It would enable us to stay up to date. We all know everything to do with online activity changes very quickly and, everything collided at the right time, so we went ahead with it.
“It’s one-stop and it ticks that box for us. It’s as simple as that.
“The feeling I got from staff was that they were getting information which was in one place, it was very informative and they knew where to go back to for refreshers or to double-check things.
“Already we’re seeing a number of problems which are being quite effectively resourced.”
Validation through accreditation
Having a Certified School accreditation just goes to show Wellfield’s commitment to protecting their pupils online – a view which is echoed by Mrs Swinburn.
She stated: “It’s validation and pride, and it reflects that our staff are very committed to the young people that they work with.
“We had two disaggregated CPD days at the end of term, so rather than bring them into school, we set up the equivalent of two days’ worth of training to do online.
“That’s how we’ve been able to achieve the accreditation, because they were able to use the time and are still using the time to complete what’s been assigned to them.”