The online world is evolving at a relentless pace and, in what has been an unprecedented year, schools are looking for ways to keep themselves up to date with all of the latest online safety trends and developments.
As a testament to that ambition, they were rewarded with accreditation earlier this year, after multiple key stakeholders completed our comprehensive training programme.
A need to stay updated
Stephanie Blood, who is the PA to the Headteacher at Risedale, explained just how essential National Online Safety has been in the empowerment of staff, parents/carers and also pupils.
She said: “Moving into this digital age where technology is progressing at a rapid rate, it’s very important that everyone, including staff, pupils and parents/carers, are kept up to date with latest developments and are aware of the risks around how to be safe and responsible online.
“The Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) 2019 statutory safeguarding guidance set out the legal duties with which schools and colleges must comply in order to keep children safe online. This prompted a review of the online safety policy and provision in school, where it was identified that external support was needed to enhance the school’s offer in this regard.
“The review identified that the NOS package offers training to staff, governors, DSL, SENCo and parents, including training on Social Media and Reputation, all CPD certified. It also provides a wealth of resources for staff, students and parents on various key topics, online safety courses, webinars, updates on risks for specific apps and games, guides and resources, together in one place for the whole school community to access.”
Engaging the whole school community
As previously highlighted, online safety is a whole school responsibility, so the North Yorkshire-based college have been ensuring that through effective lesson plans and parental engagement, they’re equipped throughout.
“We are looking specifically at self-image and identity, online reputation, online bullying, managing information etc. These will all be beneficial as we have several students who are using social media below the legal age,” she explained.
“We continue to engage with parents weekly on online safety matters through social media and updating the website, and share the resources issued through NOS through this means. The ‘what parents need to know’ guides are shared with parents as they are updated, via social media and the school website.”
Validation across the board
Now they’ve achieved the certification, everyone is keen to keep up the momentum already generated and build on what has been described as a “fantastic achievement” by the college collective.
She declared: “It’s a fantastic achievement and has been thanks to a whole school effort. We hope to keep this momentum going and maintain the status.
“NOS offers access to resources that keeps the school community up to date and aware of online safety issues with guidance on how to manage these to remain safe.”
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