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Online Safety During Lockdown: Six Ways We Can Support Your School

The decision of the Government and the UK’s devolved administrations to place the country into another lockdown – and to close schools – from 5 January has of course revived many now-familiar concerns.

With schools shut to the vast majority of pupils in England until at least the February half term, remote education will once again become an area of national focus as the indispensable method of delivering lessons to children at home. So once again, schools need to ensure that their online safety provision and associated safeguarding measures are absolutely fit for purpose.

Additionally, children’s general online safety during lockdown will again become a priority issue. During the initial lockdown last year, 67% of parents reported that their children’s unsupervised screen time increased during the pandemic. This trend is likely to repeat itself – so parents and carers will again look to schools for guidance, direction and support in keeping their children safe online while they’re at home.

National Online Safety can help. We’ve supported thousands of schools in providing safe and effective remote learning. Our superb resources, training and updates can help your school keep children safe online through the current lockdown period.

We modified and honed our provision in response to the first lockdown period and the requirement for increased support with remote education. Now we’re perfectly positioned to assist your school instantly.

Here are six ways that National Online Safety can support your school community, right now.

1. Safeguarding remote learners

Senior leaders, DSLs and teaching staff have multiple factors to consider when planning the effective, safe delivery of remote learning. Our array of webinars can help. Developed and delivered by experts in their field, they address the online safety topics that will affect your school community even more over the next few weeks. Recent webinars, for example, have covered areas such as the latest DfE guidance on online safeguarding, delivering safe online lessons and supporting parents and carers during lockdown.

2. Remote online safety training for staff

It’s more important now than ever that your staff’s online safety skills and knowledge are fully up to date. Our suite of online safety courses provides role-specific training aligned with the latest DfE statutory guidance. Composed of short modules to deliver high-quality, bite-size learning, each course has been designed to meet the needs of individual roles – from senior leaders to specialised positions like DSLs, ICT leads and SENDCos.

3. Remote teaching and learning

Current Government guidance sets out that, whether live or pre-recorded, digital lessons are expected to replicate the same clear instructions and learning opportunities that pupils would receive in a physical classroom. We can help with that. Our range of resources includes webinars on teaching online safety at both primary and secondary levels, plus engaging compilations of our remote learning advice for educators, parents and pupils. Member schools also have access to a choice of lesson plans for various age groups on various online safety subjects.

4. Engaging parents and carers

Involving parents and carers in online safety will be essential in lockdown, as children’s time online increases. Our online safety courses for parents are a superb starting point. Structured across specific age groups (4–7, 7–11, 11–14 and 14 – 18), they explain young people’s typical online behaviour during each phase and outline the changing risks that children face at each stage. Developed by our expert contributors, the courses are presented by Myleene Klass.

5. Access to the world’s most comprehensive online safety hub for schools

Large chunks of our lives are being mothballed during lockdown, but as ever the digital landscape will evolve and develop apace. There’ll continue to be new apps, new games and new trends to be aware of … as well as, sadly, new risks. But your school doesn’t have to get left behind. We’ve got a vast collection of free online safety guides, bringing you accessible analysis of the topics that you need to know about.

6. Stay constantly up to date with our app

Downloading our new mobile app will help you to keep on top of online safety issues during lockdown. We developed the app in response to requests for mobile access to our resources during the first lockdown period. It makes vital online safety information and training available through your smartphone, and enables parents and teachers to understand and address online safeguarding risks – any time, anywhere.

Take a look at our membership options to see how National Online Safety can support your school at this difficult time. Or email us at hello@nationalonlinesafety.com and one of our Online Safety Consultants will be happy to help.

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