At Mossgate, we recognise that children are growing up in an increasingly complex world, living their lives seamlessly on and offline at an increasingly younger age. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. The breadth of issues covered within online safety is considerable and Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2022), identifies four areas of risk:
- content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate, or harmful content, for example: pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation, and extremism.
- contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users; for example: peer to peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes.
- conduct: online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm; for example, making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and nonconsensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography, sharing other explicit images and online bullying, and
- commerce: risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and or financial scams. If you feel your pupils, students or staff are at risk, please report it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group (https://apwg.org/).
At Mossgate, our whole-school covers the four risks detailed above and aims to:
- adopt an 'it could happen here' approach to safeguarding and online safety concerns
- protect and educate children and staff in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in and escalate any concerns where appropriate
- provide a relevant online safety curriculum, which adapts to meet the challenges and opportunities of new technologies and teaches children the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to be safe, respectful and responsible users
- ensure children are safeguarded from potential harm and inappropriate online material
- provide staff with regular safeguarding training to ensure they can identify and support children at risk from online harms
- engage with parents around online safety through monthly online safety newsletters, Home-School Agreements, workshops etc
- ensure online safety has a high profile in our community - Safer Internet Day, Anti-Bullying Week etc
- provide a safe network in school with robust filters and monitoring which complies with the UK Safer Internet Centre: appropriate filtering and monitoring and meets the South West Grid for Learning filtering tool
- ensure governors lead and oversee our school whole-school approach through our mission and vision, culture, funding, safeguarding arrangements, curriculum, filtering and monitoring, incidents etc
Our curriculum equips children with the knowledge and skills needed to make the best use of the internet and technology in a safe, considered and respectful way, so they are able to reap the benefits of the online world. More details can be found under 'Curriculum' > 'Computing'.
Updated RS 09.12.22