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Online Safety

Legislation and guidance

Our policy is based on the Department for Education’s (DfE) statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and its advice for schools on:

It also refers to the Department’s guidance on protecting children from radicalisation.

It reflects existing legislation, including but not limited to the Education Act 1996 (as amended), the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the Equality Act 2010. In addition, it reflects the Education Act 2011, which has given teachers stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying by, if necessary, searching for and deleting inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices where they believe there is a ‘good reason’ to do so.

Our policy also takes into account the national curriculum computing programmes of study.

Our policy complies with our funding agreement and articles of association.


Educating pupils about online safety

In Key Stage 3, pupils will be taught to:

  • Understand a range of ways to use technology safely, respectfully, responsibly and securely, including protecting their online identity and privacy
  • Recognise inappropriate content, contact and conduct, and know how to report concerns

The safe use of social media and the internet will also be covered in PSHE in KS3-4 and PULSE in KS5, particularly in relation to Relationships and Sex Education.

Pupils in Key Stage 4 will be taught:

  • To understand how changes in technology affect safety, including new ways to protect their online privacy and identity
  • How to report a range of concerns

By the end of secondary school, they will know:

  • Their rights, responsibilities and opportunities online, including that the same expectations of behaviour apply in all contexts, including online
  • About online risks, including that any material someone provides to another has the potential to be shared online and the difficulty of removing potentially compromising material placed online
  • Not to provide material to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material which is sent to them
  • What to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online
  • The impact of viewing harmful content
  • That specifically sexually explicit material (e.g. pornography) presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours, can damage the way people see themselves in relation to others and negatively affect how they behave towards sexual partners
  • That sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties including jail
  • How information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online
  • How to identify harmful behaviours online (including bullying, abuse or harassment) and how to report, or find support, if they have been affected by those behaviours
  • How people can actively communicate and recognise consent from others, including sexual consent, and how and when consent can be withdrawn (in all contexts, including online)

The school will use assemblies to raise pupils’ awareness of the dangers that can be encountered online and may also invite speakers to talk to pupils about this.