E-Safety encompasses not only internet technologies but also a full range of electronic communications, such as mobile phones and wireless technology. It highlights the need to educate all learners about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology. It provides safeguards and raises awareness to enable users to control their online experiences.
The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Internet use is embedded in the curriculum and is a necessary tool for both learners and staff.
Acacia Training and Development Ltd (ATD) has a duty to provide learners with quality internet access as part of their learning experience and learners should have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times. The use of these exciting and innovative tools in the learning environment and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote learner achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put learners at risk within and outside the learning environment. Some of the dangers they may face include: –
- Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content;
- Unauthorised access to / loss of / sharing of personal information;
- The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet;
- The sharing / distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge;
- Inappropriate communication / contact with others, including strangers;
- Access to unsuitable video / internet games;
- An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet;
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement;
- Illegal downloading of music or video files;
- The potential for excessive use which may impact on the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
Many of these risks reflect situations in the off-line world and it is essential that this E-Safety Policy is used in conjunction with other policies (e.g. Code of Conduct, Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy).
This policy applies to all members of the ATD community (including staff, learners, volunteers, parents/carers, visitors) who have access to and are users of ATD ICT systems, both in and out of ATD buildings.
Using the internet
Learners will be taught what internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for internet use along with sessions on the use of other new technologies.
Security will be paramount with the highest level filtering and virus protection installed.
Security and capacity will be regularly reviewed by the Operations Manager or Lead IQA.
Learners will be taught about effective use of the internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation.
Managing Internet Access
Learners may only use approved e-mail accounts within the ATD system.
If a learner receives an offensive or bullying e-mail they must immediately inform their tutor or another member of staff who will then inform the Safeguarding/Child Protection Officer.
Photographs/videos will not be used for marketing purposes e.g. website, newsletter without obtaining the learner’s permission and that of the parent/carer where the learner is under 18. The purpose of using the photograph/video will always be made clear.
Learners must not reveal personal details of themselves or others in e-mail communications.
If staff or learners discover a workplace is unsuitable it must be reported immediately to the Safeguarding/Child Protection Officer.
Personal data will be recorded and processed according to the Data Protection Act 1988.
Employers employing apprentices will be given a copy of our E-safety Policy which they must adhere to unless ATD review their own policy as satisfactory. Staff using laptops and mobiles externally must ensure they have no learner personal data stored. Laptops must always be stored securely when outside of ATD and must NEVER be left unattended, for example, left on view in cars.
Other new technologies
Mobile phones must not be used in tutor rooms unless specifically allowed to support learning and approved by the tutor. The sending of abusive or inappropriate texts will be classed as misconduct (see learner code of conduct).
Emerging technologies will be researched for educational benefit and a full risk assessment will be carried out before use is approved e.g. Facebook.
Learners will receive training on E-safety and the E-Safety Policy will be displayed in all learner rooms that learners have aces to IT equipment. Learners under 18 who are employed and undertaking apprenticeships will receive e-safety training on induction.
Learners will be informed that network and internet use will be monitored.
Staff will be given a copy of the E-Safety Policy which will be stored in the shared folder. New staff will be given a copy on induction.
Staff will be made aware that internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct is essential as per the ‘Code of Conduct’.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Senior Management Team
- The Senior Management Team are responsible for the approval of the E-Safety Policy and for reviewing the effectiveness of the policy. This will be carried out by reviewing regular information about e-safety incidents and monitoring reports.
- The Operations Director or Lead IQA is responsible for ensuring the safety (including e-safety) of members of the ATD community, though the day to day responsibility for e-safety will be delegated to the Safeguarding/Child Protection Officer.
- The Senior Management Team are responsible for ensuring that relevant staff receive suitable training to enable them to carry out their e-safety roles and to train other colleagues, as relevant.
- The Senior Management Team will receive regular monitoring reports on e-safety from the Operations Director or Lead IQA.
- The Senior Management Team should be aware of the procedures to be followed in the event of a serious e-safety allegation being made against a member of staff.
The Operations Director or Lead IQA
- takes day to day responsibility for e-safety issues and has a leading role in establishing and reviewing the e-safety policy / documents.
- ensures that all staff are aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an e-safety incident taking place.
- provides training and advice for staff.
- liaises with ICT technical staff.
- receives reports of e-safety incidents and creates a log of incidents to inform future e-safety developments.
- reports regularly to Senior Management Team.
Staff, are responsible for ensuring that:
- they have an up to date awareness of e-safety matters and of the current e-safety policy and practices.
- they report any suspected misuse or problem to the Operations Director or Lead IQA Manager for investigation / action / sanction.
- digital communications with learners should be on a professional level and only carried out using official systems.
- e-safety issues are embedded in all aspects of the curriculum and other activities.
- learners understand and follow the e-safety policy.
- learners have a good understanding of research skills and the need to avoid plagiarism and uphold copyright regulations.
- they monitor ICT activity in lessons and other activities.
- they are aware of e-safety issues related to the use of mobile phones, cameras and hand held devices and that they monitor their use and implement policy with regard to these devices.
- in lessons where internet use is pre-planned learners should be guided to sites checked as suitable for their use and that processes are in place for dealing with any unsuitable material that is found in internet searches.
Safeguarding/Child Protection Officer
Should be trained in e-safety issues and be aware of the potential for serious child protection issues to arise from:
- sharing of personal data;
- access to illegal / inappropriate materials;
- inappropriate on-line contact with adults / strangers;
- potential or actual incidents of grooming;
Are responsible for: –
- using the ATD ICT systems in accordance with this policy;
- having a good understanding of research skills and the need to avoid plagiarism and uphold copyright regulations;
- understanding the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials and knowing how to do so;
- will be expected to know and understand policies on the use of mobile phones, digital cameras and hand held devices. They should also know and understand policies on the taking / use of images and on cyber-bullying;
- understanding the importance of adopting good e-safety practice when using digital technologies out of ATD buildings and realise that the E-Safety Policy covers their actions out of ATD buildings, if related to their membership of ATD.
Parents / Carers
Parents / Carers play a crucial role in ensuring that their children/young people understand the need to use the internet / mobile devices in an appropriate way. Research shows that many parents and carers do not fully understand the issues and are less experienced in the use of ICT than young people. ATD will therefore take every opportunity to help parents/carers understand these issues through a variety of methods such as newsletters, letters and information about national / local e-safety campaigns / literature.
Dealing with complaints
Complaints of internet misuse from learners will be dealt with by the Operations Director or Lead IQA.
Complaints about staff misuse will be dealt with by the Managing Director.
Any issues of a safeguarding/child protection nature will be dealt with as outlined in the ATD Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy.
This policy should not be read in isolation, but cross-referenced with all relevant ATD policies, particularly the Safeguarding/Child Protection Policy.