"We must ensure, therefore, that a framework is in place to help children and young people stay safe when using new technology, and to ensure that where problems do occur, children and young people (and their parents and carers) have support in dealing with them effectively."
Safeguarding children in a digital world report – Becta (2008)
Strategic thinking and leadership around e-safety is critical across all levels of an organisation. This section will focus on the need to understand the bigger picture and have an overall vision for what e-safety means in your own context.
As part of any change initiative, it is important to engage not just learners but practitioners as well. Considering culture is an important part of the change process, especially when considering the social implications of technology in relation to online behaviour. A number of approaches can be taken by institutions that are holistic, consistent and, most importantly, sustainable.
This section will focus on:
- Developing and articulating a vision for e-safety
- Translating the vision into clear standards and policies
- Supporting learner engagement with a flexible and supportive technology infrastructure
- Legal compliance responsibilities for institutions
- Promoting a culture of innovation and change where learners and practitioners at all levels are involved in strategic conversations around e-safety
Two tools from the South West Grid for Learning Trust (SWGfL) can be used to assess e-safety practice for most organisations:
The tool is designed to help professionals to keep people in their care safe online. It is divided into three sections: management, people and technology; with each section containing a number of parts in which they can assess their level of provision.
360 degree tool is divided into 4 elements: policy and leadership, infrastructure, education and standards and Inspection which mirror the PIES approach. Under these elements, schools assess your practice against 4 levels to get a ‘grade’. Suggested improvements and sources of evidence of good practice are included in each section. The tool is linked to the European Pedagogical ICT (EPICT) e-safety module. EPICT offers a certificated award in e-safety.