Current and emerging technologies present so many opportunities for new ways of learning, but with it comes a number of challenges for universities and colleges in ensuring their learners know how to behave safely and responsibly in the digital space.
What you can do
Understand your role to implement the Prevent duty
We’re accredited by the Home Office to deliver the Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent (WRAP), as a live online facilitated session. The Home Office also provides detailed guidance on what is expected in order to fulfil the Prevent duty. Our community blog will help you stay up to date with legal and technical requirements.
Review and improve your current practices
Carry out an audit of current practice to identify risks and key areas for improvement.
Peterborough Regional College used the South West Grid for Learning 360 degree self-review tool to help evaluate their college’s internet safety policy and practice. The tool also suggests how the college might do more to protect young people and staff.
Develop or update your policy
Start by getting everyone involved in developing an internet safety policy that takes into account current technologies and social media. Ensure this is regularly reviewed to reflect current and emerging issues around safeguarding including specific reference to the Prevent duty.
Another important legal obligation is to ensure your acceptable use policy clearly sets out responsible use of IT in relation to the Prevent duty. Each institution has its own requirements but, in his blog for UCISA, Teesside University's IT director provides a useful template as a starting point for updating your policy. Contact our subject specialists directly for more guidance.
Be clear about what is expected of staff and students in your guidelines and deliver relevant training. Provide a named contact responsible for the policy and procedures contained within so all staff know who to contact for further guidance.
Services to help implement safeguarding measures
Our web filtering service helps safeguard users from inadvertent exposure to illegal or inappropriate material.
Our email security services to identify vulnerabilities from threats such as phishing, malware and spam, and tools to protect against domain name system (DNS) ‘spoofing’ that could see users unknowingly being directed to malicious websites.
Further resources and case studies
Social media and other safeguarding considerations
Our keeping learners safe online webinar recording includes presentations and case studies from Peterborough Regional College and Loughborough College. It also features information regarding the legal risks of social media and best practice guidance on how to address this.
The universities of Leeds, York and Manchester have worked together, and with their students to produce an interactive guide to social media. This is for use at any stage in a course of study but is particularly targeted at new students.
Further sector guidance - Prevent
As well as those provided in this guide, below is a detailed list of Prevent resources, which have been produced for the UK higher education, further education and skills sectors.
- Advice and training for FE and skills from the Education and Training Foundation (funded by BIS)
- BIS Prevent coordinators and advice for higher education from Universities UK (UUK) - available via Safe Campus Communities website
- Guidance on security sensitive research material (pdf) - UUK
- Prevent duty guidance for regions of the UK - UK Government
- Cyber security guidance - UK Government
- Monitoring of the Prevent duty - Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
- Prevent and the model regulations blog - Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA)
- Managing external speakers in higher education (pdf) - UUK
- Managing external speakers - NUS Connect
- Advice on charities and terrorism - UK Government
- Charity Commission's counter-terrorism strategy (pdf) - UK Government