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On-line Safety policy


On-Line Safety Policy


Our Lady's School is founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the life of the school community is centred on His presence.


The On-line Safety Policy has been written by the school, building on the KCC e-Safety Policy and government guidance.  It has been agreed by all members of the school community.  The school On-line Safety co-ordinator is Mrs Julia Foster and Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) is Miss Isabel Quinn or in her absence Mrs Julia Foster.  This policy will be reviewed on a yearly basis.   Our School Policy has been agreed by the Senior Leadership Team and approved by governors and other stakeholders.



In today’s society, children, young people and adults interact with technologies such as mobile phones, games consoles and the Internet on a daily basis and experience a wide range of opportunities, attitudes and situations. The exchange of ideas, social interaction and learning opportunities involved are greatly beneficial to all, but can occasionally place children, young people and adults in danger.


On-line safety covers issues relating to children and young people as well as adults and their safe use of the Internet, mobile phones and other electronic communications technologies, both in and out of school. It includes education for all members of the school community on risks and responsibilities and is part of the ‘duty of care’ which applies to everyone working with children.


The school is must be aware that children and staff cannot be completely prevented from being exposed to risks both on and offline. Children should be empowered and educated so that they are equipped with the skills to make safe and responsible decisions as well as to feel able to report any concerns. All members of staff need to be aware of the importance of good on-line safety practice in the classroom in order to educate and protect the children in their care. Members of staff also need to be informed about how to manage their own professional reputation online and demonstrate appropriate online behaviours compatible with their role.


  • The e–Safety Policy will be formally provided to and discussed with all members of staff.

  • To protect all staff and pupils, the school will implement Acceptable Use Policies (AUP).

  • Staff will be made aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user. Discretion and professional conduct is essential.

  • Up-to-date and appropriate staff training in safe and responsible Internet use, both professionally and personally, will be provided for all members of staff.

  • The School will highlight useful online tools which staff should use with children in the classroom. These tools will vary according to the age and ability of the pupils.

  • All members of staff will be made aware that their online conduct out of school could have an impact on their role and reputation within school. Civil, legal or disciplinary action could be taken if they are found to bring the profession or institution into disrepute, or if something is felt to have undermined confidence in their professional abilities.


Teaching and learning

Internet use is part of the statutory curriculum and is a necessary tool for learning.  The Internet is a part of everyday life for education, business and social interaction.  The duty of the school is to provide students with quality, safe Internet access as part of their learning experience.  Pupils use the Internet widely outside school and need to learn how to evaluate Internet information and to take care of their own safety and security.


The purpose of Internet use in school is to raise educational standards, to promote pupil achievement, to support the professional work of staff and to enhance the school’s management functions.  Internet access is an entitlement for students who show a responsible and mature approach to its use.


Benefits of using the Internet in education include

  • access to worldwide educational resources including museums and art galleries

  • educational and cultural exchanges between pupils worldwide

  • vocational, social and leisure use in libraries, clubs and at home

  • access to experts in many fields for pupils and staff

  • professional development for staff through access to national developments, educational materials and effective curriculum practice

  • collaboration across networks of schools, support services and professional associations

  • improved access to technical support including remote management of networks and automatic system updates

  • exchange of curriculum and administration data with KCC and DfE

  • access to learning wherever and whenever convenient.


The school’s Internet access is designed to enhance and extend education.  Pupils are taught what Internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for Internet use.  Each pupil and member of staff is required to sign an internet usage agreement (AUP).  Access levels to the internet will be reviewed to reflect the curriculum requirements and the age and ability of pupils. 

Staff should guide pupils to online activities that will support the learning outcomes planned for the pupils’ age and ability.  Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation and will be taught to acknowledge the source of information used and to respect copyright when using Internet material in their own work.


The school will ensure that the copying and subsequent use of Internet-derived materials by staff and pupils complies with copyright law.


The quality of information received via radio, newspaper and telephone is variable and everyone needs to develop critical skills in selection and evaluation. Information received via the Internet, email or text message requires even better information handling and digital literacy skills. In particular it may be difficult to determine origin, intent and accuracy, as the contextual clues may be missing or difficult to read.  Researching potentially emotive themes such as the Holocaust, animal testing, nuclear energy etc provide an opportunity for pupils to develop skills in evaluating Internet content.


Pupils will be taught to be critically aware of the materials they read and shown how to validate information before accepting its accuracy.  Pupils will use age-appropriate tools to research Internet content.  The evaluation of online materials is a part of teaching and learning in every subject and will be viewed as a whole-school requirement across the curriculum.


T       Teaching and Support Staff

A All staff are responsible for ensuring that

  • they have an up to date awareness of on-line safety matters and of the current school on-line safety policy and practices

  • they have read, understood and signed the Staff Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

  • they report any suspected misuse or problem to the Head Teacher or Deputy Head Teacher for investigation / action / sanction

  • all digital communications with students / pupils / parents / carers should be on a professional level and only carried out using official school systems

  • on-line safety issues are embedded in all aspects of the curriculum and other activities

  • pupils understand and follow theon-line safety and acceptable use policies

  • pupils have a good understanding of research skills and the need to avoid plagiarism and uphold copyright regulations

  • they monitor the use of digital technologies, mobile devices, cameras etc in lessons and other school activities (where allowed) and implement current policies with regard to these devices

  • in lessons where internet use is pre-planned students / pupils 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.


Managing Information Systems

  • The security of the school information systems and users will be reviewed regularly.
  • Virus protection will be updated regularly.
  • Personal data sent over the Internet or taken off site will be encrypted.
  • Unapproved software will not be allowed in work areas or attached to email.
  • Files held on the school’s network will be regularly checked.
  • The ICT coordinator/network manager will review system capacity regularly.
  • The use of user logins and passwords to access the school network will be enforced.



Email is an essential means of communication for both staff and pupils. Directed email use can bring significant educational benefits for example interesting projects between schools in neighbouring villages and in different continents can be created.

  • Pupils may only use approved email accounts for school purposes.
  • Pupils must immediately tell a designated member of staff if they receive offensive email.
  • Pupils must not reveal personal details of themselves or others in email communication, or arrange to meet anyone without specific permission from an adult.
  • Whole-class or group email addresses will be used in school for communication outside of the school.
  • Staff will only use official school provided email accounts to communicate with pupils and parents/carers, as approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
  • Excessive social email use can interfere with learning and will be restricted.
  • Emails sent to external organisations should be written carefully and authorised before sending, in the same way as a letter written on school headed paper.
  • The forwarding of chain messages is not permitted.
  • Staff should not use personal email accounts during school hours or for professional purposes.




Published content

Sensitive information about schools and pupils could be found in a newsletter but a school’s website is more widely available. Publication of any information online should always be considered from a personal and school security viewpoint.

  • The contact details on the website should be the school address, email and telephone number. Staff or pupils’ personal information must not be published.
  • The deputy head teacher will take overall editorial responsibility for online content published by the school and will ensure that content published is accurate and appropriate.
  • The school website will comply with the school’s guidelines for publications including respect for intellectual property rights, privacy policies and copyright.
  • Images or videos that include pupils will be selected carefully and will not provide material that could be reused.
  • Pupils’ full names will not be used anywhere on the website, particularly in association with photographs.
  • Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before images/videos of pupils are electronically published.


Social networking, social media and personal publishing

Parents and teachers need to be aware that the Internet has emerging online spaces and social networks which allow individuals to publish unmediated content. Social networking sites can connect people with similar or even very different interests. Users can be invited to view personal spaces and leave comments, over which there may be limited control.


  • The school will control access to social media and social networking sites.
  • Pupils will be advised never to give out personal details of any kind which may identify them and/or their location. Examples would include real name, address, mobile or landline phone numbers, school attended, instant messaging (IM) and email addresses, full names of friends or family, specific interests and clubs etc.
  • Staff wishing to use Social Media tools with students as part of the curriculum will risk assess the sites before use and check the sites terms and conditions to ensure the site is age appropriate. Staff will obtain documented consent from the Senior Leadership Team before using Social Media tools in the classroom.
  • Staff official blogs or wikis should be password protected and run from the school website with approval from the Senior Leadership Team. Members of staff are advised not to run social network spaces for pupil use on a personal basis.
  • Personal publishing will be taught via age appropriate sites that are suitable for educational purposes. They will be moderated by the school where possible.
  • Pupils will be advised on security and privacy online and will be encouraged to set passwords, deny access to unknown individuals and to block unwanted communications. Pupil will be encouraged to approve and invite known friends only on social networking sites and to deny access to others by making profiles private.
  • All members of the school community are advised not to publish specific and detailed private thoughts, especially those that may be considered threatening, hurtful or defamatory.
  • Newsgroups will be blocked unless a specific use is approved.
  • Concerns regarding students’ use of social networking, social media and personal publishing sites (in or out of school) will be raised with their parents/carers, particularly when concerning students’ underage use of sites.
  • Staff personal use of social networking, social media and personal publishing sites will be discussed as part of staff induction and safe and professional behaviour will be outlined in the school Acceptable Use Policy.



Websites which schools believe should be blocked centrally should be reported to the Schools Broadband Service Desk. Teachers should always evaluate any websites/search engines before using them with their students; this includes websites shown in class as well as websites accessed directly by the pupils. Often this will mean checking the websites, search results etc. just before the lesson. Remember that a site considered safe one day may be changed due to the Internet being a dynamic entity. Particular attention should also be paid to advertisements as they can change each time the web page is accessed.


  • The school’s broadband access will include filtering appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils.
  • The school will work with KCC and the Schools Broadband team to ensure that filtering policy is continually reviewed.
  • The school will have a clear procedure for reporting breaches of filtering. All members of the school community (all staff and all pupils) will be aware of this procedure.
  • If staff or pupils discover unsuitable sites, the URL will be reported to the School On-line Safety Coordinator, who will then record the incident and escalate the concern as appropriate.
  • The School filtering system will block all sites on the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) list.
  • Any material that the school believes is illegal will be reported to appropriate agencies such as IWF, Kent Police or Child Exploitation and On-line Protection (CEOP).
  • The school’s access strategy will be designed by educators to suit the age and curriculum requirements of the pupils, with advice from network managers.


Video conferencing

Video conferencing enables users to see and hear each other between different locations. This ‘real time’ interactive technology has many uses in education.


  • All video conferencing equipment in the classroom must be switched off when not in use and not set to auto answer.
  • Equipment connected to the educational broadband network should use the national E.164 numbering system and display their H.323 ID name.
  • External IP addresses will not be made available to other sites.
  • Video conferencing contact information will not be put on the school Website.
  • The equipment must be secure and if necessary locked away when not in use.
  • School video conferencing equipment will not be taken off school premises without permission.



  • Video conferencing will be supervised appropriately for the pupils’ age and ability.
  • Parents and carers consent should be obtained prior to children taking part in video conferences.
  • Unique log on and password details for the educational video conferencing services should only be issued to members of staff and kept secure.



  • When recording a video conference lesson, written permission should be given by all sites and participants. The reason for the recording must be given and the recording of video conference should be clear to all parties at the start of the conference. Recorded material shall be stored securely.

  • Video conferencing is a challenging activity with a wide range of learning benefits. Preparation and evaluation are essential to the whole activity.

  • If third party materials are to be included, check that recording is acceptable to avoid infringing the third party intellectual property rights.
  • Establish dialogue with other conference participants before taking part in a video conference. If it is a non-school site it is important to check that they are delivering material that is appropriate for your class.


Emerging technologies

  • Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed.
  • Pupils will be instructed about safe and appropriate use of personal devices both on and off site in accordance with the school Acceptable Use Policy.


Protecting personal data

The Data Protection Act 1998 (“the Act”) gives individuals the right to know what information is held about them and provides a framework to ensure that personal information is handled properly. It promotes openness in the use of personal information.


Under the Act every organisation that processes personal information (personal data) must notify the Information Commissioner's Office, unless they are exempt.

The Data Protection Act 1998 applies to anyone who handles or has access to information concerning individuals. Everyone in the workplace has a legal duty to protect the privacy of information relating to individuals. The Act sets standards (eight data protection principles), which must be satisfied when processing personal data (information that will identify a living individual). The Act also gives rights to the people the information is about i.e. subject access rights let individuals find out what information is held about them. The eight principles are that personal data must be

  • processed fairly and lawfully

  • processed for specified purposes

  • adequate, relevant and not excessive

  • accurate and up-to-date

  • held no longer than is necessary

  • processed in line with individual’s rights

  • kept secure

  • transferred only to other countries with suitable security measures.


Personal data will be recorded, processed, transferred and made available according to the Data Protection Act 1998.


Policy Decisions

  • The school will maintain a current record of all staff and pupils who are granted access to the school’s electronic communications.
  • All staff will read and sign the ‘School Acceptable Use Policy before using any school ICT resources.
  • Parents will be asked to read the School Acceptable Use Policy for pupil access and discuss it with their child, where appropriate.
  • All visitors to the school site who require access to the schools network or internet access will be asked to read and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Parents will be informed that pupils will be provided with supervised Internet access appropriate to their age and ability.
  • When considering access for vulnerable members of the school community (such as with children with special education needs) the school will make decisions based on the specific needs and understanding of the pupil(s).
  • At Key Stage 1 pupils’ access to the Internet will be by adult demonstration with occasional directly supervised access to specific and approved online materials.
  • At Key Stage 2 pupils will be supervised. Pupils will use age-appropriate search engines and online tools and online activities will be teacher-directed where necessary.


Assessing Risks

  • The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the global and connected nature of Internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that access to unsuitable material will never occur via a school computer. Neither the school nor KCC can accept liability for the material accessed, or any consequences resulting from Internet use.

  • The school will audit ICT use to establish if the e–Safety policy is adequate and that the implementation of the e–Safety policy is appropriate.

  • The use of computer systems without permission or for inappropriate purposes could constitute a criminal offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and breaches will be reported to Kent Police.

  • Methods to identify, assess and minimise risks will be reviewed regularly.


Responding to any incidents of concern

  • All members of the school community will be informed about the procedure for reporting on-line safety concerns (such as breaches of filtering, cyberbullying, illegal content etc).

  • The on-line safety Coordinator will record all reported incidents and actions taken in the School on-line safety incident log and other in any relevant areas e.g. Bullying or Child protection log.

  • The Designated Safeguarding Lead will be informed of any on-line safety incidents involving Child Protection concerns, which will then be escalated appropriately.

  • The school will manage on-line safety incidents in accordance with the school discipline/ behaviour policy where appropriate.

  • The school will inform parents/carers of any incidents of concerns as and when required.

  • After any investigations are completed, the school will debrief, indentify lessons learnt and implement any changes required.

  • Where there is cause for concern or fear that illegal activity has taken place or is taking place then the school will contact the Children’s Safeguard Team or e-Safety officer and escalate the concern to the Police.

  • If the school is unsure how to proceed with any incidents of concern, then the incident may be referred to the Area Children’s Officer or the County e-Safety Officer.

  • If an incident of concern needs to be passed beyond the school then the concern will be escalated to the e-Safety officer to communicate to other school in Kent.


Handling e–Safety complaints

Parents, teachers and pupils should know how to use the school’s complaints procedure. The facts of the incident or concern will need to be established and evidence should be gathered where possible and appropriate. On-line safety incidents may have an impact on pupils, staff and the wider school community both on and off site and can have civil, legal and disciplinary consequences.


A minor transgression of the school rules may be dealt with by a member of staff. Other situations could potentially be serious and a range of sanctions may then be required, which should be linked to the school’s disciplinary policy. Potential child protection or illegal issues must be referred to the school Designated Child Protection Coordinator or e–Safety Coordinator. Advice on dealing with illegal use can, when deemed necessary, be discussed with the Kent Police Safer Schools Partnership Coordinator responsible for the school or the Children’s Safeguard Team.


  • Complaints about Internet misuse will be dealt with under the School’s complaints procedure.

  • Any complaint about staff misuse will be referred to the head teacher.

  • All e–Safety complaints and incidents will be recorded by the school, including any actions taken.

  • Pupils and parents will be informed of the complaints procedure.

  • Parents and pupils will need to work in partnership with the school to resolve issues.

  • All members of the school community will need to be aware of the importance of confidentiality and the need to follow the official school procedures for reporting concerns.

  • Discussions will be held with the local Police Safer Schools Partnership Coordinators and/or Children’s Safeguard Team to establish procedures for handling potentially illegal issues.

  • Any issues (including sanctions) will be dealt with according to the school’s disciplinary, behaviour and child protection procedures.

  • All members of the school community will be reminded about safe and appropriate behaviour online and the importance of not posting any content, comments, images or videos online which cause harm, distress or offence to any other members of the school community.


Internet Use

  • The school will liaise with local organisations to establish a common approach to e–Safety.

  • The school will be sensitive to Internet-related issues experienced by pupils out of school, e.g. social networking sites, and offer appropriate advice.

  • The school will provide appropriate levels of supervision for students who use the internet and technology whilst on the school site.

  • The school will provide an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for any guest who needs to access the school computer system or internet on site.



Cyberbullying can be defined as “The use of Information Communication Technology, particularly mobile phones and the internet to deliberately hurt or upset someone” DCSF 2007.


Many young people and adults find that using the internet and mobile phones is a positive and creative part of their everyday life. Unfortunately, technologies can also be used negatively. When children are the target of bullying via mobiles phones, gaming or the Internet, they can often feel very alone, particularly if the adults around them do not understand cyberbullying and its effects. A once previously safe and enjoyable environment or activity can become threatening, harmful and a source of anxiety.


It is essential that young people, school staff and parents and carers understand how cyberbullying is different from other forms of bullying, how it can affect people and how to respond and combat misuse. Promoting a culture of confident users will support innovation and safety.


Where bullying outside school (such as online or via text) is reported to the school, it will be investigated and acted on.


  • Cyberbullying (along with all other forms of bullying) of any member of the school community will not be tolerated. Full details are set out in the school’s policy on anti-bullying and behaviour.

  • There are clear procedures in place to support anyone in the school community affected by cyberbullying.

  • All incidents of cyberbullying reported to the school will be recorded.

  • There will be clear procedures in place to investigate incidents or allegations of Cyberbullying.

  • Pupils, staff and parents/carers will be advised to keep a record of the bullying as evidence.

  • The school will take steps to identify the bully, where possible and appropriate. This may include examining school system logs, identifying and interviewing possible witnesses, and contacting the service provider and the police, if necessary.

  • Pupils, staff and parents/carers will be required to work with the school to support the approach to cyberbullying and the school’s on-line safety ethos.

  • Sanctions for those involved in cyberbullying may include:

    • The bully will be asked to remove any material deemed to be inappropriate or a service provider may be contacted to remove content if the bully refuses or is unable to delete content.

    • Internet access may be suspended at school for the user for a period of time. Other sanctions for pupils and staff may also be used in accordance to the schools anti-bullying, behaviour policy or Acceptable Use Policy.

    • Parent/carers of pupils will be informed.

    • The Police will be contacted if a criminal offence is suspected.


Mobile Phones

Mobile phones and other internet enabled personal devices can be used to communicate in a variety of ways with texting, camera phones and internet accesses all common features.  Mobile phones can present a number of problems when not used appropriately.

  • They are valuable items which may be stolen or damaged.
  • Their use can render pupils or staff subject to cyberbullying.
  • Internet access on phones and personal devices can allow pupils to bypass school security settings and filtering.
  • They can undermine classroom discipline as they can be used on “silent” mode
  • Mobile phones with integrated cameras could lead to child protection, bullying and data protection issues with regard to inappropriate capture, use or distribution of images of pupils or staff.


In school

  • Year 6 pupils may bring mobile phones into school but they must be turned off on entering the school premises and handed in to the class teacher or in to the school office for safe keeping throughout the school day.
  • The sending of abusive or inappropriate messages or content via mobile phones or personal devices is forbidden by any member of the school community and any breaches will be dealt with as part of the school discipline/behaviour policy.
  • School staff may confiscate a phone or device if they believe it is being used to contravene the schools behaviour or bullying policy. The phone or device might be searched by the Senior Leadership team with the consent of the pupil or parent/carer. If there is suspicion that the material on the mobile may provide evidence relating to a criminal offence the phone will be handed over to the police for further investigation.
  • Mobile phones and personal devices will not be used during lessons or formal school time. They should be switched off at all times.
  • Electronic devices of all kinds that are brought in to school are the responsibility of the user. The school accepts no responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of such items. Nor will the school accept responsibility for any adverse health effects caused by any such devices either potential or actual.


Pupils Use of Personal Devices

  • If a pupil breaches the school policy then the phone or device will be confiscated and will be held in a secure place in the school office. Mobile phones and devices will be released to parents / carers in accordance with the school policy.

  • If a pupil needs to contact his / her parents / carers they will be allowed to use a school phone. Parents are advised not to contact their child via their mobile phone during the school day, but to contact the school office.

  • Students should protect their phone numbers by only giving them to trusted friends and family members. Students will be instructed in safe and appropriate use of mobile phones and personal devices and will be made aware of boundaries and consequences.


Staff Use of Personal Devices

  • Staff are not permitted to use their own personal phones or devices for contacting children, young people and their families within or outside of the setting in a professional capacity.

  • Staff will be issued with a school phone where contact with pupils or parents/carers is required.

  • Mobile Phone and devices will be switched off or switched to ‘silent’ mode, Bluetooth communication should be “hidden” or switched off and mobile phones or devices will not be used during teaching periods unless permission has been given by a member of Senior Leadership Team in emergency circumstances.
  • If members of staff have an educational reason to allow children to use mobile phones or personal device as part of an educational activity then it will only take place when approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

  • Staff should not use personal devices such as mobile phones or cameras to take photos or videos of pupils and will only use work-provided equipment for this purpose.

  • If a member of staff breaches the school policy then disciplinary action may be taken.


Communication Policy

KCC has produced posters covering e–Safety rules which are available to display in every room with a computer to remind pupils of the e–Safety rules at the point of use.

The pupil and parent agreement form includes a copy of the school e–Safety rules appropriate to the age of the pupil.  E–Safety is taught as Digital Literacy within the ICT curriculum.


Useful e–Safety programmes include

In school

  • All users will be informed that network and Internet use will be monitored.

  • Pupil instruction regarding responsible and safe use will precede Internet access.

  • An e–Safety module will be included in the Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE) and / or ICT programmes covering both safe school and home use.

  • E-Safety rules will be posted in all rooms with Internet access.

  • Safe and responsible use of the Internet and technology will be reinforced across the curriculum and subject areas.

  • Particular attention to on-line safety education will be given where pupils are considered to be vulnerable.


Parental support

Internet use in pupils’ homes is increasing rapidly, encouraged by low cost access and developments in mobile technology. Unless parents are aware of the dangers, pupils may have unrestricted and unsupervised access to the Internet in the home. The school may be able to help parents plan appropriate, supervised use of the Internet at home and educate them about the risks. Parents should also be advised to check whether their child’s use elsewhere in the community is covered by an appropriate use policy.


  • Parents’ attention will be drawn to the school e–Safety Policy in newsletters, the school prospectus and on the school website.

  • Parents’ evenings with demonstrations and suggestions for safe home Internet use will be held on a regular basis.

  • Parents will be requested to sign an e–Safety/Internet agreement as part of the Home School Agreement.

  • Parents will be encouraged to read the school Acceptable Use Policy for pupils and discuss its implications with their children.

  • Information and guidance for parents on e–Safety will be made available to parents in a variety of formats.

  • Advice on useful resources and websites, filtering systems and educational and leisure activities which include responsible use of the Internet will be made available to parents.

  • Interested parents will be referred to organisations listed in the “e–Safety Contacts and References section”.


Policy Review


Date reviewed

Next Review

Autumn 2015

Autumn  2016