Appropriate filtering and monitoring required in schools from 5th September
Schools and registered childcare providers in England and Wales are required to have appropriate filtering and monitoring systems in place from Monday 5th September 2016.
This new requirement is set out in the Department for Education’s revised statutory guidance ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ which was published in May 2016.
But what are appropriate levels of filtering and monitoring?
Earlier this year the UK Safer Internet Centre published definitions of what might be considered ‘appropriate filtering and monitoring’ systems. This aims to help schools and those affected by the new requirement to understand what are considered ‘appropriate levels’ of filtering and monitoring as well as giving advice to schools to help them to improve their current filers and monitoring strategies.
Filtering and monitoring providers have also been invited to submit a checklist to illustrate to education settings how their particular technology systems meet the national defined standards. Already a number of responses from filtering providers are displayed on the UK Safer Internet Centre website.
Filtering tools – part of the solution
While filtering and monitoring systems are an important tool, it is also important to recognise that no filtering system can be 100% effective and always need to be supported with good teaching and learning practice and effective supervision.
As set out in the guidance, schools have an obligation to “consider how children may be taught about safeguarding, including online, through teaching and learning opportunities, as part of providing a broad and balanced curriculum”.
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