News & Events

November 02 2017

Keeping children safe in education through secure broadband

Keeping children safe in education banner

Keeping children safe within the digital world has developed into an increasingly difficult task for the education sector. But, with e-learning becoming an integral part of everyday teaching within schools, it is important to find ways to keep children safe without “unreasonable restrictions” on what children can be taught.

In response to a recent increase of online risks to students, the UK Government recognised a gap in school safeguarding strategies. Following this, changes to the government-led Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) guidelines were made, and these statutory amendments came into effect earlier this year.

The guidelines require schools to put in place an effective and appropriate monitoring and filtering system, ensuring children are safe from extremist and terrorist content, when accessing the internet in schools. It calls for all schools to employ safeguarding mechanisms, encouraging students to recognise the risks associated with the internet, and be confident in what to do if they encounter them.

The KCSIE guidance states: Technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues including radicalisation, child exploitation and sexual predation

But what exactly does this mean for your school?

What is the ‘KCSiE’ guidance?

The Department for Education updated mandatory guidance which details the legal duties all schools must comply with in order to keep children safe online.

Which schools does it apply to?

The guidance applies to all children under 18 (unless they are part of a 16-19 academy or free school). This includes all schools, whether maintained, non-maintained or independent schools. It also includes academies and free schools, maintained nursery schools, pupil referral units, further education colleges and sixth form colleges.

When does it come into effect?

The new guidance came into effect on the 5th of September and will now be inspected as part of Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework.

What does the guide cover?

The guidance covers all areas of safeguarding in schools, and uses the “3Cs" to categorise the different types of online risks. These include:

  • CONTENT: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • CONTACT: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • CONDUCT: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.

How can you ensure your school complies with the new KCSiE guidelines?

Smarter Interactive is pioneering the SafeLINK broadband solution as one of those tools, and provides the education sector with an adaptive security solution. SafeLINK provides the means to ensure appropriate levels of filtering and monitoring is applied for specific contexts within different learning environments. This ensures children are always kept safe online without hindering their ability to learn.

SafeLINK is an all-in-one security solution, so your filtering and monitoring is also accompanied by the same firewalls and security used by government organisations across the UK.

The solution also provides you with the capabilities you need to comply with the new KCSiE agenda, and help achieve the balance between protection of student’s welfare and the freedom of speech.

To find out more about how SafeLINK can help your school comply with KCSiE guidelines, get in touch with our education experts here.

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