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What's New

Urgent update: Keeping Children Safe in Education, May 2016

There have been some key eSafety guidance changes within this document. The most likely to affect many schools is that the overall responsibility for eSafety now lies with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or deputy DSL. This role can no longer be delegated to another member of staff, such as Computing/ICT Lead, unless that person has completed appropriate DSL training. Reallocation of this responsibility may be a temporary solution to this problem until training can be completed if this affects your school.

Amongst other important changes, eSafety is no longer an optional school policy. There must now be direct references to online safety either within the Child Protection/Safeguarding policy or as a separate document. This includes acceptable use agreements for staff and pupils.

The Hertfordshire eSafety policy template can be found within the eSafety pages on The Grid, should you wish to adopt it either in full or in part.

Below is a link to an excellent analysis of the changes by Kent County Council. It highlights suggested actions in addition to key changes based on this new document. From there, the original document can also be found.

Safety message from Herts Police – May 2016

A recent incident involving Hertfordshire school girls who filmed and broadcast a seemingly harmless video of themselves from their home address using an app on their mobile phone has highlighted some of the dangers of geo-tagged data. It is believed that unknown viewers of the video not only contacted the girls but also identified the house from where the broadcast was made and potentially followed them.

Police offer the following advice:

  1. Think before you broadcast. Remember that your broadcast could be recorded by someone and then potentially shared and uploaded anywhere online – think carefully about what you are sharing.
  2. Consider your privacy. It’s worth considering who you would like to share your broadcast with; you may wish to make your broadcast limited or private. We recommend that you don’t share your location.
  3. Understand the risks involved. Geotagged broadcasts could potentially give someone intent on scaring or targeting you the opportunity to know your exact whereabouts, eg. which house you are in.
  4. Know how to disable your phone or camera's geotagging feature. Every smartphone has the geotagging feature automatically set to operate, so you need to put in the effort to prevent it from doing this. It's recommended that you disable the geotagging ability and enable it only when you make a conscious decision to use it; it's far better to opt in than to try to remember to opt out.
  5. Remember it is never too late to tell someone. If anything worries you, it’s vital to tell a trusted adult or you can chat confidentially to ChildLine online or on 0800 1111. Remember you can report to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre:

Sumdog Data Protection

Sumdog is an educational gaming platform which is becoming popular with schools.

Although the concept may be considered appropriate, there have been concerns raised by parents to schools using the service recently. The service currently requires schools to upload details of users (pupils) to their database. The complaints have been made on the grounds that the names of users are shared publicly. Adults can reportedly sign up to the service too, so ultimately there could be adults in another country playing against the children in your schools. The advice is not to necessarily stop using this service but as with all online services please do check the privacy policy and gain parental permission for children before signing them up to it.

The extract below, taken from the Sumdog Privacy Policy suggests that the Safe Harbor Agreement statement released by HfL should be considered too.

‘Information we collect on student users will only be stored and processed in the United States of America or the European Union. Depending on your location, we may need to transfer it to these places’.

Educate Against Hate

This new Government website gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.

Counter-extremism guidance for schools and childcare providers


Government briefing note for schools - released July 2015

How social media is used to encourage travel to Syria and Iraq.


eSafety Ofsted Update: A presentation by David Brown HMI, National Lead for Computing, given at the London Grid for Learning 2015 conference

Useful information from David Brown can be found throughout this presentation, but in particular slides 19-30 are focused on eSafety.

2015 Primary school safeguarding themed inspection: Inspector’s eSafety questions to school Governor

Despite more recent references to eSafety by Ofsted in ‘Inspecting Safeguarding’ from September 2014, it is clear that inspectors are still using the ‘Inspecting eSafety’ document released in April 2014...See more at:


Model Policy for ICT Acceptable Use (Incorporating eSafety and Data Security)

Herts for Learning have updated the model eSafety Acceptable Use Policy, incorporating eSafety and Data Security, which schools can choose to adopt. This policy has been developed from national guidance and best practice.


Government publishes guidance to support teachers against cyberbullying

New teacher-backed advice outlining how school staff can guard themselves against cyberbullying has been announced by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. Announced as part of Anti-Bullying Week, the advice will help keep teachers safe from online abuse. It encourages heads to get tough on bullying and support their staff facing abuse, as well as outlining a number of steps teachers can take to protect themselves online:

Student-Centered eSafety: Promoting Online Safety with Creative Apps

Chris Carter, Herts for Learning e-Developments Adviser, has just had a book published by Apple as part of his involvement in the Apple Distinguished Educator programme.  The book is available online via i-Pads at Guidance is a social networking website that enables users to ask and answer questions. There have been several national stories about how the negative use of has resulted in tragic events with young people. Herts for Learning has created a guidance document and video to respond to the risks associated with using this site.

Safer Internet Day 2016: Tuesday 9th February 2016 : Play your part for a better internet!

Safer Internet Day 2015Each year, the UK Safer Internet Centre celebrates Safer Internet Day. There are plenty of activities that your school can make use of to make this a memorable day.

It makes sense to fit in some eSafety parental support assemblies, information evenings or pupil-led activities to mark the occasion too.

Why not take advantage of resources which might be created during this time and use them for displays around the school premises?

Schools are invited to join spread the word and access resources to help with planning

To find out more about Safer Internet Day, and how you can get involved, visit: