OXFORD INTERNATIONAL ONLINE SCHOOL & COLLEGE
Oxford International Online School & College recognises the benefits and opportunities which new technologies offer to teaching and learning. We encourage the use of technology in order to enhance skills and promote achievement. However, the accessible and global nature of the internet and variety of technologies available mean that we are also aware of potential risks and challenges associated with such use. Our approach is to implement safeguards within the online school (referred to as “the school”) and to support staff and learners to identify and manage risks independently. We believe this can be achieved through a combination of security measures, training and guidance and implementation of our associated policies. In furtherance of our duty to safeguard learners and the Every Child Matters agenda, we will do all that we can to make our learners and staff stay safe online and to satisfy our wider duty of care. This Online Safety Policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant school policies.
2. Creation, Monitoring and Review
This safeguarding policy was designed by a team of teaching staff with the consultation of parents as well as school support staff and it was approved by the director of the company.
The impact of the policy will be monitored regularly with a full review being carried out annually. The policy will also be reconsidered where concerns are raised by the Online Safety Officer or where an online safety incident has been recorded.
3. Policy Scope
The policy applies to all users of the school’s community who have access to the school online systems, both on any school premises (if applicable) and remotely. It is designed to promote online safety for minors as well as create a culture of safe use of digital/online media, preparing students for further studies after attending the school. Any guardian of an underaged student will have to sign a document confirming they are aware of our safety policy, agree to it’s content and uphold as well as promote online safety with their own child. The Online Safety Policy applies to all use of the internet and electronic communication via the school Internet connection regardless of ownership of the communication device, be it the property of the school or privately owned.
4. Roles and Responsibilities
There are clear lines of responsibility for online safety within the school. The first point of contact should be the Online Safety Officer. All staff are responsible for ensuring the safety of learners and should report any concerns immediately to the Online Safety Officer. All teaching staff should be made aware of the need to draw attention to the students’ online responsibility (where the opportunity arises) and to adhere to reporting anything of concern to the safety officer. When informed about an online safety incident, staff members must take particular care not to guarantee any measure of confidentiality towards either the individual reporting it, or to those involved and should not attempt to investigate the incident as that might incriminate them in the process and pass on any information to the safety officer at once.
All learners must know what to do if they have online safety concerns, and who to talk to. Where any report of an online safety incident is made, all parties should know what procedure is triggered and how this will be followed up. Where management considers it appropriate, the Safeguarding Team may be asked to intervene with appropriate additional support from external agencies.
Online Safety/ Safeguarding Team:
The Online Safety Officer is responsible for delivering staff development and training, recording incidents, reporting any developments and incidents to the director and liaising with the Safeguarding Team and external agencies to promote online safety within the school community.
Learners are responsible for using the school IT systems and mobile devices in accordance with the school’s terms and conditions. Learners are responsible for attending online safety awareness sessions as part of their extended tutorial programme and particularly at the start of the year. They are expected to seek help and follow procedures where they are worried or concerned, or where they believe an online safety incident has taken place involving them or another member of the school’s community. Learners must adhere to school policies at all times when using the internet and/or mobile technologies.
All staff are responsible for using the school IT systems and mobile devices in accordance with the school’s terms and conditions, which they must actively promote through embedded good practice. Staff are responsible for attending staff training on online safety and following good online safety practice at all times.
All digital communications with learners must be carried out in line with the school terms and conditions, this safety policy and be professional in tone and content at all times. Online communication with learners is restricted and must only be done through the school network or if agreed by email. The use of social networking sites and other sites not hosted by the school may be used only where a risk assessment form has been completed with the Online Safety Officer and signed by the director. This policy will, however, be monitored and kept under review.
All staff should apply relevant school policies and understand the incident reporting procedures. Any incident that is reported to or discovered by a staff member must be reported to the Online Safety Officer without delay.
Parents have the duty as per terms and conditions to monitor their child’s activities online. As the school is remote, teachers only have limited control over the students. It is parents’ duty to assist in educating and monitoring their childrens progress and safety online.
All parents attend a mandatory introduction session, in group with other parents or with the online safety team alone to be made aware of the procedures and their duty. Equally parents are responsible for their children attenting related training sessions/classes or watch provided course material.
During live lessons and their child spending time on the internet, it is the parent’s responsibility to monitor the child’s activities. Parents have to sign the schools online safety agreement.
The school will do all that it can to make sure the schools sites are safe and secure. Every effort will be made to keep security software up to date. Appropriate security measures will include the use of enhanced filtering and protection of firewalls, servers, routers, work stations etc. to prevent accidental or malicious access of school systems and information. Digital communications, including email and internet postings, over the school network, will be monitored in line with the terms and conditions.
In line with the School’s various statutory duties under Safeguarding/Child Protection and under the Prevent Agenda concerning the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism, the school would need to refer certain suspicious searches or communications to the relevant authorities in circumstances where these gave rise to concerns about the safety and well-being of students and/or others.
6. Risk Assessment
In making use of new technologies and online platforms, all staff must first carry out a risk assessment with the Online Safety Officer utilising the generic risk assessment form which is to be signed off by the director.
Online communication can take many forms, whether it is by email, mobile devices, social networking, video conferencing or instant chat. It is essential that all learners and staff are aware of and understand what constitutes acceptable behaviour when communicating online. The school will ensure that all users of technologies adhere to the standard of behaviour as set out in the terms and conditions and Appendix 1 .
The school will not tolerate any abuse of IT systems. Whether offline or online, communications by staff and learners should be courteous and respectful at all times. Any reported incident of bullying or harassment or other unacceptable conduct will be treated seriously and in line with the student and staff disciplinary codes. Where conduct is found to be unacceptable, the school will deal with the matter internally. Where conduct is considered illegal, the school will report the matter to the police.
8. Use of Images and Video
The use of images, or photographs, is popular in teaching and learning and should be encouraged where there is no breach of copyright or other rights of another person. This will include images downloaded from the internet and images belonging to staff or learners.
The School’s staff will provide information to both learners and staff on the appropriate use of the images and on the use of copyright. Our aim is to reinforce good practice as well as offer further information for all users on how to keep their personal information safe. Learners will receive training as part of their personal safety lessons and staff are advised to read the Guidelines for Safer Working Practices.
Photographs of activities on the school premises should be considered carefully and have the consent of the Principal before being published. Approved photographs should not include names of individuals.
9. Personal Information
Personal information is information about a particular living person. The School collects and stores the personal information of learners and staff regularly e.g. names, dates of birth, email addresses, assessment materials and so on. The school will keep that information safe and secure and will not pass it onto anyone else without the express permission of the learner OR parent OR carer.
No personal information can be posted to the school website/without the permission of the person(s) affected. Only names and work email addresses of (senior) staff will appear on the school website.
Staff must keep learners’ personal information safe and secure at all times. When using an online platform, all personal information must be password protected. Every user of IT facilities is required to log off on completion of any activity, or where they are physically absent from a device, never divulge their account details to anyone else and where they suspect a breach they should contact the Computer Services department immediately.
Where the personal data is no longer required, it must be securely deleted.
10. Education and Training
With the current unlimited nature of internet access, it is impossible for the school to eliminate all risks for staff and learners. It is our view therefore, that the school should support staff and learners through training and education. This will provide them with the skills to be able to identify risks independently and manage them effectively.
Issues associated with online safety apply across the curriculum and learners should receive guidance on what precautions and safeguards are appropriate when making use of the internet and technologies. Learners should also know what to do and who to talk to where they have concerns about inappropriate content, either where that material is directed to them, or where it is discovered as part of a random search.
Within classes, learners will be encouraged to question the validity and reliability of materials researched, viewed or downloaded. They will also be encouraged to respect the copyright of other parties and to cite references properly.
Staff will take part in online safety training during inset periods. This will be led by the Online Safety Officer. Further resources of useful guidance and information will be issued to all staff following the session, where appropriate. Each member of staff must record the date of the training attended on their CPD form.
Any new or temporary users will receive training on online safety, led by the Online Safety Officer. They will also be asked to sign the school’s (staff) online safety agreement.
Parents will attend a virtual meeting, provided at least once a year by the school to inform them about the content of this policy and their duties as well as information about online safety for minors.
11. Incidents and Response
Where an online safety incident is reported to the school this matter will be dealt with very seriously. The school will act immediately to prevent, as far as reasonably possible, any harm or further harm occurring. If a learner wishes to report an incident, they can do so to any member of staff, who will then refer to the school Online Safety Officer. Where a member of staff wishes to report an incident, they must contact the online safety officer. Following any incident, the school will review what has happened and decide on the most appropriate and proportionate course of action. Sanctions may be put in place, external agencies may be involved or the matter may be resolved internally depending on the seriousness of the incident. Serious incidents will be dealt with by senior management, in consultation with appropriate external agencies.
12. Feedback and Further Information
The school welcomes all constructive feedback on this and any other school policy. If you would like further information on online safety, or wish to send us your comments on our Online Safety Policy, then please contact: our Online Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Useful Links for Further Information:
Child Explotation & Online Protection Centre http://www.ceop.police.uk
Internet Watch Foundation http://mobile.iwf.org.uk
DirectGov-‘Staying Safe Online’ http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/YoungPeople/CrimeAndJustice/KeepingSafe/DG_10027670
Get Safe Online http://www.getsafeonline.org
UK Safer Internet Centre www.saferinternet.org.uk
SWGFL: Making Sense of the New Online Safety Standards http://swgfl.org.uk/news/News/online-safety/Making-Sense-of-the-New-Online-Safety-Standards
Appendix 1 – acceptable behaviour for staff and students
Online Safety - Acceptable Online Behaviour for Staff
Staff should not read any of the following as a discouragement from using technology in teaching & learning, but should see it as a guide to using it safely, responsibly and effectively.
Using Online Tools/Social Media for Teaching and Learning
Prior to using social media for teaching and learning all staff must carry out a risk assessment with the Online Safety Officer.
Staff must take responsibility for moderating any content posted online.
Staff should consider whether open access sites, where content can be viewed by anyone, are appropriate.
Staff must ensure that settings on social media sites are set to private.
Staff should be aware of cyber bullying, grooming law and child protection issues and forward any concerns to the Safeguarding Team.
Staff should ensure they adhere to confidentiality and data protection policies.
Staff should always remember copyright legislation when posting content online and not use anything that may be copyright protected.
Using Online Tools/Social Media for Personal Use
It is recommended staff keep personal and professional lives separate online
Staff should not have students as ‘friends’ on social media sites that share personal information, unless discussed with the Online Safety Officer.
Staff should be wary of divulging personal details online and are advised to look into privacy settings on sites to control what information is publicly accessible.
Staff should recognise that they are legally liable for anything they post online.
Staff must adhere to the School’s confidentiality and data protection policies.
Staff are expected to adhere to the school’s equality and diversity policy at all times and not post/share derogatory, offensive or prejudiced comments online.
Staff should not bully or abuse colleagues/students online.
Staff entering into a debate with a student online should ensure that their comments reflect a professional approach.
Staff should not post/share any comments online that may bring the school into disrepute or that may damage the school’s reputation.
Staff wishing to debate and comment on professional issues using personal sites, should be aware that this may be seen as a reflection of school views, even with a disclaimer, and should consider their postings carefully.
Staff should not use their school e-mail address to join sites for personal reasons or make their school e-mail address their primary contact method.
The school logo/name may not be used without permission from the Principal.
Staff should be aware that any reports of them undertaking inappropriate online activity that links them to the School will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.
Online Safety - Acceptable Online Behaviour for Learners
Learners should not read any of the following as a discouragement from using technology for their studies, but should see it as a guide to using it safely, responsibly and effectively.
Using Online Tools/Social Media
Learners should be wary of divulging personal details online and are advised to look into privacy settings on sites to control what information is publicly accessible.
Learners should recognise that they are legally liable for anything they post online.
Learners should not post images / videos / personal stories of other people online without their permission.
Learners are expected to adhere to the School’s confidentiality and data protection policies.
Learners are expected to adhere to the School’s equality and diversity policy at all times and not post/share derogatory, offensive or prejudiced comments online.
Learners should not bully or abuse anyone online.
Learners should not post/share any comments online that may bring the school into disrepute or that may damage the school’s reputation.
The school logo/name may not be used without permission from the Principal.
Learners should always remember copyright legislation when posting content online and not use anything that may be copyright protected.
Learners should be aware that any reports of them undertaking inappropriate online activity that links them to the School will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.
Further information and guidance is available from the Online Safety Officer.