With the closure of schools and many children now learning from home, one of the most important topics that schools, teachers and safeguarding leads will be concerned with is the continuity of safeguarding practice whilst not at school.
It almost seems absurd that there is a question around children being safe in a home environment. Children can learn in a more relaxed manner and are surrounded by those who care for them the most. Remote learning almost seems like the perfect solution.
However, from a safeguarding perspective, now is not the time to relax.
Live Video Conferencing and Webinars
Remote learning brings with it a number of challenges, not least around ensuring that children are still able to feel safe during class time – this is especially relevant if schools decide to employ live online teaching. If schools do decide to go down this round, some of the safeguarding measures that should be adhered to include:
- Ensuring that all live-streaming is conducted in group/class settings and never conducted one-to-one. This helps to safeguard both teachers and pupils.
- Consideration of your surroundings, particularly at home. The use of webcams, video and live streaming must be done with careful thought. Ensure the positioning of any camera is in an open space with a plain background if possible and with no personal information on display. Always avoid bedrooms.
- Maintain professional dress at all times. Treat any online lesson the same as delivering a lesson in the classroom. Maintain a professional image and never wear anything inappropriate or revealing. Encourage your students to also wear their school uniform.
- Ensure all live recordings are backed up and auditable. This means that if any issues or concerns arise, it can always be checked and reviewed if necessary.
- Always maintain professional conduct and behaviour and never use inappropriate language. Always keep in mind you are still in a classroom environment which means classroom language.
- Only use school approved platforms and communication channels. Make sure that you keep to communicating through official outlets and that student’s data and privacy is protected. It is good practice to employ your IT admins to make sure connections are as secure as they can be.
- Remind students of the schools Acceptable Use Policy and computer misuse. Also familiarise yourself with safeguarding policies and make sure students know who and where they can report any concerns to if they have any, even though they are at home.
General Online Safety
The more time children spend at home, the more time they are likely to spend online. It goes without saying that general online safeguarding messages should be reinforced now more than ever around children’s conduct online, who they interact with and what apps and platform they use.
Our #WakeUpWednesday guides are a perfect resource to help schools deliver messages around online safety and increase general awareness for parents and carers whilst their children are at home. We’ve got guides on the latest apps, online games, social media platforms and general online risks and release a brand new guide every Wednesday.
Our Annual Online Safety Course for Parents is another comprehensive resource that schools can roll out to their parents and carers in helping them to increase their knowledge and understanding of the range of online risks and harms in the online world.
Keeping Children Safe Online
At National Online Safety, we are committed to keeping children safe online. We provide a whole school community approach to online safety through our Certified School Programme. This includes CPD certified training courses and lesson resources which are the perfect solution for teachers looking to implement interactive and engaging lesson plans through their remote learning schedule.
To find out how our membership programme can benefit you, click here, or alternatively, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our Online Safety Consultants will be available to help.
Posted by Pete Badh