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Feedback from 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark schools
Following a pilot programme in October 2009, four schools in the SW (three secondary and one primary) have been awarded the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark.
The pilot programme was used to test the assessment procedures and train a group of Lead Assessors. The schools involved all found the experience of using the 360 degree safe E-Safety Self Review Tool and being assessed for the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark to be positive and in their feedback reported:
• The Online Self Review Tool was very easy to use and enabled us to look at our strengths and areas for development.
• The Online Self Review Tool generated very comprehensive reports.
• We found it (the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark assessment visit) a positive morning and enjoyed sharing our work with you. The morning was very full but the right length of time for a visit.
• We felt it (the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark assessment) was a very useful experience as it enabled us to stand back from the day to day e-safety events/routines to look at what we did well and what we needed to work on.
• The Assessors made all staff and pupils relaxed and provided very clear feedback.
The Assessors look forward to visiting a wide range of schools and being able to celebrate the quality of their E-Safety policy, procedures and practice by awarding them the 360 degree safe E-Safety Mark. We are certain that schools will find the Assessor’s feedback to be valuable in identify strengths and weaknesses and areas for further development.
Comments from Saltash.net Community School
When we first received the swgfl sample policy template I must admit to feeling rather overwhelmed with the scope of the esafety remit and the size of the task ahead.
However the use of 360 degree safe was a godsend in sorting out the most important aspects of our esafety approach as it gives clear guidance about the necessary evidence that we need to prove ourselves to be esafe.
I now think that it is not just enough to have an esafety policy and hope for the best. As soon as schools feel that they have good systems and procedures in place they SHOULD test them against the online esafety tool to see whether they are robust enough. I am also grateful that at least one important part of the whole OFSTED safeguarding agenda is now secure (although of course improvements were suggested by the assessing team and we will address these).
The assessment process did feel like a mini OFSTED in terms of the preparations that we made for the visit. It was good to think that our use of the online tool ( a bit like an esafety SEF ) had enabled us to answer questions about any area. Various groups of governors, staff, parents, support staff and students met with the team and all reported that it had been a most positive experience. We felt so pleased to have been awarded the esafety mark at the end of the day. It was a lot of hard work but it has made our school and our students more secure, has sharpened up our practice and has informed our way forward in this vitally important area
Saltash.net Community School
Experience of using the tool and being assessed for the e-safety mark
St Marks Primary School, Weston Super Mare
The 360 degree safe self review tool was easy to login to and use. It is best undertaken with a small group of colleagues to facilitate discussion and decision making around the school’s performance for each of the strands. We completed it in one long session but when using it again next year to review progress two sessions of about an hour in length may be better.
The tool generates very comprehensive reports which were useful to identify our areas of strong performance and where we had areas of e-safety still to improve on, gaving practical suggestions for action. We were able to address some of these issues before the assessors visit, and other areas are being addressed through the school development plan.
The assessors visit was well-planned with clear expectations for the day. We collected together folders of evidence and ensured that pupils, staff, Governors, parents and technicians who were invited for interview knew the time and place they were to attend. Discussions were positive, friendly and appropriately probing! We were awarded the mark and the assessor highlighted areas of our good practice. There were also recommendations for further action which we will build in to our practice in the coming year.
The E-Safety tool provides a framework for us to ensure we are doing as much as we can to ensure our school community, but especially our pupils, our e-safe.
St Mark’s VA Primary School, Weston super Mare.
Feedback from Assessors
In their feedback to the pilot schools, the Assessors were pleased to report on some excellent practice. These were some of the (many) comments made by Assessors in their feedback:
• E-safety is truly embedded and is at the heart of everything the school does regarding the use of technology. There is whole school ownership of the policy and clear understanding of roles of responsibility and lines of reporting. Students are aware of sanctions if the policy is not adhered to, although as the students have the option of being able to use mobile phones and other devices in the classroom to support teaching and learning, there is very little abuse, as they do not want to lose those privileges.
• The website includes information about e-safety for parents and students, and there is an area for parents to send messages relating to e-safety on the site. The school also makes good use of the ‘ning’ social networking site as a teaching tool. There is a ‘ning’ site which is specifically for parents / carers to post issues regarding e-safety and to encourage dialogue and discussion.
• Contributions from the students into the e-safety curriculum are very strong and they have been known to question the way in which teachers use technology!
• The Focus Group is a strong feature of the school and their enthusiasm and motivation could be ‘exploited’ by encouraging their use as ambassadors in local primary schools and in the community. They could also be given the opportunity to become researchers into issues surrounding e-safety and report back to inform policy.
• The password security policy is understood by staff and pupils. Password changes are forced every 90 days in line with government recommendation for all users and there are appropriate support mechanisms in place for this. There is a clear approach to data security within the school; staff laptops have encrypted volumes for sensitive data; all staff have access to SIMS Terminal Server for MIS data and encrypted USB sticks are used.
• In its work with the local University, the school has created a team of Year 10 students who adopt the role of e safety ambassadors. These students have a mentoring role as well as producing resources such as anti-bullying videos, podcasts and newsletters.
• The whole school ethos around safeguarding and making the school “a safe place to be” is very apparent and is clearly understood by the whole school population. Reporting routines for e-safety are integrated into the school’s Anti Bullying Committee structure allowing it to be embedded and linked to other areas of safeguarding. Staff are confident that they can rely on students to report incidents both formally and informally which emphasises the degree of trust that exists in that relationship. The e-safety agenda is championed by the Headteacher and driven by a number of key staff who maintain its high profile.
• The development of practical e-safety policies ensures that the whole school has ownership of e-safety, and age-related Acceptable Use Policies reflect a real understanding of the e-safety needs of different user groups in the school.
• The children themselves have a very clear idea of the uses of ICT within the classroom and have a clear understanding of e-safety. They know the rewards and sanctions applied for good use and inappropriate use of computers and are keen to share their home experiences of computer use. This demonstrates a real drive in the school to partner computer use with personal safety.
• There are clear indications of excellent teamwork and of a caring ethos around safeguarding children. The key staff are keen to support parents and children if inappropriate activities, eg. Cyberbullying, happen outside of school, and involve parents when appropriate. E-safety is clearly embedded in all areas of the school community
• It was a privilege to join the school for the morning and to experience the commitment and enthusiasm of children, parents, teaching and non-teaching staff, and governors to E-safety. The hard work and dedication of the senior leadership team have fostered a team approach and ensured a high quality ICT experience for the children and ensured that the safety and the children in their care is a top priority.
• The school has created an ‘e team’ comprised of students from year 7 to year 9 who provide training and support within school and to a local primary school on e-safety. They have presented to regional audiences and LSCB groups. Their role as ambassadors for e-safety has helped staff and pupils to discuss and learn about e-safety issues. Their video is available to parents with links to relevant sites in the school VLE public area. Their confidence and sociable manner shine through and allow peers and younger students to engage, relating to them easily. The role of the student ‘e team’ could be developed to encompass older students and extend support for feeder schools.
360°Safe E-Safety Mark