Making Sense of the New Online Safety Standards

OfStedOfsted has published the long awaited changes to the way it inspects all early years, education and skills settings, including schools from September 2015. This includes significant changes to how they consider and inspect Online Safety. Here are some of the highlights the changes and explains what the implications are.

Earlier this month, Ofsted published their ‘far-reaching’ changes to the way they will ‘inspect early years provision, schools and further education and skills from September 2015’. This represents the introduction of a brand new common inspection framework and significant change across all these remits, in which Online Safety is no exception.

The first point is that the term e-Safety has been replaced with ‘Online Safety’. This fundamental change reflects a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user’s access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues. The term Cyber bullying has also been replaced with ‘Online Bullying’.

Online Safety references are no longer simply statements that are inserted, but occupy significant areas of the new ‘Inspecting safeguarding in Early Years, education and skills settings’ guidance. Ofsted highlights that ‘online safety’ specifically is one of the broader aspects of care and education as “safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act”. We suggest this represents that online safety has an increasing priority for inspectors and very clearly an element of safeguarding. We agree that this is exactly where it should be; for too long, schools (in particular) have considered e-safety to be an ICT issue.

Check out detailed changes around Online Safety in the ‘Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings’ Guidance

» Page 6, Section 10 – Definition of Safeguarding

» Page 9, Section 13 – The signs of successful safeguarding arrangements

» Page 12, Section 18 – Inspectors will want to consider evidence that:

» Page 12, Section 18 – Inspectors will want to consider evidence that:

» Page 15, Section 34 – Arriving at Judgements about safeguarding arrangements

» Page 16, Section 40 – Inspecting or reporting on safeguarding concerns

Useful resources
If you are new to online safety, here are some suggestions of where to start:

Gooseberry School teaches online safety in a unique way, joining, teacher, student and parent together in one app. The child learns through game-based learning, the teacher has a complete tool kit with monitoring system and the parent can view their child’s performance.
There are a total of 3 apps which can be accessed via a desktop, tablet or iPad, Gooseberry Student for the child, Gooseberry Teacher and Gooseberry Parent. Take a look and register for you free download

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