When preparing for an Ofsted inspection schools need to evaluate their e-safety policies as part of wider safeguarding strategies.
An Ofsted briefing paper on safeguarding, which is aimed at inspectors and covers safeguarding broadly, is a useful way for schools to see what is expected of them in this area.
The paper stresses that e-safety should be constant and consistent from an early age.
The safeguarding outcomes identified are that children and young people are safe and that they feel safe. Schools need to demonstrate that reasonable steps have been taken to ensure this.
The guidance also states that learners should be equipped with the skills and knowledge to manage their own safety online.
Ofsted inspectors will ask schools:
- To what extent pupils feel safe
- How safe pupils feel at school and their understanding of safety issues such as bullying
- What kind of school support children have access to if they feel unsafe
- For pupils’ views on safety and harassment issues
In FE settings, safeguarding can extend beyond the school/college, as young people learn in other settings or workplaces. FE organisations will need to demonstrate safeguarding measures that are in place to protect young people up to age 18 even when their learning is taking place elsewhere.
- Ofsted: Safeguarding FAQs
- Ofsted: Self-Evaluation and the SEF
- Ofsted: School self-evaluation: A response to the Byron review
- Ofsted: The safe use of technologies report
Rob Price, Deputy Head, Pastoral Care, The Minster School
In terms of self-evaluation what’s been really important to us is that we can demonstrate to Ofsted that we’re taking safeguarding seriously and e-safety is an important aspect of that.
The student voice is a very important aspect of self-evaluation. It’s really important to be able to demonstrate that students themselves are safe and feel safe, and that they feel well-supported and well-educated by the procedures and policies that we have in place. We do a lot of work in terms of asking students what their experiences are of e-safety issues such as cyber-bullying. We also ask whether they feel that they’re well-equipped to be able to deal with those issues.