The DfE white paper “keeping children safe in education” dictates the need for schools to ensure effective monitoring and alerting systems are in place. Safeguarding students both proactively and reactively as they use technology is fast becoming one of the most important concerns across schools worldwide.
The following are key focus points for ensuring your monitoring software enable you to do this successfully…
- Keyword alerting: Make sure you’re alerted as soon as a pupil searches for a banned keyword. Pre-supplied keywords and phrases should cover a range of safeguarding issues
- Identification: Your monitoring software should enable you to know exactly who is performing each action once flagged
- “Report a Concern” features: These enable students to report concerns directly and discreetly to nominated school staff. Teachers should be alerted instantly, allowing them to track the concern and record any follow up actions directly
- 100% coverage: Ensure your monitoring software covers all your devices. Monitoring software on all of your computers will prove ineffective if your pupils are also working from iPads!
Of course monitoring is only one part of effective safeguarding; the information generated via monitoring then needs to be evaluated. With this real responsibility sitting with the school, it is therefore crucial that your staff:
- Know what to look for to remain alert to threats and capable to react quickly once identified
- Make sure the reports are going to the right people for thorough evaluation