Online Safety Policy

Policy Details
Date created05/2018
Date reviewed
Next review date05/2021
Date approved2018

This Online Safety Policy been reviewed and agreed by staff, children and governors, and will be reviewed annually.

The school will monitor the impact of the policy using:

  • Logs of reported incidents
  • Monitoring logs of internet activity (including sites visited) / filtering 
  • Internal monitoring data for network activity
  • Surveys / questionnaires of 
    • students / pupils 
    • parents / carers 

Scope of the Policy

This policy applies to all members of Clarice Cliff Primary School and the community (including staff, students / pupils, volunteers, parents / carers, visitors, community users) who have access to and are users of school digital technology systems, both in and out of the school.

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 empowers Headteachers to such extent as is reasonable, to regulate the behaviour of students / pupils when they are off the school site and empowers members of staff to impose disciplinary penalties for inappropriate behaviour. This is pertinent to incidents of online-bullying or other Online Safety incidents covered by this policy, which may take place outside of the school but is linked to membership of the school.  The 2011 Education Act increased these powers with regard to the searching for and of electronic devices and the deletion of data. In the case of both acts, action can only be taken over issues covered by the published Behaviour Policy. 

The school will deal with such incidents within this policy and associated behaviour and anti-bullying policies and will, where known, inform parents / carers of incidents of inappropriate Online Safety behaviour that take place out of school.

Online Safety Officer / Lead

  • leads the Online Safety Group
  • takes day to day responsibility for online safety issues and has a leading role in establishing and reviewing the school online safety policies / documents
  • ensures that all staff are aware of the procedures that need to be followed in the event of an online safety incident taking place. 
  • provides training and advice for staff 
  • liaises with the Local Authority / MAT / relevant body
  • liaises with school technical staff
  • receives reports of online safety incidents and creates a log of incidents to inform future online safety developments.
  • meets regularly with Online Safety Governor / Director to discuss current issues, review incident logs and filtering / change control logs
  • attends relevant meeting / committee of Governors / Directors
  • reports regularly to Senior Leadership Team

 Teaching and learning

  • The purpose of Internet use in Clarice Cliff Primary is to raise educational standards, to promote pupil achievement, to support the professional work of staff and to enhance the school’s management information and business administration systems.
  • Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils. 
  • The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The school has a duty to provide students with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience. 
  • Pupils use the Internet widely outside school and will need to learn how to evaluate Internet information and to take care of their own safety and security.

Benefits of using the Internet in education include:

  • access to world-wide educational resources including museums and art galleries;
  • educational and cultural exchanges between pupils world-wide through the video-conferencing;
  • access to experts in many fields for pupils and staff; 
  • professional development for staff through access to national developments, educational materials and effective curriculum practice; 
  • collaboration with support services, professional associations and colleagues;
  • improved access to technical support including remote management of networks and automatic system updates;

The Internet enhancing learning

  • Pupils will be taught what Internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for Internet use. 
  • Internet access will be planned to enrich and extend learning activities. 
  • Staff should guide pupils in online activities that will support the learning outcomes planned for the pupils’ age and maturity.
  • Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation.

Evaluating Internet content.

  • If staff or pupils discover unsuitable sites, the URL (address), time, date and content must be reported to the Internet Service Provider via the Online Safety Lead.
  • Clarice Cliff should ensure that the use of Internet derived materials by staff and by pupils complies with copyright law.
  • The school has in place forensic monitoring and every two weeks we receive a Word and Phrase Monitoring Summary Report.

Managing Internet Access

  • The security of the schools computing systems will be reviewed regularly. 
  • Virus protection will be installed and updated regularly.
  • The computing co-ordinator / business manager will review system capacity regularly.
  • The school will be responsible for ensuring that the school’s network is as safe and secure as is reasonably possible and that policies and procedures approved within this policy are implemented.  It will also need to ensure that the relevant people will be effective in carrying out their online safety responsibilities.

Social networking and personal publishing 

  • Clarice Cliff Primary School has a Service Level agreement with Stoke-on-Trent CSA to block/filter access to social networking sites.  
  • Pupils are advised never to give out personal details of any kind which may identify them or their location.  Examples would include real name, address, mobile or landline phone numbers, e-mail address, names of friends, specific interests and clubs etc.
  • Pupils are advised not to place personal photos on any social network space. They consider how public the information is and consider using private areas.
  • The school will work in partnership with parents, the CSA, DfES and the Internet Service Provider to ensure systems to protect pupils are reviewed and improved.
  • The ICT team will ensure that regular checks are made to ensure that the filtering methods selected are appropriate, effective and reasonable. 
  • All users should understand that the primary purpose of the use mobile / personal devices in a school context is educational.  Social networking sites should not be accessed during working hours. 

Use of digital and video images 

The development of digital imaging technologies has created significant benefits to learning, allowing staff and students / pupils instant use of images that they have recorded themselves or downloaded from the internet. However, staff, parents / carers and students / pupils need to be aware of the risks associated with publishing digital images on the internet. Such images may provide avenues for cyberbullying to take place. Digital images may remain available on the internet forever and may cause harm or embarrassment to individuals in the short or longer term. It is common for employers to carry out internet searches for information about potential and existing employees. The school will inform and educate users about these risks and will implement policies to reduce the likelihood of the potential for harm: 

  • When using digital images, staff should inform and educate students / pupils about the risks associated with the taking, use, sharing, publication and distribution of images. In particular they should recognise the risks attached to publishing their own images on the internet e.g. on social networking sites.
  • Written permission from parents or carers will be obtained before photographs of students / pupils are published on the school website / social media / local press 
  • In accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office, parents / carers are welcome to take videos and digital images of their children at school / academy events for their own personal use (as such use in not covered by the Data Protection Act). To respect everyone’s privacy and in some cases protection, these images should not be published / made publicly available on social networking sites, nor should parents / carers comment on any activities involving other students / pupils in the digital / video images. 
  • Staff and volunteers are allowed to take digital / video images to support educational aims, but must follow school policies concerning the sharing, distribution and publication of those images. Those images should only be taken on school equipment; the personal equipment of staff should not be used for such purposes.
  • Care should be taken when taking digital / video images that pupils are appropriately dressed and are not participating in activities that might bring the individuals or the school into disrepute. 
  • Students must not take, use, share, publish or distribute images of others without their permission 
  • Photographs published on the website, or elsewhere that include students will be selected carefully and will comply with good practice guidance on the use of such images.
  • Students’ full names will not be used anywhere on a website or blog, particularly in association with photographs.
  • Student’s work can only be published with the permission of the student and parents or carers. 

Data Protection

As a school all personal data will be recorded, processed, transferred and made available according to the current data protection legislation. See GDPR policy

Radicalisation and Extremism 

  • Schools have a vital role to play in protecting pupils from the risks of extremism and radicalisation. Children will be kept safe from risks posed by terrorist exploitation of social media by approaching it in the same way as safeguarding children from any other online abuse. Staff will follow the school’s safeguarding procedures, including discussing with the school’s designated safeguarding lead if there are any concerns.

Internet Access

  • The school will keep a record of all staff and pupils who are granted Internet access. The record will be kept up-to-date, for instance a member of staff may leave or a pupil’s access be withdrawn. 
  • At Key Stage 1, access to the Internet will be by adult demonstration with occasional directly supervised access to specific, approved online materials.

Risk Assessment

  • In common with other media such as magazines, books, and videos, some material available via the Internet is unsuitable for pupils. The school will take all reasonable precautions to ensure that users access only appropriate material. However, due to the international scale and linked nature of Internet content, it is not possible to guarantee that unsuitable material will never appear on a school computer. Neither the school nor BBC can accept liability for the material accessed or any consequences of Internet access.  
  • Methods to identify, assess and minimise risks will be reviewed regularly.

Online Safety complaints 

  • Complaints of Internet misuse will be dealt with by recording the concern on, ‘My Concern’; this will be dealt with by the class teacher.
  • The report logs are monitored monthly. All greater safeguarding concerns are reported to the online safety officer.
  • Any complaint about staff misuse must be referred to the headteacher, or LADO. (See Incidents of misuse flow chart.)
  • Sanctions within the school discipline policy include: 

– interview/counselling by class teacher / headteacher; 

– informing parents or carers; 

– removal of Internet or computer access for a period. 

 – work in conjunction with the, ‘Good to be Green System’

Internet used across the community

  • The school will be sensitive to Internet related issues experienced by pupils out of school, e.g. social networking sites, and offer appropriate advice.  

Communications Policy

  • Pupils will be informed that Internet use will be monitored via forensic software. 
  • All children will have regular teaching on how to use the Internet responsibly. This will be included in the SMSC, Citizenship and ICT programmes of study.
  • All pupils, parents and staff to read, accept and sign our Online Safety School agreement.


  • All staff must accept the terms of the ‘Responsible Internet Use’ statement before using any Internet resource in the school.
  • All staff will be given the school Online Safety Policy and its importance explained.
  • Staff should be aware that Internet traffic can be monitored and traced to the individual user.  Discretion and professional conduct is essential. 

Parents / Carers 

Parents / Carers play a crucial role in ensuring that their children understand the need to use the internet / mobile devices in an appropriate way. The school will take every opportunity to help parents understand these issues through parents’ evenings, newsletters, letters, website and information about national / local online safety campaigns / literature.  Parents and carers will be encouraged to support the school in promoting good online safety practice and to follow guidelines on the appropriate use of:

  • digital and video images taken at school events
  • access to parents’ sections of the website / Learning Platform and online student/pupil records
  • their children’s personal devices in the school