Friendly WiFi – Why it is important for schools

Our partners at Friendly WiFi discuss the topic of public WiFi accessibility


Technology is a vital part of education in schools today from primary right through to secondary and beyond. We are in an age where the foundation of teaching is via some form of technology and a way to interact with students of all ages. Let’s face it, phones, tablets, laptops, gaming, shopping, etc – all the things our kids love to use and do is based around a piece of new age technology so of course they expect no less in their learning journey.


Parents at home are focussed on protecting their kids online from exposure, information and images that they wouldn’t wish them to see and there are many sites providing information that enables them to do their best to stop this happening. At home is an easier scenario to deal with for parents. What about when our kids leave the safety of the home. When they are out and about with their friends after school or our young son or daughter is bored at a family meal. A phone or tablet is not far from their reach and is usually in their hand! The same is when our kids are in school. Phones are used in many lessons for research to drive learning and obviously used by kids in their breaks. Many lessons are in computer rooms or sat at PC’s where talks are set and the internet is accessible.

Great for learning but what about the risk of exposure to indecent images and inappropriate material. By being in school this risk doesn’t automatically disappear, and parents are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers. Many solutions are put in place to protect data and cyber-attacks but the one area that can be easily forgot is a simple filtering solution. This will ensure that the indecent images and inappropriate material is blocked meaning our kids can’t be exposed and ensures that any visitors can’t also access such material. Important – yes of course it is. This type of material can be harmful to kids and their mental health and wellbeing is of paramount importance. It is also a safety net to stop online predators hanging around schools to access this type of material by jumping on their WiFi.

Figures taken from the Safeguarding Essentials - E-safety Checklist 2017/17 suggest that 20% of schools are still failing to implement adequate filtering and monitoring on their school network*

Friendly WifiHow can Friendly WiFi help?
The Friendly WiFi certification ensures that these filters are in place and this is checked annually giving peace of mind each year. The colourful symbol can be displayed physically in the school to show all visitors and students that the WiFi service is safe and that they are protected. By displaying the symbol online, it is also very visual to anyone wishing to use the service where it clearly shows that the WiFi service blocks inappropriate material. A great message for parents and provides them with peace of mind, brilliant for the school to show how seriously they take online safe and an essential and a certification which is so important in this every changing and challenging technology driven world.

Download a Friendly WiFi guide for teachers and parents

This downloadable document gives guidance on helping students understand how Friendly WiFi can protect them and is also a useful tool to share with parents about the scheme. Join free and download now



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Subsidised memberships available

Here are Safeguarding Essentials, we are delighted to have teamed up with Friendly WiFi to offer subsidised membership to those most in need, with up to 100% discount available to qualifying schools.

Our subsidised memberships are allocated based on current Ofsted rating or school status.

Friendly WiFi are also offering their certification service at an exclusive cost to all Safeguarding Essentials members

Discover your discount now!


*The statistics quoted are taken from the Safeguarding Essentials interactive online e-safety checklist, which is available to all Safeguarding Essentials members. The 9 point checklist gives you an outline of the necessary action or procedure that needs to take place in your school, with references to additional information and support if you need them. Find out more

Written by Friendly WiFi on September 27, 2018 11:21

Over 30% of school staff not trained in e-safety

Only 68% of schools reported that all staff are receiving regular e-safety training and updates.


Faculty TrainingIn 2012, Ofsted released their inspecting e-safety briefing, placing an emphasis on educating young people about staying safe online, while providing a safe environment in which to explore the web.

In the six years that have followed, a great deal has changed, not least the available technology and indeed how young people are connecting to the virtual and online world.

From a school perspective, the greatest change has come in the form of responsibility. Gone are the days when e-safety was considered the domain of the IT teacher – now the responsibility lies with the senior management team in the form of a designated safeguarding lead.

To that end, e-safety is no-longer a separate entity but is incorporated in the DfE guidance relating to the wider safeguarding issues, primarily set out the in the Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance, which was updated at the beginning of September.

One of the key elements of the guidance is that of staff training, with the KCSIE stating that:

Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that all staff undergo safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) at induction. The training should be regularly updated.
And
In addition, all staff should receive regular safeguarding and child protection updates (for example, via email, e-bulletins, staff meetings) as required, and at least annually, to provide them with relevant skills and knowledge to safeguard children effectively.

To underline this requirement the “Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings” Ofsted guidance issued earlier this month advises inspections to include evidence that:

staff, leaders, governors and supervisory bodies (where appropriate) and volunteers receive appropriate training on safeguarding at induction, that is updated regularly.

However, it seems that many schools are currently not providing adequate staff training on internet safety. According to figures extracted from the E-safety Support e-safety checklist, in the 2017/18 academic year, only 67.8% of users who logged progress in this area reported that they were fulfilling this requirement.

In addition, less than half (48.2%) of governing bodies were considered to be is involved the e-safety policy and practice within schools, while only 59% of users reported having an effective e-safety policy in place.

With the safeguarding remit ever widening, it’s not hard to understand why some schools may not be meeting the DfE requirements for e-safety – budgets, time and the expanding areas of risk which need to be considered make the safeguarding arena a challenging one to keep up with. However, we must remember that “Early years settings, schools, and further education and skills institutions should be safe environments where children (that is, everyone under the age of 18), learners and vulnerable adults can learn and develop” and having trained staff is essential to ensuring this is the case.



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Online e-safety training available from Safeguarding Essentials

Our online training courses are simple to distribute and monitor. They are a cost effective way to make sure your whole school community receives regular up-to-date training. With no 'per-user' costs, you can distribute the training to as many staff, parents, governors and pupils as you need and can repeat the training as often as necessary.

There are currently 13 online training courses for staff covering a range of safeguarding topics - a full list of courses can be viewed here



Online E-safety Checklist

Review your e-safety provision with our interactive online checklist

The statistics quoted are taken from our interactive online e-safety checklist, which is available to all Safeguarding Essentials members. The 9 point checklist gives you an outline of the necessary action or procedure that needs to take place in your school, with references to additional information and support if you need them. Find out more



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Subsidised memberships available

Since 2013, we have been supporting schools across the UK and beyond to deliver consistent, outstanding practice in online safety. Recently, we have added resources to our service to address wider safeguarding requirements. To date, our online training has been completed over 130,000 times.

However, we recognise that some of the schools who need the greatest support are those with the least resource. That’s why we have teamed up with our partners at Friendly WiFi to offer subsidised membership to those most in need - up to 100% discounts are available to qualifying schools. Discover your discount now!

Written by Safeguarding Essentials on September 20, 2018 13:05

Live streaming: protecting children from exploitation

What is live streaming, why do young people do it and what are the risks?


Children Video StreamingIn figures release today by children's charity Barnardo's, their new survey conducted by YouGov found that 57% of 12-year-olds and more than one-in-four children aged 10 (28%) have admitted live streaming content over the Internet.

The figures also revealed that almost a quarter of 10 to 16 year-olds (24%) say they or a friend have regretted posting live content on apps and websites. But what is live steaming and what is the attraction?

What is live streaming?
Live streaming is the broadcasting of live events as they happen, over the Internet, to a potentially unlimited audience base. Websites or apps can be used to live stream and, depending on particular preferences and settings, events can be broadcast to the world or a selected audience. Typically, mobile phones are used to live stream due to their portability and their built-in cameras, but webcams connected to laptops or computers can also be used.

Why do young people live stream?
Being able to share news, an event or an opinion with the world is particularly appealing to modern generations, who have grown up with mobile technologies and are used to being constantly connected. Inspired by online celebrity live streamers, young people may have a desire to share their lives online too and some want to follow in the steps of their online heroes.

Young people may live stream whilst they are playing games so that their audiences can watch and share in their experiences, they may broadcast a special event, such as a party, or they may just want to interact with strangers.

What are the risks?
When broadcasting over the Internet, it’s easy for young people to feel safe due to physical boundaries and this itself leads to increased vulnerability. People may attempt to trick, blackmail or coerce children during a time when their typical defences are down, and this may lead to riskier behaviour. In cases of online grooming, predators have targeted children and used trickery and grooming techniques to get them to perform acts of a sexual nature in front of the camera. This is classified as a ‘non-contact’ abuse offence, but is still sexual abuse.

Young people may not have an understanding of how what they are broadcasting could be saved and shared further and they may not know that people watching may not be who they say they are.

Research this month from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that children as young as three had exposed themselves online, that 96% of the victims were girls and that in almost all of the cases that they investigated, children were broadcasting from their home environments. Read more at www.iwf.org.uk

Helping young people keep safe
It’s imperative that all young people using online services have a good understanding of key online safety messages:

  • The importance of protecting their private information;
  • The knowledge that people may pretend to be people they’re not;
  • The understanding of what they share online can be saved and shared by others;
  • The knowledge of what to do if they are being bullied or coerced;
  • The importance of asking for help if needed.
  • It’s also important that younger generations have a secure understanding of healthy relationships; that they shouldn’t feel under pressure to act in a certain way, that no one has the right to ask them to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable and that their bodies are theirs.

    Personal, social and health education, alongside quality sex and relationships education from an early age, could help reduce incidences of online abuse.

    Resources for professionals and parents

    Primary-aged children:

  • Play Like Share
  • I saw your willy video
  • Secondary-aged children:

  • Matt Thought He Knew


  • The E-safety Support membership package available from Safeguarding Essentials offers an extensive range of resources supporting Internet safety education including teaching resources and training for staff across a range of topics - Find out more

    To ensure you receive notifications when articles are published, join our free membership service today!

    Written by Matt Lovegrove on May 24, 2018 10:51


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