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28 Jun 2016

Department for Education release revised statutory safeguarding guidance for schools and colleges

Last month the Department for Education (DFE) updated its statutory guidance for schools and colleges ‘Keeping children safe in education’, replacing ‘Keeping children safe in education’ July 2015.

The document issued under section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015, outlines that schools and colleges must have regard to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ when carrying out their duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

It should be read alongside statutory guidance ‘Working together to safeguard children’ and departmental advice ‘What to do if you are worried a child is being abused- Advice for practitioners’.

This revised guidance will commence as of 5th September 2016 and should be read and followed by all governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of independent schools, who will need to ensure that ALL staff in their school read at least part one of the guidance.

The Department for Education states that it is essential for children to be safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material, such as abuse, substance misuse, bullying and radicalisation.

Governing bodies and proprietors must therefore now not only ensure they have the most appropriate ‘web filtering’ in place but also the appropriate ‘Monitoring’ in place.

See definition of ‘Appropriate Filtering’ by visiting the UK Safer Internet Centre website.

With summer break fast approaching, it is now more important than ever for schools to have these systems in place in order to comply with the guidance and provide the right tools and support to staff for the start of the next curriculum year.

How Smoothwall can help

Smoothwall understands that the internet is rapidly evolving, a simple block is no longer sufficient enough particularly if you want to give students access to the reality of a modern and liberal society.

The Smoothwall's Safeguarding functions on the belief that the best way to protect students is to combine blocking of event-based activities with the monitoring of intent-based activities.

By creating a new Safeguarding reporting feature, those who hold legal responsibility for safeguarding in schools have the ability to monitor and manage online content by running reports against specific category rulesets in order to successfully identify any breaches and any potential threats to pupils.

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