Why do schools need a strong digital safety culture?
Without a strong digital safety culture in place, schools can be exposed to major risks in both pupil and school system safety. The types of risk issues that a digital safety culture incorporate include:
- Cyber-attacks on sensitive school data due to an ineffective firewall.
- Pupil safeguarding issues being missed such as abuse, mental health issues, radicalisation etc. due to ineffective digital monitoring.
- Pupil to staff safeguarding issues including inappropriate contact being missed through ineffective digital monitoring.
- Access to harmful content through ineffective filtering.
- Safeguarding issues being missed due to a lack of effective safeguard record procedure.
- Pupils engaging in dangerous online activity due to a lack of digital safety education.
- Disruptive behaviour due to a lack of classroom management.
Creating the right digital safety culture in schools
All schools are different. In order to find the best quality value solution for your school, you need to ensure that you are given a range of options and solutions. For some schools, the most cost-effective solution will be to use less staff time on technical and admin and so cloud based systems with managed elements will be the best option. For other schools, the best solution will be using school based on-site equipment and self-service elements as you have the staff in place to operate them. The education part of your digital strategy may involve staff offsite training or may include online resources or a combination of both.
It’s important to find a supplier that can give you a range of digital safety solutions in both technical and education elements. This way you can ensure you find the best-fit for your school.
Using one combined solution to create a strong digital safety culture in schools
Some digital safety partners can create entire digital safety culture solutions. By using a combined solution, schools can be confident that the different components needed to create a strong digital safety culture will complement each other.
Sourcing a solution in this way is also likely to have significant cost benefit and will create a much easier onboarding process. One support provider will make it easy to iron out any teething issues that may occur when a safety strategy is introduced.
A strong digital safety culture in schools supports compliance
Having a combined digital safety culture will help meet compliance for both online safety and for safeguarding of the school community. Schools are required to have filtering and monitoring systems in place. They should also have an effective strategy for combatting bullying and protecting students from radicalisation.
Optimised pupil performance and fewer school drop-outs
A strong digital safety culture will improve pupil outcomes over time. This benefit is seen due to better pupil focus and engagement, better digital safety education that improves student resilience online, and improved safeguarding so that adverse experiences are dealt with at an earlier stage and no children slip through the net due to poor safeguard record keeping.
To find out how to build the right digital safety culture for your school, see How to build a digital safety culture for the whole school community.
If you have any questions about any aspect of online safety in your school, get in touch with the Smoothwall team today. We’d be delighted to help.