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22 Dec 2015

Proposed reforms to monitor pupils web usage to prevent radicalisation

On 22nd December 2015, BBC News published an article announcing that reforms have been published for consultation as part of UK school's ongoing safeguarding responsibilities to protect children from radicalisation.

Since the Prevent Duty was published earlier this year, this highlighted a growing need for schools and teachers to play an active role in monitoring and preventing children from being radicalised by extremists.

Everyone who interacts with children must take relevant measures to ensure the safeguarding of those children. It's difficult for teachers to always effectively spot the signs of children being radicalised, and can often lead to misjudgements.

Remember the muslim boy who made a clock for a school project but was accused of being a terrorist? The most effective way to monitor children is to remove opinion and judgement, and instead use technology.

The new draft legislation identifies the need for monitoring of electronic devices used by pupils in schools. With effective monitoring, you can accurately identify which children are searching for extremist content, or equally those being targetted by others on social media or chat forums.

With hard evidence, it is then easier to intervene and create an improvement plan to help that child.

Many UK schools already have a filtering and monitoring solution in place, but new legislation will make this enforceable.

Schools with additional safeguarding monitoring solutions will be at an advantage when it comes to Ofsted inspections, and early identification of any children being radicalised.

Phil Smith, Head of Product at Smoothwall, comments on how Smoothwall can help meet specific safeguarding obligations.

As our customers know, the Smoothwall filter already goes a long way to detecting such activities, but we are spending a significant amount of time in 2016 in refining the system to provide even more relevant information. 

At BETT 2016 we will be showing a prototype of a new SafeGuarding reporting system that goes to the heart of the PREVENT initiatives. 

We recognise the Government guidelines are non-specific and want to ensure that the initiatives we are taking are in line with your needs.

If you want to find out more about further safeguarding of your pupils, speak to Smoothwall, or join our eSafety masterclass on 16th March 2016.

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