Online Safety Policy

Woodland Community Primary School ONLINE SAFETY POLICY

This policy should be read in conjunction with KCSIE and Anti-bullying policies.

Aims: The Head and Governors of Woodland recognise the importance of e-learning and the significant benefits presented to pupils, staff and parents by the emerging technologies used at home, at school and in the workplace.

There are however significant risks inherent in the use of these technologies and this policy aims to minimise these risks by

  • ensuring that all with responsibilities in the area of online safety clearly understand their roles and duties
  • explaining the School’s approach to online safety
  • providing a framework for the handling of online safety incidents

This policy should be read in conjunction with other school policies, particularly the Anti-Bullying Policy, Behaviour Policy and Safeguarding Policy.


Appropriate elements of the online safety policy will be shared with pupils. The online safety policy will be available to parents on the School website.

  • Pupils and staff will be informed and regularly reminded that network and internet use will be monitored.
  • Opportunities to gain awareness of online safety issues and how best to deal with them will be provided for pupils. This should be addressed each year as pupils become more mature and the nature of newer risks can be identified.
  • Woodland online safety policy will be referenced in the Staff Handbook and its importance explained to staff by the SLT member or safety co-ordinator.
  • All teaching and classroom support staff will read and understand the importance of the online safety policy.



The Chair of Governors is responsible for appointing an online safety Governor, with lead responsibility for online safety, who will:

  • review this policy at least annually and as necessary in response to any online safety incident to ensure that the policy is up to date and covers all aspects of technology use within the school.
  • keep up to date with emerging risks and threats through technology use
  • receive termly updates from the Head in regards to training, identified risks and any incidents
  • keep the Chair of Governors and fellow Governors updated on online safety matters
  • provide the Head and online safety co-ordinator advice on matters connected with online safety
  • with the online safety co-ordinator undertake a termly review of how online safety incidents have been dealt with and ensure the policy was effective and appropriately applied in managing those incidents


The Head has overall responsibility for online safety within the school and will:

  • keep up to date with emerging risks and threats through technology use.
  • undertake training as necessary
  • ensure that the designated online safety co-ordinator has had appropriate training and professional development in order to undertake the role
  • ensure that all online safety incidents are dealt with promptly and appropriately
  • allocate necessary resources to online safety on the advice of the online safety co-ordinator

Online safety Co-ordinator

The day-to-day management of this will be delegated to a member of staff, the online safety co-ordinator (S.Boyer) who will:

  • advise the Head, Governors and staff on all online safety matters
  • co-ordinate response to online safety incidents, in consultation with relevant SLT members; where Safeguarding issues are involved, the Head must also be alerted and Safeguarding procedures will be followed
  • ensure online safety training throughout the school is planned and up to date and appropriate to the recipient: pupils, staff, senior leadership team and governing body, parents
  • keep up to date with the latest risks to children whilst using technology and with the latest research and available resources for school and home use, undertaking any necessary training
  • engage with parents and the school community on online safety matters at school and at home
  • liaise with Lancashire’s online safety team, IT technical support and other agencies as required.
  • retain responsibility for the online safety incident log; ensure staff know what to report and how to document concerns or incidents.
  • attend the Governors’ committee (where necessary) to represent and report on online safety issues
  • review this policy regularly and bring any matters of concern to the attention of the Head.
  • with the online safety Governor undertake a termly review of how online safety incidents have been dealt with and ensure the policy was effective and appropriately applied in managing those incidents.
  • brief the Head on online safety incidents and concerns including recommending any necessary changes to policy or practice.

Network Manager

The Network Manager is responsible for ensuring that:

  • the IT technical infrastructure is secure.
  • anti-virus is fit-for-purpose, up to date and applied to all capable devices.
  • operating systems updates are regularly monitored and essential updates applied.
  • online safety technical solutions such as Internet filtering or iPad central control systems are operating correctly and safely.
  • filtering levels are applied appropriately and according to the age of the user; that categories of use are discussed and agreed with the online safety co-ordinator and Head.
  • passwords are applied correctly to all users regardless of age.
  • keep up to date with the latest risks to children whilst using technology, undertaking any necessary training:
  • on the request of the online safety co-ordinator or Head or with their own reasonable suspicions, review and report on individual user activity on the network or school provided devices.
  • the Head and online safety co-ordinator are alerted as a matter of urgency to any vulnerability, security breach, attack or incident known to have caused or likely to have caused (including ‘near misses’) an online safety risk to pupils or staff.
  • advice is provided to parents who have technical questions about online safety, on request of the online safety co-ordinator.
  • advice on technical matters of online safety is provided to staff when required.
  • IT System Administrator security is in place (to include the regular changing of administrator passwords).
  • patterns of pupil and staff use of the network are regularly monitored; the Network Manager will ensure that any unusual or potentially dangerous uses or incidents are brought swiftly to the attention of the online safety co-ordinator; where Safeguarding issues are involved, the Head of Safeguarding must also be alerted.
  • any issues related to data protection are referred to the Bursar.

All Staff

All teaching and classroom support staff are users of the network and have signed Acceptable Use policies which must be followed. They are also responsible for ensuring that:

  • they understand all details within this policy. If anything is not understood it should be brought to the attention of the Head or online safety co-ordinator.
  • they understand what cyber-bullying is and respond according to the Anti-Bullying Policy.
  • any online safety incident is reported as quickly as possible to the online safety co-ordinator(who may also refer the reporting member of staff to the Head of Safeguarding), or in his absence to the Head of Safeguarding. Staff who are unsure of whether an incident should be reported should raise the matter with the online safety coordinator.
  • they seek any support, training or advice they require in this rapidly changing area from the online safety coordinator
  • they report any copyright or plagiarism issues to the Head Staff are reminded that online safety incidents often involve Safeguarding issues; School Safeguarding procedures must be followed.

All Pupils

Pupils are responsible for their behaviour on the network and devices provided by the School just as they are in a classroom, the corridor, playground or other school grounds. Breaking these rules or misusing ICT equipment or services will be dealt with in accordance with the Behaviour Policy. Sanctions may include temporary or permanent exclusion, at the discretion of the Head.

Cyber-bullying is when a person or a group of people uses the internet, mobile phones, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else. (Childline 2013)

Pupils should:

  • understand what cyber-bullying is
  • understand that the School will not tolerate cyber-bullying and those pupils who cyber-bully,
  • when this is repeated or aggressive in nature, can expect to be suspended or expelled from school.
  • understand that being a ‘bystander’ or passing on images or messages created by cyber-bullies could itself be defined as cyber-bullying.
  • be aware that if investigation of an online safety incident suggests that a pupil’s misbehaviour may be criminal or pose a serious threat to a member of the public, the Head will contact the Police.

When pupils have a concern or a questions about:

  • how others are treating them.
  • how a friend or another pupil is being treated.
  • their own behaviour
  • they are then expected to bring this promptly to the attention of a teacher or parent so that help, support and advice can be provided.

Parents and Carers

The School recognises that emerging technologies present significant challenges to parents who often have questions or concerns about online safety and the School will aim, through parents’ evenings, VLE (virtual learning environment) updates and briefings from the online safety committee, to keep parents up to date with new and emerging online safety risks, and will involve parents in strategies to ensure that pupils are empowered. Woodland strongly recommends that parents follow the advice provided by CEOP (Child Exploitation Online Protection) via the website as this provides regularly updated information for parents of children of all ages and useful age-appropriate material to look at together with your children. Through assemblies, subject lessons and the PSHE programme, online safety is both taught discretely and embedded into our curriculum; pupils will be given the appropriate advice and guidance by staff and made aware of how they can report areas of concern whilst at school or outside of school. Parents should be aware that evidence of cyberbullying taking place outside of school may result in school sanctions, up to and including expulsion, according to the rules set out in the Behaviour Policy. Woodland takes a proactive approach to online safety.

Parents should note however that many areas including:

  • the number of hours children spend on the internet or using mobile devices at home
  • the hours during which children are permitted access to the internet or mobile devices at home
  • the types of interaction on the internet permitted (e.g. unregulated contact with peers, contact with strangers) at home
  • the security settings and permissions on home equipment and devices
  • adherence to gaming/video/social networking age guidelines, regulations and laws.
  • permission to join social networking sites or online gaming or chat

……are parenting decisions in which the school can provide advice but over which the school ultimately has no control. It is absolutely essential, therefore, that parents exercise vigilance and take responsibility for these vital aspects of modern family life.

Parents are responsible for:

  • bringing swiftly to the attention of the online safety co-ordinator (S Boyer) or Head of Safeguarding (M Millar) any online safety concerns.
  • bringing cyber-bullying or inappropriate uses of digital technology to the attention of school staff.

Parents are reminded that, as in all parenting matters, values and practices vary significantly from family to family. When their children visit friends’ homes, parents are advised to discuss in advance with the friends’ parents their expectations for access to and use of technology (e.g. mobile phone access, gaming, internet use, DVD age ratings). Where minor difficulties arise between children of families known to each other in the offline world, parents can often deal with these by sensitive contact with the parents of the child concerned. It will be helpful to keep the school informed of any relevant information. In the event that this approach is not possible or desirable, parents can seek advice from the online safety co-ordinator or the DSL. In a serious case which might involve criminal offence or risk to an individual, parents or the school may need to contact agencies such as CEOP (via their website) or the Police: when a child is in immediate danger, 999 should be called. Parents with concerns, questions or suggestions regarding online safety are encouraged to contact the online safety co-ordinator who will be happy to discuss these and to provide advice. Parents and staff are advised that they must not forward to the school digital material (e.g. an offensive image sent to their child) which they believe to be offensive or criminal in nature as this action may in itself constitute a criminal offence.