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The internet and other digital technologies are an essential part of modern day life. At St Mary’s School we understand the responsibility to educate our pupils on E-Safety Issues; teaching them the appropriate behaviours and critical thinking skills to enable them to remain both safe and legal when using the internet and related technologies, in and beyond the context of the classroom. This policy is written to safeguard and protect the children and staff of St Mary’s School against the risks involved in the use of Internet technologies. We recognise that E-Safety encompasses not only Internet technologies, but also electronic communications such as mobile phones and wireless technology.

What does electronic communication include?

  • Internet collaboration tools: social networking sites and web-logs (blogs)
  • Internet research: websites, search engines and web browsers
  • Mobile phones
  • Internet communications: e-mail and IM
  • Webcams and videoconferencing
  • Wireless games consoles.

Internet use is part of the statutory National Curriculum and is a necessary tool for staff and pupils. It is the entitlement of every pupil to have access to the internet and digital technologies, in order to enrich his/her learning. Whilst it is recognised that Internet technologies and electronic communications provide opportunities to broaden learning and develop creativity, it is also important to consider the risks associated with the way these technologies can be used.

This E-Safety Policy should recognise and seek to develop the skills that children and young people need when communicating and using these technologies properly, while keeping safe and secure, and acting with respect for others.

What are the risks?

  • Receiving inappropriate content
  • Predation and grooming
  • Requests for personal information
  • Viewing ‘incitement’ sites
  • Bullying and threats
  • Identity theft
  • Publishing inappropriate content
  • Online gambling
  • Misuse of computer systems
  • Publishing personal information
  • Hacking and security breaches
  • Corruption or misuse of data.

A summary of a school’s safety responsibilities is outlined below.

  • The school will appoint an E-safety Coordinator, who will receive support and advice from the county E-Safety Officer, and where necessary, the Police.
  • The E-Safety coordinator should maintain the E-Safety Policy, manage ESafety training and keep abreast of local and national E-safety awareness campaigns.
  • The school will review the policy regularly to ensure that it is current and considers any emerging technologies.
  • The school will audit their filtering systems regularly to ensure that inappropriate websites are blocked.
  • To ensure that pupils and staff are adhering to the policy, any incidents of possible misuse will need to be investigated.
  • The school will include E-Safety in the curriculum and ensure that every pupil has been educated about safe and responsible use. Pupils need to know how to control and minimise online risks and how to report a problem. We use the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) materials to carry this out.
  • All staff must read and sign the Acceptable Use Policy.
  • Parents should sign and return the E-Safety Rules consent form.
  • The E-Safety Policy will be made available to all staff, governors, parents and visitors through the website.

Implementation and Compliance

No policy can protect pupils without effective implementation. It is essential that staff remain vigilant in planning and supervising appropriate, educational ICT experiences.

Teaching and learning

The Internet is an essential element for education, business and social interaction. Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils, and so the school has a duty to provide pupils with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience. The school Internet access will be designed expressly for pupil use and will include filtering appropriate to the age of pupils.

  • Pupils will be taught what Internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for Internet use.
  • Pupils will develop an understanding of the uses, importance and limitations of the internet.
  • Pupils will be taught how to effectively use the internet for research purposes.
  • Pupils will be taught to evaluate information on the internet.
  • Pupils will be taught how to report inappropriate web content.
  • Pupils will develop a positive attitude to the internet and develop their ICT capability through both independent and collaborative working.
  • Pupils will use the internet to enhance their learning experience.
  • Pupils have opportunities to engage in independent and collaborative learning using the internet and other digital technologies.
  • Pupils will use existing technologies safely
  • Pupils will be taught about E-safety.

How will pupils learn how to evaluate Internet content?

Unfortunately pupils may occasionally be confronted with inappropriate material, despite all attempts at filtering.

  • Pupils should be taught what to do if they experience material that they find distasteful, uncomfortable or threatening. For example: to close the page and report the incident immediately to the teacher.
  • Pupils will be taught to be critically aware of the materials they read and shown how to validate information before accepting its accuracy.
  • Pupils will use age-appropriate tools to research Internet content.
  • The evaluation of online materials is a part of teaching and learning in every subject and will be viewed as a whole-school requirement across the curriculum.

Systems Security

IT systems security will be regularly reviewed with support from Schools IT and virus protection and filtering will be regularly checked and updated.

Web Filtering

  • The school will work with Schools IT to ensure that appropriate filtering is in place.
  • Pupils will report any inappropriate content accessed to an appropriate member of staff who will then in turn report it to IT Services.


  • Pupils may only use approved e-mail accounts on the school system.
  • Pupils must immediately tell a teacher if they receive offensive e-mail.
  • Pupils must not reveal personal details of themselves or others in e-mail communication, or arrange to meet anyone without specific permission.
  • Whole class or group e-mail addresses should be used in school rather than individual addresses.
  • Access in school to external personal e-mail accounts is not allowed.
  • E-mail sent to external organisations should be written carefully and authorised before sending.
  • Chain letters, spam, advertising and all other emails from unknown sources will be deleted without opening or forwarding.

Use of Images

Publishing of images, video and sound will follow the policy set out in this document under ‘Publishing Content’.

  • Parents and carers are permitted to take photos/videos of their own children in school events. They are requested not to share photos/videos from school events on social networking sites if other pupils appear in the background.
  • The Headteacher or a nominee will inform parent(s)/guardian(s) and others present at school events that photographs/videos may be taken on the basis that they are for private retention and not for publication in any manner
  • Staff should always use a school camera to capture images and should not use their personal devices.
  • Photos taken by the school are subject to the Data Protection act.

Published Content and the School Website

  • Contact details on the Website will be the school address, e-mail and telephone number.
  • Staff and pupils’ personal information will not be published.
  • The Headteacher or a nominee will take overall editorial responsibility and ensure that content is accurate and appropriate.
  • Photographs and videos that include pupils will be selected carefully and will not enable individual pupils to be clearly identified.
  • Pupils’ full names will not be used in association with photographs.
  • Consent from parents will be obtained before photographs of pupils are published on the school Website.
  • Work will only be published with the permission of the pupil.
  • Parents should only upload pictures of their own child/children onto social networking sites.

Social Networking

  • The schools will block/filter access to social networking sites;
  • Newsgroups will be blocked unless a specific use is approved;
  • Children will be taught about the role of CEOP and how to contact such organisations:
  • Pupils will be advised never to give out personal details of any kind that may identify them and / or their location. Examples would include real name, address, mobile or landline phone numbers, school attended, IM and e-mail addresses, full names of friends, specific interests and clubs etc.
  • Pupils should be advised not to place personal photos on any social network space
  • They should consider how public the information is and consider using private areas
  • Advice should be given regarding background detail in a photograph which could identify the student or his/her location e.g. house number, street name or school
  • Teachers should be advised not to run social network spaces for student use on a personal basis.

Video Conferencing

  • School videoconferencing equipment should not be taken off school premises without permission because use over the non-educational network cannot be monitored or controlled. At present no video conferencing facilities exist in school.
  • Users Unique log on and password details for the educational videoconferencing services should only be issued to members of staff and kept secure.
  • Pupils should ask permission from the supervising teacher before making or answering a videoconference call.
  • Videoconferencing should be supervised appropriately for the pupils’ age.
  • Parents and guardians should agree for their children to take part in videoconferences, probably in the annual return.

Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies will be examined for educational benefit and a risk assessment will be carried out before use in school is allowed.

Mobile Phones and other handheld technology

  • Pupils are only permitted to have mobile phones or other personal handheld technology in school with the permission of the Headteacher.
  • When pupils are using mobile technology (their own or that provided by the school) they will be required to follow the school’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
  • Such items may be confiscated by school staff if they have reason to think that they are being used to compromise the wellbeing and safety of others (Education and Inspections Act 2006, Sections 90, 91 and 94).

Authorised Internet Access

By explicitly authorising use of the school’s Internet access pupils, staff, governors and parents are provided with information relating to E-safety and agree to its use:

  • All staff must read and sign the ‘Acceptable ICT Use Agreement’ before using any school ICT resource.
  • Parents will be informed that pupils will be provided with supervised Internet access and asked to sign and return a consent form for pupil access.
  • Only authorised equipment, software and Internet access can be used within the school.

E Safety Complaints

  • Complaints of Internet misuse will be dealt with by a senior member of staff
  • All children will be taught to use the internet safely and the role of CEOP (Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre) to monitor and report abuse
  • Any complaint about staff misuse must be referred to the Headteacher, unless it is the Headteacher where complaints will be sent to the Chair of Governors
  • Pupils and parents will be informed of the complaints procedure
  • Parents and pupils will need to work in partnership with staff to resolve issues.

Introducing the Policy to pupils

  • Rules for Internet access will be posted in all networked rooms.
  • Pupils will be informed that Internet use will be monitored.
  • Pupils will be informed of the importance of being safe on social networking sites such as msn. This will be strongly reinforced across all year groups during ICT lessons and all year groups look at different areas of safety through the digital literacy lessons.

Introducing the Policy to staff

All staff will be given the School E-safety Policy and its importance explained.

Introducing the Policy to parents

Parents’ attention will be drawn to the School E-safety Policy in newsletters and on the school Website.

Websites offering additional advice and guidance

BBC Chat Guide

Becta Childline Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre Grid Club and the Cyber Cafe Internet Watch Foundation Internet Safety Zone Kidsmart NCH – The Children’s Charity NSPCC Schools eSafety Blog Schools ICT Security Policy (broadband link) Stop Text Bully Think U Know website Virtual Global Taskforce – Report Abuse


This policy should be reviewed annually by the Curriculum Committee