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Recommendations for eSafety for vulnerable learners

Page history last edited by Julia Taylor 8 years, 10 months ago

Best Practice in Safeguarding in Colleges

Key points regarding eSafety from an Ofsted survey of best practice in safeguarding based on visits to 14 of the 15 colleges that received an outstanding grade for the leadership and management of their safeguarding arrangements in 2009/10.

  

Recommendations

Colleges should:

  •  identify responsibility and accountability for safeguarding arrangements
    clearly and at a senior level

  • ensure that quality training results in a workforce that is confident and well
    equipped to promote safeguarding in a sensible and proportionate way

  • sharpen the focus of self-assessment to ensure that the impact of
    safeguarding provision is measured effectively

  • keep abreast of changes to legal requirements and ensure that policies and
    procedures are revised accordingly.

 

The report notes that where colleges had been successful:

The range of risks associated with using the internet was recognised as a
priority area. Colleges used standard precautions such as having filtering and
monitoring software in place. In addition, there was often a high level of
vigilance by staff concerning learners’ use of the internet in computer rooms
and in libraries and resource centres. Learners were kept well informed about
the dangers associated with using the internet, but equally they were
encouraged to take responsibility for their usage and to act sensibly and safely.
Colleges varied in their approach to allowing the use of social networking sites
during the college day. Several had a full ban in place, but others allowed some
access at certain times. However, in all cases, the risks attached were made
explicit and responsible usage was promoted strongly, while recognising that
such technology was part of everyday life.

 

Colleges used a range of effective approaches to ensure that learners developed
a sound knowledge of safe use of the internet, and monitored developments in
this fast changing area.

The promotion of safeguarding was led well by principals and senior managers,
with strong support from governors and trustees. Equally, the culture had
permeated all parts of the college’s workforce. A sound policy basis and good
awareness of legislative requirements underpinned the culture.

The curriculum was used highly effectively to make learners think and act more
safely. High quality resources were available to teachers to lead lessons on safety
topics and the coverage was relevant, topical, and often delivered by specialists.
Education about internet safety had been given high priority with
recognition of the need to keep reviewing this aspect in the light of ever-changing
technology. A ‘zero tolerance’ approach to lapses in safety precautions was
reinforced effectively at all levels of management. Site security arrangements at all
the colleges had received careful consideration and were effective while maintaining
an open and friendly environment.

 

Safeguarding policies provided appropriate guidance on all the relevant aspects
of each college’s work, including the different age ranges and the various
groups of learners who attended courses run by the college. They covered the
approach to both college-based and employment-based settings and
incorporated how employers should be guided in meeting safeguarding
requirements.

 

At Telford College of Arts and Technology:
Extensive policies, procedures and guidance informed safe working practices.
Internet safety was included in tutorials and in additional safety workshop programmes to
support learners to use the internet safely both on and off site. The
computer services manager was a member of the internal safeguarding
group. Guidance on the safe use of the internet had been produced for
staff, learners and parents and included videos displayed in recreation
areas. The computer services team had developed bespoke software to
identify and block technology misuse. Software links to personal tutors
kept them well informed of concerns and allowed tutors to agree levels of
access for individual learners. Learners displayed high levels of awareness
of internet safety and understood why the controls were in place. The
computer services manager had developed strong external links locally
within the county council and nationally with the Child Exploitation and
Online Protection Centre (CEOP) so that best practice was adopted.


At ESPA:
Particular attention was given to the use of the internet
and social networking sites in the context of autistic learners, who might
misunderstand how the concept ‘friend’ is applied on social networking
sites. Work in the curriculum was particularly effective because of the
thought given to the needs of individual learners, for example to address
any compulsive behaviour that put them at risk.