Statement of intent

North Tyneside Council Employment & Skills Service (E&S) strives to continually deliver high quality education and training. We recognise the importance of maintaining high expectations for all our stakeholders. We ensure all learners have access to online lessons where required.

Through the implementation of this policy we aim to address the key concerns associated with e-safety and learning. This would include systems and technology, safeguarding, conduct and accessibility.

The E&S recognises the opportunities available through new technologies and how these can support and develop teaching, learning and assessment. The E&S understands the duty of care in relation to safeguarding our learners and staff in relation to e safety. The E&S have implemented several safeguards to ensure all users are aware of how to keep themselves safe and manage any risks.

1. Legal Framework

1.1 This policy has due regard to all relevant legislation and statutory guidance including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • DfE (2020) Safeguarding and remote education during Coronavirus (Covid-19)
  • DfE (2017) Special educational needs and disability code of practice: 0-25 years

1.2 This policy operates in conjunction with the following NTC/NTCE&S policies:

  • Data Protection Policy
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Respect and Consideration Policy
  • Special educational needs (SEND) Policy
  • Live online lesson Policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • NTC Computer Security Policy

2 Roles and responsibilities

2.1 The Councillors are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that the E&S has robust risk management procedures in place.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the E&S’s remote learning
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of the policy on an annual basis in conjunction with the Head of Employment and Skills and the Senior Programme Manager.

2.1 The Head of Employment and Skills is responsible for:

  • Ensuring staff, learners, guardians and employers adhere to relevant policies at all times.
  • Ensure that there are arrangements in place for identifying, evaluating and managing the risk associated with e-safety.
  • Ensuring that there are arrangements in place for monitoring incidents associated with e-safety.
  • Ensuring that NTCE&S has the resources necessary to carry out the procedures in this policy.
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of the policy on an annual basis in conjunction with the Councillors and communicating any changes to
    staff, learners and all stakeholders.
  • Arranging any additional training staff may require to support learners
    with e-safety.
  • Liaising with ICT support to ensure that all technology used for elearning is suitable for purpose and will protect learners online

2.2 Staff members are responsible for:

  • Adhering to the policy at all times.
  • Reporting any safeguarding incidents and concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) and asking for guidance as appropriate.
  • Taking part in training to meet requirements of the policy, including training on how to use the necessary electronic equipment and software.
  • Reporting any defects on NTC owned equipment used for e-learning to ICT support.
  • Adhering to the staff code of conduct at all times.
  • Ensuring that safeguarding policies are enforced if vulnerable learners take part in e-learning.
  • Identifying vulnerable learners who may be at risk if they take part in elearning.

2.3 The Programme Manager are responsible for:

  • Liaising with the ICT support to ensure that the technology used for esafety is accessible to all learners and that responsible adjustments are made when required.
  • Ensure staff complete all safeguarding training including any e learning training.
  • Assisting tutors/assessors with all e-learning planning to ensure the correct safeguarding measures are in place. Identifying guidance and training to support safeguarding in the development of e-learning
  • Ensuring that safeguarding policies are enforced when learners take part in e-learning.
  • Ensure that learners with Educational Health and Care (EHC) plans continue to have their needs met in relation to any online learning and liaising with Programme Managers and other organisations to make alternative arrangements for learners with EHC plans.
  • Identifying the level of support or intervention that is required while learners take part in e-learning.
  • Ensuring that the e-learning provision put in place for learners is monitored for its effectiveness.

2.4 The DSL is responsible for:

  • Organising and chairing half termly safeguarding meetings that will include e safety which will then be shared with Programme Managers to cascade to staff through monthly updates.
  • Write termly safeguarding report to be shared with wider E&S team that includes any issues or recommendations for e safety
  • The point of contact for all safeguarding queries and concerns that also include e safety

3 Systems and technology

3.1 Staff will be informed to only download software from trusted sources, e.g. official websites.

3.2 ICT support will research the best provider to use for e-learning taking into account ease of use, privacy measures, and suitability for the purpose of elearning.

3.3 Tutor/assessors will ensure privacy settings are to be adjusted appropriately on the providers site or application.

3.4 Tutor/assessors will ensure any e-learning accounts they hold are protected with a strong password and will not auto-save their password on any device.

3.5 Tutor/assessors will ensure they test and understand any e-learning tools/software before conducting any e-learning.

3.6 NTCE&S will ensure all learners have access to all equipment to ensure they can participate in all e-learning.

3.7 NTCE&S will use Smoothwall technology to support the monitoring of all staff and learners.

3.8 NTCE&S will work with NTC ICT team to ensure the requirements of the service are configured suitably to safeguard staff and learners.

4 Safeguarding

12.1 NTCE&S adheres to the following three DfE safeguarding documents:

  • The Prevent Duty for further education institutions
  • Working Together to Safeguard Children (July 2018)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (September 2018)

5 Definition of E- Safety

“E-safety is often defined as the safe and responsible use of technology. This includes the use of the internet and other means of communication using electronic media (e.g. text messages, gaming devices, email etc).”

In practice, e-safety is as much about behaviour as it is electronic security. Esafety in this context is classified into three areas of risk:

  • Content: being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material
  • Contact: being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users
  • Conduct: personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm.

“The term ‘online safety’ reflects a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user’s access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues.”

The use of technology has become a significant component of many safeguarding issues. Child sexual exploitation; radicalisation; sexual predation: technology often provides the platform that facilitates harm. An effective approach to online safety empowers a school or college to protect and educate the whole school or college community in their use of technology and establishes mechanisms to identify, intervene in, and escalate any incident where appropriate.

6 Scope

This policy relates to any person who has access to the E&S IT systems and infrastructure both on site and off-site access. The e-safety policy relates to use of mobile devices, WiFi access, social media, educational apps, mobile phones, email and any other device/infrastructure that requires online access.

The e-safety policy should also be read in conjunction with North Tyneside Council (NTC) IT acceptable use policy.

7 Aims

The policy aims to:

  • To ensure the E&S IT infrastructure is safe and secure meeting legal requirements
  • To ensure staff fully understand the principles of e-safety and how to keep themselves safe
  • To ensure learners understand how to keep themselves safe online
  • To ensure user behaviour is safe and relevant
  • To have robust systems in place for managing incidents or potential risks to e-safety
  • To ensure staff and learners data remains secure and is not lost or misused
  • To ensure all learners have the provisions required to take part in online learning

8. Security

  • The E&S network is safe and secure, using the most appropriate security software. The E&S work alongside NTC’s IT department to ensure security measures are up to date. Smoothwall reports identify inappropriate use of ICT which will be followed up via programme managers.
  • All staff are required to complete annual safeguarding training including ESafety training via NTC’s Learning Pool
  • Learners have a thorough induction, including a learner handbook, which includes information on e-safety and how to keep themselves safe online.
  • Risk assessments are completed when any new technology is being considered

9 Behaviour

All users:

  • NTC Acceptable use policy
  • It is unacceptable for any user to download or transmit any material which can be considered abusive, obscene, sexually explicit, racist, related to violent extremism or terrorism of which is intended to harass or intimate another person.
  • Any act considered illegal will be reported to the police.
  • Any form of bullying via digital media will be dealt with seriously, in line with both staff and learner disciplinary procedures.

10 Safe Social Networking

  • Staff should report any safeguarding concerns such as grooming to the DSL immediately.
  • Staff must take responsibility for moderating any content posted online, social media or other educational apps used by both the staff and learners for educational purposes.
  • Staff should not ‘friend’ any learner on social media sites that are not intended for educational purposes.
  • Staff are advised to review their security settings on social media sites such as Facebook, linked in, Twitter and so on regularly to control
    information that is publicly available.
  • Staff should not post any comments online that may bring E&S into disrepute or that may damage the reputation of the E&S.
  • Learners are advised never to give out personal details of any kind, which may identify them or their location.
  • Learners must not place personal images/videos or music on E&S or NTC’s network space.
  • Students are encouraged to set secure online passwords and to deny access to any unknown individual.