What is Online Safety?
Online safety, the safe and responsible use of technology, is a term that encompasses not only Internet technologies but also electronic communications via mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology. It highlights the need to educate children and young people about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology.
It means ensuring that children and young people are protected from harm and supported to achieve the maximum benefit from new and developing technologies without risk to themselves or others.
- Online Safety concerns safeguarding children and young people in the digital world.
- Online Safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.
- Online Safety is less about restriction and more about education about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.
- Online Safety is concerned with supporting children and young people to develop safer online behaviours both in and out of school.
The aim of promoting online safety is to protect young people from the adverse consequences of access or use of electronic media, including from bullying, inappropriate sexualised behaviour or exploitation.
The Internet is an unmanaged, open communications channel. The World Wide Web, email, blogs and social networks all transmit information using the Internet’s communication infrastructure internationally at low cost.
Anyone can send messages, discuss ideas and publish material with little restriction. These features of the Internet make it an invaluable resource used by millions of people every day.
Some of the material on the Internet is published for an adult audience and can include violent and adult content. Information on weapons, crime and racism may also be unsuitable for children and young people to access.
Pupils need to develop critical skills to evaluate online material and learn that publishing personal information could compromise their security and that of others. Schools have a duty of care to enable pupils to use online systems safely.
The School’s Online Safety Policy reflects the importance it places on the safe use of information systems and electronic communications.