Safeguarding Information for Remote Learning
Remote Learning Guidance
‘Remote Learning’ refers to the provision of work, teacher support, assessment and feedback from teachers to students in the event that normal lessons are unable to be delivered. As a school we will be using Microsoft Teams to deliver remote learning.
Situations where remote learning may be used:
- A teacher teaching remotely from home when students are in school; supported by a facilitator in the classroom
- An individual student learning from home when their teacher and other students are in school:
- This may include them accessing a live lesson from home for a Covid-19 related absence
- This may include them accessing lesson resources when a virtual lesson is not available or when the absence is non Covid-19 related
- A group of students learning from home in the event of partial or full school closure
Choice of School Platform- Microsoft Teams
Teams has been chosen as a school platform due to its various integrated safety features.
Adaptations to Microsoft Teams
As a school we will be using Microsoft teams as our remote learning platform. Microsoft Teams has been set up to be as safe as possible for remote learning. Some adaptations to the software have been made to support usage in a school settings:
- Private chat has been turned off;
- Private calls have been turned off;
- All profile pictures have been set to default picture;
- Staff can mute students;
- Students cannot share screen;
- Students cannot be in a meeting with other students without a teacher present.
Though there are settings which can be applied by the administrator and used to ‘lock down’ the platform for users, it is better to have school rules discussed and put in place to ensure a safe and sensible working environment for all. With children and young people accessing Teams at home with their parents or carers nearby, it is as much about people management as platform management.
Responsibilities of the school
Online-safety risks are traditionally categorised as one of the 3 Cs: Content, Contact or Conduct (identified by Professor Tanya Byron’s 2008 report “Safer children in a digital world”).
School is responsible for:
- Helping staff working with children to understand their roles and responsibilities to work safely and responsibly with technology and the online world:
- for the protection and benefit of the children and young people in their care, and
- for their own protection, minimising misplaced or malicious allegations and to better understand their own standards and practice
- Promoting an awareness and commitment to online safety throughout the school community, with a strong focus on parents, who are often appreciative of school support in this area, but also including hard-to-reach parents
- Taking a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and sexual harassment
- Further to these steps, the school reserves the right to withdraw – temporarily or permanently – any or all access to such technology, or the right to bring devices onto school property.
- Fostering a culture of safeguarding where online safety is fully integrated into whole-school safeguarding
- Ensuring the school implements and makes effective use of appropriate ICT systems and services, including school-safe filtering and monitoring, protected email systems and that all technology including cloud systems are implemented according to child-safety first principles
Communicating with parents, carers and students
- Communication should be within school hours as much as possible
- Parents should be clear on the expected response time for queries
- Online communication should only be through the approved school channel of Microsoft Teams, or staff email
- Personal email addresses should not be used
- Using a school device is preferable over a personal device
- Teachers should not share personal information or pictures
- Teacher communication should be in a professional manner, and avoid informal comments, excessive punctuation or inappropriate emojis or gifs
Live streaming from home
- Teachers should ensure that their background is neutral and does not include any personal items or inappropriate pictures
- Teachers should avoid working from their bedroom, where possible (if it's not possible then a virtual background should be selected)
- Teachers should wear professional dress
- Teachers should check that any other tabs open in their browser are appropriate before they share their screen
- All live streams should be recorded when staff and students are working from home
- It is preferable for students to be in a shared space at home rather than their bedroom
- Students should be fully dressed and in a suitable place to work with a neutral background
- Students should turn their camera on during virtual lesson to ensure their attendance and safety- this can only be viewed by the teacher who can mute and unmute students as well as turn their camera on and off
- Parents should be aware that the teacher and other students might see or hear them or anything in the background.
- It is essential that students, teachers, parents and carers are aware of the communication routes for raising any safeguarding concerns in relation to remote online education.
- Students, teachers, parents and carers should be aware of the practical support available for reporting harmful or upsetting content, as well as bullying and online abuse.
- Report harmful online content to the UK Safer Internet Centre www.reportharmfulcontent.com
- Get government advice and resources from Educate Against Hate www.educateagainsthate.com on safeguarding from radicalisation, building resilience to extremism, and promoting shared values
- Get advice on reporting online abuse from the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection command www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
- The Anti-Bullying Alliance offers advice and support for students who are being bullied
- Any safeguarding concerns should be reported to the Designated Safeguarding Lead following the school policy.
Teaching Online Safety and expectations
It is important that teachers/ students/ parents and carers have a good understanding of online safety and the expectations of remote learning use. Ensure that students fully understand that using our online platform is for educational purposes only, it is directed by teachers and is monitored by the Senior Leadership Team.
- Students: Treat home learning during any isolation/quarantine or bubble/school lockdown in the same way as regular learning in school and behave as if a teacher or parent were watching the screen.
- Students: Know what action to take if they or someone they know feels worried or vulnerable when using online technology, at school, home or anywhere else.
- Students: Understand the importance of adopting safe and responsible behaviours, and good online safety practice when using digital technologies outside of school. Realise that the school’s acceptable use policies cover actions out of school, including on social media.
- Parents: Promote positive online safety and model safe, responsible and positive behaviours in their own use of technology, including on social media. This includes not sharing other users’ images or details without permission, and refraining from posting negative, threatening or violent comments about others, including the school staff, volunteers, governors, contractors, students or other parents/carers.
- Parents: Encourage children to engage fully in home-learning during any period of isolation/quarantine or bubble/school closure and flag any concerns with the school.
Any offensive or inappropriate communication will be dealt with using the school’s behaviour policy.
If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact the school Designated Safeguarding Lead - Ms Weekes.
Data protection/ GDPR
Microsoft do their best to ensure privacy, security and compliance with your data. You can find out more at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/trust-center , though the statement below covers it well, with more information available via the link:
“As a customer of Office 365, you own and control your data. Microsoft does not use your data for anything other than providing you with the service that you have subscribed to. As a service provider, we do not scan your email, documents, or teams for advertising or for purposes that are not service-related. Microsoft doesn’t have access to uploaded content. Like OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, customer data stays within the tenant. You can check out more about our trust and security related information at the Microsoft Trust Center. Teams follows the same guidance and principles as the Microsoft Trust Center.”
Accessing personal data
School laptops are the preferred option when staff are accessing personal information regarding students. This may include access to school email or to SIMS.
Keeping devices secure
All staff members will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. asterisk or currency symbol)
- Ensuring the hard drive is encrypted – this means if the device is lost or stolen, no one can access the files stored on the hard drive by attaching it to a new device
- Making sure the device locks if left inactive for a period of time
- Not sharing the device among family or friends
- Installing antivirus and anti-spyware software
- Keeping operating systems up to date – always install the latest updates