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Exclusive: Teachers lack training to keep pupils safe from online radicalisation and exploitation

Research findings prompt call for e-safety to be a part of every teacher's ongoing CPD

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Research findings prompt call for e-safety to be a part of every teacher's ongoing CPD

Half of teachers do not have sufficient training to protect pupils from online radicalisation and exploitation at school, according to new research.

A survey of more than 1,300 ICT lead teachers in schools shows that on average they think that 51 per cent of teachers in their primary schools, and 49 per cent in secondaries, “need training in e-safety issues”.

Patrick Hayes, director of Besa (British Educational Suppliers’ Association), which commissioned the research, said that pupils were engaging with ICT about half of the time in UK classrooms, so e-safety concerns “permeate the entire school”.

“It ranges from making sure data about minors is not available online,” he said, “but of course it fits entirely with the government’s Prevent strategy, which is to ensure that through accessing the internet, children do not come up against unsavoury individuals.”

Mr Hayes said there was no “silver bullet” to solve the problem, but e-safety should be a part of every teacher’s CPD so they can keep up with an area that changes rapidly. “There’s a wide range of jargon and terminology that a pupil may be using, both in reference to drugs and radicalisation, that teachers really struggle to keep on top of,” he told TES.

The research was carried out by the National Education Research Panel (Nerp) ahead of next week’s Bett conference, the annual ed-tech extravaganza in London, which is set to attract thousands of teachers, school leaders and technologists, as well as government ministers and celebrity speakers.

This is an edited article from the 20 January edition of TES. Subscribers can read the full article here. This week's TES magazine is available in all good newsagents. To download the digital edition, Android users can click here and iOS users can click here

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