The law on ... Internet use

13th February 2009 at 00:00

Basic issues

Internet use in schools by pupils has associated risks that must be managed effectively. These include cyberbullying, contacts with unknown persons, access to legal and illegal adult material, inappropriate websites such as those encouraging suicides.

Whose responsibility is it?

The school's responsibility is to ensure that adequate e-safety policies are in place that are followed rigorously. This must specify who is responsible for pupils' use of the internet, a list of websites that are regularly accessed (anything outside this should be cleared through senior staff) and disciplinary procedures should any member of staff act outside the e-safety policy. Impose sanctions to deter anyone from accessing websites outside the list.

What next?

In March 2008, the Government commissioned the Byron Review on how best to deal with internet usage in schools in light of the ever increasing amount of online information. Some of the key findings of the review include delivering e-safety through the curriculum, placing responsibility with Ofsted to monitor e-safety and including e-safety in teacher training.

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