The internet is part of everyday life. Knowledge and experience of information and communication technology (ICT) should be considered as essential. Developmentally appropriate access to computers and the internet in the early years contributes significantly to children and young people’s enjoyment of learning and development.
Children and young people learn most effectively where they are given managed access to computers and control of their own learning experiences; however such use carries an element of risk. Early Years Practitioners, their managers and volunteers, alongside parents and carers, should make children and young people aware of the potential risks associated with online technologies. This empowers them with the knowledge and skills to keep safe, without limiting their learning opportunities and experiences.
The E Safety Policy aims to outline safe and effective practice in the use of the internet. It provides advice on acceptable use and effective measures to enable children, young people and adults to use ICT resources in a safer online environment.
The Internet Policy applies to all individuals who have access to and/or are users of work related ICT systems. This includes children and young people, parents and carers, early year’s practitioners and their managers, volunteers, students, committee members, visitors contractors and community users. This list is not exhaustive.
The E safety policy applies to internet access through any medium, for example computers, mobile phones and gaming devices.
The Designated safeguarding officers (Louise Hammond and Megan Clatworthy)are responsible for online safety, and manages the implemented of the E safety Policy.
The Designated Safeguarding officers will ensure:
· Day to day responsibility for online safety issues and as such will have a leading role in implementing, monitoring and reviewing the E safety Policy.
· All ICT users are aware of the procedures that must be followed in the event of a potentially unsafe or inappropriate online incident taking place.
· The recording, monitoring and filing of reports in the event of a potentially unsafe or inappropriate online incident. This should include the creation of an incident log which should be used to inform future online safety practice.
· All necessary actions are taken to minimise the risk of any identified unsafe or inappropriate online incidents reoccurring.
· Regular meetings take place with the registered person and senior mangers to discuss current issues, review incident reports and filtering/change control logs.
· Effective training and on-line safety advice is delivered and available to all early years practitioners and their managers and volunteers. This includes advisory support to children, young people, parents and carers as necessary.
· Timely liaison, where appropriate, with other agencies in respect of current on-line safety practise and the reporting and management of significant incidents.
Managing Online Access:
Maintaining password security is an essential requirement for early year’s practitioners and their managers particularly where they have access to personal information. A list of authorised ICT users should be maintained, and access to sensitive and personal data should be restricted.
Early years practitioners and their managers will be responsible for keeping their passwords secure and should ensure they are regularly up-dated. All ICT users should have strong passwords.
Passwords should not be shared.
Computers and laptops should be set to ‘time – out’ the current user session if they become idle for an identified period. All ICT users must ‘log-out’ of their accounts if they need to leave a computer unattended.
If ICT users become aware that password security has been compromised or has been shared, either intentionally, the concern must be reported to the Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding.
Internet access for all ICT users should be managed and moderated in order to protect them from deliberate or unintentional misuse. Every reasonable precaution should be taken to ensure the safe use of the internet. It has to be acknowledged however, that it will be impossible to safeguard against every eventuality.
The following control measures should be put in place where appropriate to manage internet access and minimise risk:
· Secure broadband or wireless access.
· A secure, filtered, managed internet service provider and/or learning platform.
· Secure email accounts.
· Regularly monitored and updated virus protection.
· A secure password system.
· An agreed list of assigned authorised users with controlled access.
· Clear Acceptable Use Policies and Agreements.
· Effective audit, monitoring and review procedures.
· Online activity should be monitored to ensure access is given to appropriate materials only.
Computers and gaming devices should be sited in areas of high visibility which will enable children, young people and adults to be closely supervised and their online use to be appropriately monitored.
If a child or young person accidentally accesses inappropriate material, it must be reported to an adult immediately. Appropriate action should be taken to hide or minimise the window. The computer should not be switched off, not the page closed, in order to allow investigations to take place. All such incidents must be reported to the Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding; who must ensure a report of the incident is made and that any further actions deemed necessary are taken.
All early years practitioners and their managers should be made aware of the risks of connecting personal mobile devices to work-related ICT systems. This is not allowed.
Should it be necessary, the download of files or programmes to any work related system should be effectively managed and monitored.
All users are responsible for reporting any concerns encountered using online technologies to the Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding.
All official online communications should occur where possible through secure filtered email accounts. Settings should be aware that free, web-based email services are not considered secure for personal data and their use could put the setting at risk.
All email correspondence should be subject to scrutiny and monitoring.
All ICT users are expected to write online communications in a polite, respectful and non-abusive manner. The appropriate use of emoticons should be encouraged.
It is strongly recommended that, where possible a filtered internet server is used to monitor and prevent offensive material or spam. If, on rare occasions, security systems are not able to identify and remove such materials, the incident should be reported to the Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding immediately.
Communication between adults, and between children/young people and adults, but whatever method, should take place within clear and explicit boundaries. This includes the wider use of technology such as mobile phones, text messaging, social networks, e-mails, digital cameras, videos, web-cams, websites and blogs.
When using digital communications, staff and volunteers should:
· Only make contact with children and young people for professional reasons.
· And in accordance with the policies and professional guidance of the group.
· And in accordance with the policies and professional guidance of the group
· Not share any personal information with a child or young person eg. Should not give their personal contact details to children and young people including e-mail, home or mobile telephone numbers.
· Not request, or respond to, any personal information from the child/young person other than that which might be appropriate as part of their professional role, or if the child is at immediate risk of harm.
· Be aware of and use the appropriate reporting routes available to them if they suspect any of their personal details have been compromised.
· Ensure that all communications are transparent and open to scrutiny.
· Be careful in their communications with children so as to avoid any possible misinterpretation.
· Ensure that if they have a personal social networking profile, details are not shared with children and young people in their care (making every effort to keep personal and professional online lives separate.
· Not post information online that could bring the group into disrepute.
· Be aware of the sanctions that may be applied for breaches of policy related to professional conduct.
· Only use (wherever possible) official equipment or systems to communicate with young persons.
All ICT users are advised not to open emails where they do not know the sender or where the format looks suspicious.
Children and young people should be enabled to use online technologies as relevant to their age and stage of development. Access to online communications should always be monitored by a supervising adult.
Access to social networking sites is not allowed. Early Years practitioners and their managers are not permitted to use work-related technologies for personal access to social networking sites.
All ICT users should be encouraged to think carefully about the way information can be added and removed from websites by themselves and others. Moderated sites can afford maximum protection.
Children and young people should be taught to think carefully before placing images of themselves online and to be aware of details within images, such as badges, which could reveal personal and background information. Users should consider the risk of posting images online owing to the permanency of online material.
Children and young people must always be reminded not to give out or post personal details online, particularly information which could identify them or provide information that would contribute to their personal profile.
Children and young people should be educated on how to set and maintain web profiles to appropriate privacy levels and how to deny access to unknown individuals.
Children and young people, parents and carers should know that the use of social networking sites in the home or social environment is an exciting communication tool and networking tool. It must also be emphasised however that their use can pose potential risks. Children and young people, parents and carers should therefore be made aware of those risks and the control measures that can be implemented to minimise them.
Social networking sites and mobile technologies can be used for negative and anti-social purposes. Cyber bullying, for example is unacceptable as is any other form of bullying, and effective sanctions must be in place to deal with such concerns. Any known or suspected incidents must be reported immediately to the Senior Designated Person for Safeguarding.