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New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society. The internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, which open up new opportunities for everyone. Electronic communication helps teachers and students learn from each other. These technologies can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and increase awareness of context to promote effective learning. Children and young people should have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times. The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote pupil / student achievement. However, the use of these new technologies can put young people at risk within and outside the school. Some of the dangers they may face include:
- Access to illegal, harmful or inappropriate images or other content
- Unauthorised access to / loss of / sharing of personal information
- The risk of being subject to grooming by those with whom they make contact on the internet.
- The sharing / distribution of personal images without an individual’s consent or knowledge
- Inappropriate communication / contact with others, including strangers
- Access to unsuitable video / internet games
- An inability to evaluate the quality, accuracy and relevance of information on the internet
- Plagiarism and copyright infringement
- Illegal downloading of music or video files
- The potential for excessive use which may impact on the social and emotional development and learning of the young person.
Many of these risks reflect situations in the off-line world and this e-safety policy must be used in conjunction with other school policies (eg behaviour, anti-bullying and child protection policies). It is impossible to eliminate all risk. It is therefore essential to build students resilience to the risks they may face, so that they have the confidence and skills to face and deal with them.
We must demonstrate that we have provided the necessary safeguards to help ensure that we have done everything that could reasonably be expected of us to manage and reduce these risks. Our e-safety policy explains how we intend to do this, while also addressing wider educational issues in order to help young people (and their parents / carers) to be responsible users and stay safe while using the internet and other communications technologies for educational, personal and recreational use.
Link to latest esafety policy is here