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How do NetSupport products support

KCSIE 2024?

The Department for Education’s latest update of its Keeping Children Safe in Education 2024 guidance comes into force on 1st September 2024, ready for the 2024-25 school year.

This year’s guidance was released in May 2024 on a ‘for information only’ basis before going live in September 2024. The document contains mostly what the department calls ‘technical’ changes, i.e., changes to definitions and terms etc., rather than any wide-ranging developments for the 2024-25 school year. This is in line with its plan to effect more substantial amendments which will come into force in 2025. You can read about this year’s changes in Annex F.

NetSupport’s education products
Against each updated part of the guidance, we’ve indicated which features in our products help schools to meet their safeguarding requirements. The products are:

  • NetSupport DNA – on-premise IT management and safeguarding solution.
  • classroom.cloud – cloud-based blended learning instruction, safeguarding and IT management solution.
  • NetSupport School – on-premise comprehensive classroom management and instruction. (NB: As NetSupport School incorporates safeguarding but without a dedicated toolset, it only appears under the parts of the guidance it actively supports). 

The paragraph numbers correspond to those in this year’s KCSIE document.

 

Part one: Safeguarding information for all staff

What school and college staff should know and do

The role of school and college staff

4. “School and college staff are particularly important, as they are in a position to identify concerns early, provide help for children, promote children’s welfare and prevent concerns from escalating.” 

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
The Keyword and Phrase monitoring tool allows teachers/Safeguarding Leads to gain an insight into students’ activity as they use school technology. 
Students can ‘Report a concern’ to a trusted teacher directly from their desktop. 
Schools can define their own concern categories which makes it useful for DSLs when tracking similar issues, helping to provide additional context.  
Self-service directory of external online resources enables students to seek help outside of the school if they wish. 
The teacher ‘Add a concern’ feature allows them to document any concerns about individual students or when they have been verbally told of a concern.  
Staff can see a ‘History of concerns’ tool for a complete overview of a student’s record.  
Monitor mode allows teachers to monitor students’ screens to gain an insight into their activity as they use school technology.

5. “All staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment in which children can learn.”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Lesson-based security settings help provide a secure learning environment. ● 
24-7 security settings help to protect the school network.  
Approved/restricted lists of websites/applications to protect against unsuitable content.
Portable media device control to protect against unsuitable/risky content.
Full safeguarding toolkit, including alerting, monitoring, user profile creation, internet/application metering and in-class USB endpoint security. 
Full safeguarding toolkit, including alerting, monitoring, user profile creation, internet/application metering – plus, USB devices can be authorised for a day/week/indefinitely and use can be limited authorised users only.  
The Risk Index and word cloud provide teachers with insights into the risk levels of students’ online activity. 
Set authorised connection times in term time to protect against unauthorised access out of hours.  
Acceptable Use Policy report to show who has read and accepted all AUPs. 

6. “All staff should be prepared to identify children who may benefit from early help. Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges at any point in a child’s life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years.” 

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Contextual intelligence-based Risk Index to provide insight into students’ online activity.
‘Add a concern’ tool for teachers to make notes of a developing situation with a student. 
Staff can mark vulnerable students on the system to facilitate an extra layer of support.

9. “The designated safeguarding lead (and any deputies) are most likely to have a complete safeguarding picture and be the most appropriate person to advise on the response to safeguarding concerns.”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Safeguarding tools can be operated independently of the IT team to ensure confidentiality.
Tick/untick to show whether reviews of incidents are complete.
Only authorised staff have access to the most sensitive information.
Easy-to-use safeguarding access permissions and dedicated roles to ensure the right people have the correct level of access.

What school and college staff need to know

11. “All staff should be aware of systems within their school or college which support safeguarding, and these should be explained to them as part of staff induction. This should include the:

  • child protection policy (which should amongst other things also include the policy and procedures to deal with child-on-child abuse)
  • behaviour policy (which should include measures to prevent bullying, including cyberbullying, prejudice-based and discriminatory bullying)
  • staff behaviour policy (sometimes called a code of conduct)…
  • safeguarding response to children who go missing from education…and
  • role of the designated safeguarding lead (including the identity of the designated safeguarding lead and any deputies).

 

“Copies of policies and a copy of Part one (or Annex A, if appropriate) of this document (KSCIE) should be provided to all staff at induction.”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Flexible method of delivering and tracking Acceptable Use Policies.
Ensures an accurate record is kept of who has seen and agreed to each policy.

15. “All staff should know what to do if a child tells them they are being abused, exploited, or neglected. Staff should know how to manage the requirement to maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality. This means only involving those who need to be involved, such as the designated safeguarding lead (or a deputy) and local authority children’s social care…”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Students can use the ‘Report a Concern’ tool to confide in trusted teachers.
When verbally confided in by a student, staff can ‘Add a concern’ to record details of that conversation. 

What school and college staff should look out for

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
The safeguarding database contains over 14,000 terms, including topics that present risks outside of school. The word cloud highlights any matches that are being typed/searched for/copied by students.
Supports staff professional development with definitions for keyword triggers.
Contextual intelligence risk analysis extends the concept of context to online activity monitoring.
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Monitoring of online safety keywords and phrases students type.
Monitoring of online safety keywords and phrases students type, including specific wellbeing triggers. 
Word cloud provides an overview of trending topics – and can identify any students engaged in concerning activity.
Ability to connect to Microsoft 365 tenancy to monitor Teams chats and channels. 
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Keyword and Phrase monitoring feature has a database of over 14,000 safeguarding terms.
Safeguarding database also includes the Counter Terrorism Referral Unit (CTIRU) list, which schools can choose to enable.● 
Word cloud of trending safeguarding topics.
Staff can mark the status of triggered events as ‘in progress’ or ‘complete’.
Student Feedback mode and surveys offer an opportunity for student wellbeing checks.
Staff can use chat and message functions to check-in with individual students.
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Students can ‘Report a concern’ in confidence directly from their school technology.
Schools can define their own concern categories which makes it useful for DSLs when tracking similar issues, helping to provide additional context. 
In a hybrid setting, if learners are learning from home, they can report a concern from a device with the classroom.cloud student installed. 
Staff can document their concerns via the ‘Add a concern’ tool. 
Triggered events can link through to schools’ MyConcern or CPOMS accounts (when integrated) to ensure concerns are tracked/viewable across all platforms. 

Record keeping

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Provides a record of students’ keyboard activity, website and application usage for that lesson.  
Students can ‘Report a concern’, to confide their worries to staff and attach screenshots, messages or other evidence to their concern record.  
Schools can define their own concern categories which makes it useful for DSLs when tracking similar issues, helping to provide additional context.  
‘Add concern’ tool for teachers to log verbal concerns raised.  
With ‘Add a concern,’ the staff member can select who they would like to report the concern to. That person can then track, re-assign and record any follow-up actions directly.  
The ‘History of concerns’ tool means that staff can track these over time – and the ability to re-assign them to another member of the safeguarding team means they are always visible.  
Triggered events can link through to schools’ MyConcern or CPOMS accounts (when integrated) to ensure concerns are tracked/viewable across all platforms.  

Why is all of this important?

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Mark students as ‘vulnerable’ on the system.
Group ‘vulnerable’ students together on the system for monitoring in a single view.
Word cloud shows trending topics for a real-time overview, allowing staff to take timely action.

Part two: The management of safeguarding

Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK GDPR

Whole school and college approach to safeguarding

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Provision of safeguarding tools offering a range of features to monitor students’ online activity – as well as support them where needed.
Trending topics offer staff timely ‘teachable moments’ (e.g., for year groups or whole-school assemblies) before potential problems escalate. 
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
AUP tool can be used to distribute updated policies and procedures to staff and students.
Senior leaders can see who has read and acknowledged each AUP.
The ‘Report a concern’ tool allows students to confide their worries to staff non-verbally.
Students can attach screenshots, messages or other evidence to their concern record as evidence. 

Information sharing

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Evidence and records are key. Having a record of triggered keywords or reported concerns will form an important part of an evidence trail.● 
Being able to classify students as ‘vulnerable’ demonstrates the school’s vigilance.● 
Any retrospective information required can be extracted for further analysis.● 
Triggered safeguarding events are stored as a simple log, a screenshot or screen recording that provide the full background to an event (depending on the severity).
Integration with third-party solutions MyConcern and CPOMS ensures information from any triggered events can be accessed in both products. 
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
A GDPR toolkit helps school administrators to know exactly what data they hold by identifying all file types that may contain confidential information about students or staff.●  
Ability to record whether the software used in the school is GDPR-compliant in terms of the student personal data it stores. 
Ability to set a data retention policy to delete data over a specified age. 
Does not hold data unnecessarily: triggered phrase matches are retained in the system for 13 months while the school’s subscription is active. (It is removed after 30 days when a subscription is cancelled). 

Staff training

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
AUP tool can be used to distribute updated policies, procedures and information sheets to staff.● 
Senior leaders can see who has read and acknowledged each AUP.● 
Word clouds provide prompts for ad hoc safeguarding training for staff/students.● 

Opportunities to teach safeguarding

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Lesson-based security settings help provide a secure learning environment. 
24-7 security settings help to protect the school network.  
Approved/restricted lists of websites/applications to protect against unsuitable content.
Portable media device control to protect against unsuitable/risky content.
Lock screens to gain attention. 
Safeguarding tools offer insights into students’ online activities so teachers are aware of the risks students are being exposed to, as well as being able to gauge their understanding of the elements of digital citizenship. 
Trending topics offer staff timely ‘teachable moments’ before potential problems have the opportunity to escalate. 

Online safety

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Allowed/restricted lists of websites/applications allow teachers to set online freedom parameters for students.
Ability to set age-appropriate internet access.  
Open web pages directly onto students’ screens to save time and reduce the chance of them accessing unsuitable content. ● 
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Activity monitoring features allow staff to ensure students are on task at all times.
Keyword and Phrase monitoring can give teachers an insight into students’ online activity eg bullying/abuse/hazing etc.
Activity monitoring gives you a view of user login sessions and application/internet usage across the organisation.

Filters and monitoring

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Website and application approved and restricted lists.
Web filtering with age-appropriate settings.  
Alerts teachers to students engaging in risky online activity. 
Context is considered when assessing alerts – and a Risk Index score indicates their severity. 
Screen monitoring for a real-time visual overview of students’ activity.
Safeguarding alerts for staff. 

142. “The Department for Education’s filtering and monitoring standards set out that schools and colleges should:

  • identify and assign roles and responsibilities to manage filtering and monitoring systems.
  • review filtering and monitoring provision at least annually.
  • block harmful and inappropriate content without unreasonably impacting teaching and learning
  • have effective monitoring strategies in place that meet their safeguarding needs.
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
Six levels of staff access can be assigned: Organisation Admin, Site Admin, Safeguarding Admin, Safeguarding User, Technician and Teacher, who all have level-appropriate access to fulfil their roles.  
Flexibility to create appropriate access roles for your school.  
Set monitoring hours, e.g., during school hours only or at all times when students are using devices on the school network.  
Safeguarding database is continually monitored and updated and contains over 14,000 safeguarding terms. 
Safeguarding database also includes the Counter Terrorism Referral Unit (CTIRU) list, which schools can choose to enable.
NetSupport’s membership of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)  ensures we are at the forefront of safeguarding developments and can incorporate any updates to our products as quickly as possible.

Inspection

152. “Ofsted’s inspections of early years, schools and post-16 provision are carried out under: Education inspection framework (EIF) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Inspectors will always report on whether or not arrangements for safeguarding children and learners are effective.”

 

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloudNetSupport School
All documentation is retained electronically for easy access and to ensure everything is covered.  
GDPR toolkit helps to protect student/staff personal data and keep it confidential as far as possible.  
Records of triggered events can be copied or exported as evidence, if needed. 

Child-on-child abuse

160. “Governing bodies and proprietors should ensure that their child protection policy includes:

  • procedures to minimise the risk of child-on-child abuse
  • the systems in place (and they should be well promoted, easily understood and easily accessible) for children to confidently report abuse, knowing their concerns will be treated seriously
  • how allegations of child-on-child abuse will be recorded…”
FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Keyword and Phrase monitoring can give teachers an insight into whether forms of child-on-child abuse are occurring.
Students can ‘Report a concern’ in confidence directly from their school device.
Teachers can report concerns themselves via the ‘Add a concern’ feature. 
Language packs also allow teachers to extend their safeguarding provision to a wider group of students.

Children potentially at greater risk of harm

173. “Whilst all children should be protected, it is important that governing bodies and proprietors recognise (and reflect in their policies and procedures) tsome groups of children are potentially at greater risk of harm than others (both online and offline).”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Group ‘vulnerable’ students together on the system for monitoring in a single view.

Part five: Child-on-child sexual violence and sexual harassment

The immediate response to a report

Responding to the report

474. “It is important to understand that children may not find it easy to tell staff about their abuse verbally. Children can show signs or act in ways that they hope adults will notice and react to. In some cases, the victim may not make a direct report. For example, a friend may make a report, or a member of school or college staff may overhear a conversation that suggests a child has been harmed or a child’s own behaviour might indicate that something is wrong. As per Part one of this guidance, if staff have any concerns about a child’s welfare, they should act on them immediately rather than wait to be told.”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
The ‘Report a concern’ tool allows students to confide their worries to staff non-verbally.● ● 
Schools can define their own concern categories which makes it useful for DSLs when tracking similar issues, helping to provide additional context. 
Students can attach screenshots, messages or other evidence to their concern record. 
Staff can flag a concern as a false alarm. 
Teachers can also use the ‘Add a concern’ tool to make notes of a developing situation with a student. 
Teachers can mark vulnerable students on the system to facilitate an extra layer of support.

Annex C: Role of the designated safeguarding lead

Deputy designated safeguarding leads

“…Whilst the activities of the designated safeguarding lead can be delegated to appropriately trained deputies, the ultimate lead responsibility for child protection…remains with the designated safeguarding lead. This responsibility should not be delegated.”

FeaturesNetSupport DNAclassroom.cloud
Multiple roles allow the software to fit with the structure of the safeguarding team.
With the ‘Safeguarding Administrator’ role, the Designated Safeguarding Lead has full access to all the safeguarding/online safety tools.
The ‘Safeguarding User’ role can be applied to deputies and other members of staff supporting the DSL.

Holding and sharing information

“The critical importance of recording, holding, using and sharing information effectively is set out in Parts one, two and five of this document, and therefore the designated safeguarding lead should be equipped to … be able to keep detailed, accurate, secure written records of concerns, discussions and decisions made, including the rationale for those decisions.”

FeaturesNetSupport DNA
The ‘History of concerns’ tool keeps a secure record of all concerns submitted by students, laid out in calendar format. Staff can review the pattern and details of issues raised over time.

Powerful safeguarding for your school in every NetSupport education solution

NetSupport ensures that all safeguarding features in our education solutions are in line with best practice guidance such as KCSIE. We continually consult with schools to update our safeguarding database and, as a member of the Internet Watch Foundation, are at the forefront of all the latest changes in safeguarding topics and trends.

All of our education solutions are available to trial completely free for 30 days. We encourage you to try them in your own environment to see how they work for you! Alternatively, to find out more about our safeguarding tools, please contact us or book a demo at a time convenient to you. We’ll be happy to show you around.

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