How classroom.cloud helps you keep learners safe – A focus for Wales
Date of issue: March 2022
The 2022 document contains statutory guidance which must be read and followed by local authorities and governing bodies of maintained schools (including nursery schools) voluntary-aided and foundation schools, along with FE institutions under section 175 of the Education Act 2002.
It covers everything those working in education must follow – and not just schools. It is recommended as being relevant for all those inspected by Estyn but equally of importance to organisations that support work-based learning, those involved in EOTAS, ITE and more.
- protecting children from risk of abuse, neglect or other kinds of harm
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
- taking action to enable all children to achieve the best outcomes.
It states that children should be kept safe by:
- creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for children
- identifying child well-being concerns and taking action to address them, where appropriate, in partnership with other agencies
- developing children’s understanding, awareness and resilience through the curriculum.
NetSupport products, particularly classroom.cloud can help with this in a variety of ways and in this guide, we’ll talk through the various sections in the guidance and how our software can help you to meet your statutory requirements.
National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People
The National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People 2017 is the most up-to-date Action Plan from the Welsh Government on child internet safety and responsible use.
|Requirement/Guidance||How classroom.cloud can help support this|
|1.1 All schools and colleges have statutory duties to operate in a way that considers the need to safeguard and promote the well-being of children|
classroom.cloud facilitates the safeguarding of children with its contextual keyword tracking, linking to safeguarding incidents with integrations to CPOMS and MyConcern.
classroom.cloud also promotes wellbeing with its ability to poll how students are feeling.
|1.2 Reasonable measures are taken to minimise risks of harm to children’s wellbeing||See above.|
|1.13 Schools and colleges are required to cooperate and provide information to local authorities||classroom.cloud facilitates the safeguarding of children with its contextual keyword tracking, linking to safeguarding incidents with integrations to CPOMS and MyConcern.|
|1.16 In line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, schools and colleges should maintain an emphasis on prevention, in terms of early intervention, with a view to reducing the risks children are exposed to and subsequent difficulties in later life. Exposure to adverse childhood experiences13 (ACEs) is associated with poorer health and well-being outcomes. Early identification, intervention and action to mitigate the impact of ACEs, across the life course, is vital.||Use of classroom.cloud supports early intervention by helping to spot issues before they escalate.|
|2.18 The DSP should possess the necessary skills and qualities for the role, which will have a strong focus on communication with learners and professionals. This can be a demanding role and will require a level of expertise, knowledge,resources and support.||classroom.cloud is a resource providing helpful insights into students’ online activities for DSPs.|
|2.23 The DSP role involves providing advice and support to other staff, record-keeping, working with family members or carers, making referrals to children’s services and attending statutory meetings, as well as liaising with the SCB and working with other agencies as necessary. The DSP role is not to investigate allegations, but they must keep the headteacher/principal informed of all safeguarding concerns raised in the school or college.||classroom.cloud highlights safeguarding concerns.|
|2.24 The DSP should also consider how safeguarding more widely can be addressed and ensure preventative measures are adopted in the education setting. This part of the role will include building relationships with other agencies, as well as ensuring staff and learners are informed about risks and how to access support. This will form part of the whole-school (setting) approach and learning through the new curriculum.||As a teaching and learning tool, classroom.cloud forms part of the whole-school approach and learning through the new curriculum.|
|2.36 All staff should attend refresher training preferably within two years but should not exceed three years between training; due to the changing nature of online safety it is recommended that this be renewed regularly.||classroom.cloud helps provide contextual insights into online safety and safeguarding within your setting.|
|3.2 All staff have a responsibility to provide a safe environment and to identify children who are suffering, or are at risk of suffering, abuse, neglect or harm irrespective of where this happens (online or offline, on or off the education setting premises).||classroom.cloud supports this by providing contextual insights into online safety and safeguarding within your setting and beyond whilst using your devices.|
|3.3 Early identification and intervention are key to meeting the needs of children by preventing or delaying circumstances that might lead to social services’ intervention. […]Addressing low-level well-being problems early can stop issues escalating. Therefore, prevention, identification and early intervention are key, and equipping teachers and other school staff with the necessary knowledge to identify problems…||classroom.cloud is a perfect solution for ensuring early identification and allowing for intervention through its safeguarding features.|
|3.9 All staff members should be aware of the signs of abuse, neglect and other kinds of harm. Signs can be physical but are often more subtle such as a change in behaviour or becoming withdrawn.||Children often show these things in online spaces, so classroom.cloud is a perfect solution for ensuring early identification and allowing for intervention through its safeguarding features.|
|3.10 Staff should be aware that abuse, neglect and harm can affect anyone and knowing what to look for is vital to early identification.||classroom.cloud can be always on so it never misses a trigger. It knows what to look for, identifies it and flags it to relevant parties such as the DSP. As such, it is the perfect solution for ensuring early identification and allowing for intervention through its safeguarding features.|
|3.12 Suspicion about a child being at risk may take the form of concerns rather than known facts. Concerns about a child at risk can arise in many different contexts, including when a child is already known to social services. It is important that these concerns are logged, recorded and appropriately monitored by the member of staff and/or the DSP. This ensures that a coherent picture exists of the likelihood of abuse, neglect and other kinds of harm and provides support for a report to social services and any subsequent action.||It is likely that much of this would be held on MyConcern or CPOMS; however, the insights that the safeguarding element of classroom.cloud has could be one of the ways in which concerns are highlighted whilst children are using devices within a school setting (or beyond the setting).|
|3.13 Every education setting must have a suitable system in place to support effective data collection of children suspected to be at risk. There are a number of software packages to support schools to collect data internally about safeguarding concerns relating to children. These packages can support staff to log concerns and the DSP to identify patterns of abuse, neglect, or other kinds of harm.||The safeguarding features of classroom.cloud, coupled with its integrations to MyConcern and CPOMS, make it a helpful ally in supporting effective data collection of concerns and those children suspected to be at risk.|
|3.15 Concerns must be shared with social services through a report, supported by the DSP. The DSP can advise on and manage the process. Whether the actual making of the report is done by the DSP or the staff member will depend on the arrangements in place at the individual education setting.||Integrations with MyConcern and CPOMS mean that evidence from safeguarding reports in classroom.cloud can be easily integrated into reports created by DSPs on these platforms.|
|3.16 Accurate, concise and clear record-keeping in straightforward language is an essential part of an individual employee and professional’s accountability and underpins good child protection practice. All agencies involved in safeguarding and promoting the well-being of children must have policies and procedures specifying arrangements for the retention, storage and destruction of electronic and paper case records. The policies should ensure that case records are stored safely and able to be retrieved as required.||As supported by classroom.cloud, the tracking of safeguarding triggers on the platform and related integrations to MyConcern and CPOMS.|
|3.18 Children will talk about their concerns and problems with people they feel they can trust and are comfortable with.||classroom.cloud has an easy to use ‘Report a concern’ feature.|
|3.19 All those working in an education setting should ensure that the active offer principle of the use of the Welsh language is embedded in practice||classroom.cloud has an integrated Welsh language pack.|
|3.20 Consideration should also be given to other language and cultural needs||classroom.cloud has multiple language packs covering those most requested in UK schools.|
|3.22 Children want to know they will be listened to and their concerns will be taken seriously. All education settings must reassure and inform children there is a safe environment to talk about matters that affect them; this may be at the education setting or with another appropriate agency. Displaying information of national children’s helplines (e.g. Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Childline, Meic, NSPCC ) and peer support schemes, in visible and easily accessible places, such as pupils’ year planners, can encourage them to share concerns and receive help. These posters provide support to children to speak out when they have a concern: advice for primary school children and advice for secondary children. All education settings should display these posters on their premises in clear view of children as effective practice.||classroom.cloud has an easy to use ‘Report a concern’ feature and has easy access to many resources to support young people, reinforcing the messaging shared in this recommendation within the guidance.|
|3.49 The DSP should use judgement when making decisions about what information to share, and should follow organisational procedures. The most important consideration is whether sharing information is likely to support the safeguarding and protection of a child.||Information from classroom.cloud puts DSPs in a powerful position to be able to use compelling evidence to support the safeguarding and protection of a child.|
|3.58 All those working in an education setting should be aware of their responsibilities under the UK’s data protection legislation. Every maintained school and college in the UK is required to appoint a data protection officer (DPO).||classroom.cloud meets GDPR regulations.|
|3.60 It is effective practice for the DSP to provide an annual briefing and regular updates at staff meetings on any safeguarding and/or child protection issues or changes in local procedures. This ensures that all staff are kept up to date and are regularly reminded of their responsibilities as well as the school’s policies and procedures. Many schools and colleges find it helpful to discuss safeguarding regularly at staff meetings so that awareness remains high.||classroom.cloud‘s safeguarding features allow deep dives into areas of concern and to look at trending topics across a school, such as those highlighted in the word cloud feature.|
|5.23 Further guidance, training and support is available from the National Crime Agency (NCA) Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). NCA (CEOP) works to protect children, families and society from paedophiles and sex offenders, in particular those who seek to exploit children sexually online. Education settings should refer to the Wales Practice Guide on ‘Safeguarding children from online abuse’.||NetSupport works closely with the Internet Watch Foundation to ensure its products are always up to date with the latest contextual information related to child sexual exploitation online.|
|6.14 it is vital that anyone working in an education setting is alert to the signs of FGM and what action to take if they have concerns.||classroom.cloud’s safeguarding features explicitly check for references to this through the contextual keyword tracker that sits at the heart of its safeguarding toolkit.|
|7.1 With so much of our lives now spent online, promoting the safe and positive use of technology among children and young people is a key priority for the Welsh Government.||classroom.cloud explicitly supports the safe and positive use of technology as a core tenet of its purpose.|
|7.5 The Welsh Government is an official supporter of Safer Internet Day. Taking place on the second Tuesday of February every year, the Welsh Government works with the UK Safer Internet Centre to promote Safer Internet Day engagement through competition, lesson plans and activities. The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charities – Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and the SWGfL – with a shared mission to make the internet a better place for children and young people. Further details on Safer Internet Day can be found on the ‘Keeping safe online’ area on Hwb.||NetSupport is also an official supporter of Safer Internet Day.|
|7.7 It is critical that web-filtering standards are fit for purpose for twenty-first century learning and teaching, allowing the access schools require while still safeguarding children and young people. Governing bodies should ensure appropriate filters and appropriate monitoring systems are in place and refer to web filtering standards as part of the Education Digital Standards for schools in Wales. The standards seek to support schools to provide a safe, responsible and supportive environment to learn in, and prevent access to inappropriate or harmful content.||The safeguarding features of classroom.cloud identify as an appropriate monitoring system for the use of devices in schools and related settings.|
|7.8 Sharing images has become commonplace with the ease of modern technology. The increasing number of children and young people with mobile devices and the speed and ease of sharing images has brought concerns about sharing nude images (sometimes referred to as ‘sexting’).||classroom.cloud’s keyword tracking identifies and flags sexting–related language which causes safeguarding triggers to occur.|
|7.11 In recent years, some online viral challenges and hoaxes on social media have caused widespread concern about the potential to cause serious harm. The ‘Advice for schools on preparing for and responding to viral online harmful challenges and hoaxes’||classroom.cloud’s keyword tracking identifies and flags viral challenge/hoaxes–related language which causes safeguarding triggers to occur.|
|7.12 In recognition of the challenge there is in keeping up to date with the safety of different social media platforms, a new resource – ‘In the know’ – has been developed and is available on the ‘Keeping safe online’ area of Hwb. The ‘In the know’ series includes key information about the latest apps, social media platforms and games, including some of the associated safety and privacy concerns. The resource has been designed and created especially with parents and carers in mind; however, it may also be useful for practitioners, especially in the context of responding to a viral online harmful challenge or hoax||classroom.cloud’s keywords and language packs are regularly updated with the latest vernacular and other languages to help keep track of viral topics and areas of concern.|
|8.6 Schools and colleges must ensure that safeguarding procedures include provision for identifying and addressing risks relating to radicalisation and extremism||classroom.cloud’s keyword tracking identifies and flags radicalisation–related language which causes safeguarding triggers to occur.|
|8.9 Suspected online terrorism content, including articles, images, speeches or videos that promote terrorism or encourage violence, or encourage people to commit acts of terrorism, websites made by terrorist or extremist organisations and videos of terrorist attacks can be reported here.||classroom.cloud’s keyword tracking identifies and flags radicalisation related language which causes safeguarding triggers to occur.|
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