The Telegraph is reporting that every school will be forced to use internet filters and teach children about online safety under government plans to better protect pupils from exploitation and radicalisation.
Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, has published a consultation looking at closing loopholes to ensure schools and colleges are keeping pupils safe when they use the internet.
Parents have also been offered a handbook on social media detailing “conversation prompts” for how to bring up the topic of cyberbullying and other online dangers with their children…
The new drive comes amid fears that there are gaps in schools’ current approach to protecting children from threats online.
In particular there are concerns children are increasingly being targeted by Islamist extremists who use the internet to brainwash teenagers into radicalisation.
Mrs Morgan said: “As a parent I’ve seen just what an important role the internet can play in children’s education. But it can also bring risks, which is why we must do everything we can to help children stay safe online – at school and at home…”
The consultation published by the Education Department outlines a range of possible measures ministers could take to improve online safety for youngsters and will run until 16 February.
Currently, the department’s statutory guidance says that schools in England only need to “consider” teaching pupils about safeguarding online. Ministers want to change this so the teaching is “required”.
Another proposal is to make schools put internet filters on all computers and create a system of monitoring which will ensure inappropriate online content cannot be seen by pupils…
Read more on this (including links to parent resources and how to take part in the consultation) directly from Nicky Morgan and the DfE at: New measures to keep children safe online at school and at home
Read or download the full report on the proposed changes being considered in the consultation:
Read or download the full draft guidance:
Read or download the new guide for parents and carers:
Your thoughts and reactions to the new measures being proposed here by Nicky Morgan and the DfE?
Is it a welcome move or do you have any reservations on either the principles involved or the practical considerations for schools?
What about pupils using their own devices to go online via mobile data connections?
Please give us your reactions and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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