Online safety lessons failing to reach more than one in four secondary pupils, Ofsted warns

The TES is reporting a new Ofsted study that suggests more than a quarter of secondary pupils cannot recall whether or not they have been taught about online safety within the last year…

…In a talk delivered during a summit on child internet safety today, Ofsted inspector David Brown presented information gathered from 39 primary and 45 secondary schools during school inspections.

He revealed that 95 per cent of all schools had an online safety policy. However, pupils were not always aware of these policies. In secondaries, Ofsted found that 27 per cent of pupils could not recall whether they had been taught about online safety during the preceding 12 months.

Three-quarters (76 per cent) of pupils, both at primary and secondary level, said they were not involved in the design and development of such policies…

In secondaries, 28 per cent of pupils said that they did not have confidence in their teachers’ understanding of online safety…

When judging schools’ internet safety policies, Mr Brown said, inspectors would always examine children’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe from risks online…

More at: Online safety lessons failing to reach more than one in four secondary pupils, Ofsted warns


See the presentation from David Brown in full from Ofsted via SlideShare: Child Internet Safety summit: online safety and inspection


Some very interesting findings presented here by Ofsted on the state of online safety guidance, from the perspective of both staff and students (although asking them to remember whether they have been taught something within the previous 12 months – as opposed to just whether they have been taught it – is perhaps slightly unreliable).

In the presentation, David Brown makes it clear that, when assessing a school’s policies, inspectors will look at “children’s and learner’s understanding of how to keep themselves safe”.

Do you think schools are getting online safety right? If not, why not?

Have you been involved in any initiatives or approaches that have worked especially well? If so, please share in the comments or via Twitter…


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  1. When schools are judged on exam results, other skills and non-examined subjects have low priority.  See summary of NUT report into the negative effects of England’s accountability system here:

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