Online Safety Policy


E-Safety Policy



Review Date

February 2022

Review Cycle


Review Due (or in line with new legislation)

February 2025

Author / Owner

Tim Davis,   ICT Coordinator


1. Please see full policy here. 


  1. Aims.
  2. Legislation and guidance.
  3. Roles and responsibilities.
  4. Educating pupils about online safety.
  5. Educating parents about online safety.
  6. Cyber-bullying.
  7. Acceptable use of the internet in school
  8. Pupils using mobile devices in school
  9. Staff using work devices outside school
  10. How the school will respond to issues of misuse.
  11. Training.
  12. Monitoring arrangements.
  13. Links with other policies.

Appendix 1: Pupil acceptable use agreement (pupils and parents/carers)

Appendix 2: acceptable use agreement (staff, governors, volunteers and visitors)

Appendix 3: online safety training needs – self audit for staff

Appendix 4: online safety incident report log - Example from CPOMS.

Appendix 5: online safety curriculum statement overview – Adapted from (ES4 additional by TD)

Appendix 6: SMSC Curriculum links.

Appendix 6: Winchelsea Top 10 Online Safety tips.

Appendix 7: online safety resources list including but not exclusive to:




1. Aims

Our school aims to: 

  • Have robust processes in place to ensure the online safety of pupils, staff, volunteers and governors
  • Deliver an effective approach to online safety, which empowers us to protect and educate the whole school community in its use of technology, including mobile and smart technology (which we refer to as ‘mobile phones’)
  • Establish clear mechanisms to identify, intervene and escalate an incident, where appropriate

The 4 key categories of risk

Our approach to online safety is based on addressing the following categories of risk:

  • Content – being exposed to illegal, inappropriate or harmful content, such as pornography, fake news, racism, misogyny, self-harm, suicide, anti-Semitism, radicalisation and extremism
  • Contact – being subjected to harmful online interaction with other users, such as peer-to-peer pressure, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults with the intention to groom or exploit them for sexual, criminal, financial or other purposes
  • Conduct – personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm, such as making, sending and receiving explicit images (e.g. consensual and non-consensual sharing of nudes and semi-nudes and/or pornography), sharing other explicit images and online bullying; and
  • Commerce – risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/or financial scam


2. Legislation and guidance

This policy is based on the Department for Education’s (DfE) statutory safeguarding guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education, and its advice for schools on:

It also refers to the DfE’s guidance on protecting children from radicalisation.

It reflects existing legislation, including but not limited to the Education Act 1996 (as amended), the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and the Equality Act 2010. In addition, it reflects the Education Act 2011, which has given teachers stronger powers to tackle cyber-bullying by, if necessary, searching for and deleting inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices where they believe there is a ‘good reason’ to do so.


The policy also takes into account Winchelsea Special School’s bespoke ICT Life Skill and Online Safety Curriculum developed from Childnet’s ICT and online safety curriculum resources.

3. Roles and responsibilities

3.1 The governing board

The governing board has overall responsibility for monitoring this policy and holding the headteacher to account for its implementation.

The governing board will co-ordinate regular meetings with appropriate staff to discuss online safety, and monitor online safety logs as provided by the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) Adam Bradford. The governor who oversees online safety is Mrs S Fallon within her role as Safeguarding Governor .

All governors will:

  • Ensure that they have read and understand this policy
  • Agree and adhere to the terms on acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and the internet (appendix 3)
  • Ensure that, where necessary, teaching about safeguarding, including online safety, is adapted for vulnerable children, victims of abuse and some pupils with SEND because of the importance of recognising that a ‘one size fits all’ approach may not be appropriate for all children in all situations, and a more personalised or contextualised approach may often be more suitable

3.2 The headteacher

The headteacher (Geoff Cherrill) is responsible for ensuring that staff understand this policy, and that it is being implemented consistently throughout the school.

3.3 The designated safeguarding lead and Online Safety Champion

Details of the school’s DSL and his team are set out in our safeguarding policy as well as relevant job descriptions.

The DSL takes lead responsibility for online safety in school, in particular:

  • Supporting the headteacher in ensuring that staff understand this policy and that it is being implemented consistently throughout the school
  • Working with the headteacher, IT Systems Manager and other staff, as necessary, to address any online safety issues or incidents
  • Managing all online safety issues and incidents in line with the school child protection policy
  • Ensuring that any online safety incidents are logged through the schools safeguarding and reporting system, Child Protection Online Management System (CPOMS) are dealt with appropriately in line with this policy
  • Ensuring that any incidents of cyber-bullying are logged and dealt with appropriately in line with the school behaviour policy
  • Providing regular reports on online safety in school to the headteacher and/or governing board

The Online Safety Champion (Tim Davis) takes lead responsibility for online safety in school, in particular:

  • Updatign and monitoring on the Online Safety Curriculum
  • Updating and delivering staff training on online safety (appendix 4 contains a self-audit for staff on online safety training needs)
  • Liaising with other agencies and/or external services if necessary

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.4 The IT Systems Manager

The ICT manager is responsible for:

  • Putting in place an appropriate level of security protection procedures, such as filtering and monitoring systems, which are reviewed and updated annually to assess effectiveness and ensure pupils are kept safe from potentially harmful and inappropriate content and contact online while at school, including terrorist and extremist material
  • Ensuring that the school’s ICT systems are secure and protected against viruses and malware, and that such safety mechanisms are updated regularly
  • The school has an online filtering system for online activity. Inappropriate content and searches are blocked. The ICT manager reserves the right to search for specific conflicts when requested.
  • Blocking access to potentially dangerous sites and, where possible, preventing the downloading of potentially dangerous files
  • Ensuring that any online safety incidents are logged (see appendix 5) and dealt with appropriately in line with this policy
  • Ensuring that any incidents of cyber-bullying are dealt with appropriately in line with the school behaviour policy

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.5 All staff and volunteers

All staff, including contractors and agency staff, and volunteers are responsible for:

  • Maintaining an understanding of this policy
  • Implementing this policy consistently
  • Agreeing and adhering to the terms on acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and the internet (appendix 2), and ensuring that pupils follow the school’s terms on acceptable use (appendix 1)
  • The DSL to ensure that all new starters to Winchelsea School receive training and a login to report any online safety incidents through Winchelsea School’s online safeguarding reporting tool, CPOMS.
  • Working with the DSL to ensure that any online safety incidents are logged through CPOMS and dealt with appropriately in line with this policy.
  • Ensuring that any incidents of cyber-bullying are dealt with appropriately in line with the school behaviour policy
  • Responding appropriately to all reports and concerns about sexual violence and/or harassment, both online and offline and maintaining an attitude of ‘it could happen here’

This list is not intended to be exhaustive.

3.6 Parents

Parents are expected to:

  • Notify a member of staff or the headteacher of any concerns or queries regarding this policy
  • Ensure their child has read, understood and agreed to the terms on acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and internet. Where accessible and tha school will monitor and support children in this use in line with their SEN diagnosis (appendix 1)

Parents can seek further guidance on keeping children safe online from the following organisations and websites:

3.7 Visitors and members of the community

Visitors and members of the community who use the school’s ICT systems or internet will be made aware of this policy, when relevant, and expected to read and follow it. If appropriate, they will be expected to agree to the terms on acceptable use (appendix 1). 

4. Educating pupils about online safety

Teaching about online safety has been adapted for our vulnerable children from Childnet international. Pupils will be taught about online safety as part of the Winchelsea ICT Curriculum alongside RSE taken from the guidance on relationships education, relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education. The Winchelsea ICT Curriculum is in line with statuary and non statutory guidance the from Keeping Childrne safe in Education 2021

4.1 Statutory and Non Statutory Guidance and Safeguarding linked to ICT and Online Safety

‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ - (KCSIE) Statutory Guidance for School and Colleges - Sept 2021 (Extracts)

Annex A

All Staff should:

Receive appropriate safeguarding and child protection training (including online safety) which is regularly updated.


Safeguarding Issues Linked with Online Safety


Issues that can put children at risk of harm. Behaviours linked serious violence (including that linked to county lines), radicalisation and consensual and non-consensual sharing of nude and semi-nude images and/or videos (also known as youth produced sexual imagery -YPSI) put children in danger.


Child on Child Abuse

All staff should be aware that children can abuse other children (often referred to as peer on peer abuse). It can happen both inside and outside of school/college and online. It is important that all staff recognise the indicators and signs of peer on peer abuse and know how to identify it and respond to reports.


Annex B contains important additional information about specific forms of abuse and safeguarding issues. School and college leaders and those staff who work directly with children should read this annex.

Here are the specific areas linked to internet safety to be aware of


4.2 Non-Statutory Guidance and Safeguarding linked to ICT and Online Safety

Government Response to the - Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper

The Government wants to help all schools to deliver a high-quality education that ensures all young people are equipped to have healthy and respectful relationships in both the online and offline world, and leave school with the knowledge to prepare them for adult life.

4.3 Teaching Online Safety in School

Main points

  • It is important to teach pupils about the underpinning knowledge and behaviours that can help pupils to navigate the online world safely and confidently regardless of the device, platform or app.
  • However, schools also need an understanding of the risks that exist online so they can tailor their teaching and support to the specific needs of their pupils.
  • Schools can refer to the Education for a Connected World Framework for age specific advice about the online knowledge and skills that pupils should have the opportunity to develop at different stages of their lives.
  • When planning their curriculum, and how online safety fits within it, there are a number of areas we recommend schools consider, for example how to support vulnerable pupils we recommend that schools embed teaching about online safety and harms within a whole school approach.
  • Creating a culture that incorporates the principles of online safety across all elements of school life.
  • Proactively engaging staff, pupils and parents/carers.
  • Reviewing and maintaining the online safety principles.
  • Embedding the online safety principles.
  • Modelling the online safety principles consistently.

Whole school approach

  • Whole-school approaches are likely to make teaching more effective than lessons alone. A whole school approach is one that goes beyond teaching to include all aspects of school life, including culture, ethos, environment and partnerships with families and the community.
  • We recommend that schools embed teaching about online safety and harms within a whole school approach.


Vulnerable pupils

  • Any pupil can be vulnerable online, and their vulnerability can fluctuate depending on their age, developmental stage and personal circumstance. However there are some pupils, for example looked after children and those with special educational needs, who may be more susceptible to online harm or have less support from family or friends in staying safe online. Schools should consider how they tailor their offer to ensure these pupils receive the information and support they need.


4.4 Summary of Meeting Statutory Guidance

 An outline of Winchelsea’s Online Safety Curriculum in relation to statutory guidance and safeguarding procedures:

  1. Opportunities to embed cross curriculum learning and debate with PSHE with in proposed drop days.
  2. Understanding and supporting Content, Conduct, Contact & Commerce
  3. Curriculum and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development links to support the embedding of Online Safety concepts
  4. Trusted resources and supporting partners to go to for additional resources guidance and support.
  5. Pupil voice in Online Safety related issues through the Pupil Passport.
  6. Reporting of incidents of concern raised in lessons and the safeguarding procedures.

Winchelsea recognises internet safety has strong cross curricular links to PSHE. Elements of online behaviour, relationships and consent are woven into the PSHE and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) curriculum by the PSHE lead (Lee Riviello).

4.5 Online Safety -Curriculum

The Winchelsea Online Safety curriculum aims to provide children with the skills and knowledge to become active citizens and interact safely online in the digital world. We recognises the additional vulnerabilities of the children at Winchelsea linked to their SEN. These include access to, or the intentional or unintentional production of, inappropriate content which can be scary, misleading or developmentally scaring. Misunderstanding of appropriate online conduct and behaviour placing them at risk to a variety of forms of exploitation. This can potentially lead to lead to undesirable contact from those wishing to exploit their vulnerabilities. Additional risks to children in understanding risks such as online gambling, inappropriate advertising, phishing and/or financial scam commerce.


It is important to dispel the myth that online and offline lives are different but in fact intertwine as one and the same thing where behaviours online and offline should mirror each other. To support the consolidation, Online Safety is not solely found in discrete lessons but has cross curricular links predominantly with PSHE and can also be found within SMSC links (Appendix 6)


4.5.1 Explorers, Seekers and Discoverers Online Safety

Evidence from a survey of parents disseminated by the SWGfL in the ‘Online Safety Update 2021’ – (attended by Tim Davis – Online Safety Champion) highlighted that one of the main concerns of parents of children with SEN who don’t fully understand the concept of being online is to keep them safe by limiting the chances of online risks though filtering and monitoring. 


Children in the Discoverers strand have access to the internet to support educational games and apps on the iPads. To support them to stay safe there are filters and monitoring in place on the devices and the capacity to contain the children in specific apps using the iPads guided access feature. When ready they can be introduced to the early concept of consent by asking if it is ok to take a picture of a friend before doing so.


4.5.2 Enquirer, Key Stage 4 and Post 16  Online Safety

Although filtering and monitoring is in place across Winchelsea, the Enquirer pathway of the school who have the cognitive function to understand and potentially access the internet freely and home or at school are at the greatest risk and discrete teaching of internet safety skills is critical to keeping them safe. At Winchelsea the Online Safety curriculum was adapted, to meet the needs of the children, from the ‘’ Key Stage (KS) resources from KS1 – KS3. The content of the curriculum follows three progressive subsections. (Appendix 1). New pupils can be base lined using the bespoke Online Safety assessment booklets to determine the best pitch for each child. These booklets come with a teacher assessment book containing the expected response to achieve a successful answer.


In addition to the curriculum, Winchelsea have adopted and rephrased a child net resource ‘Let’s Talk about Life Online’ as our top 10 tips.

4.6 Digital Passport

In January 2022 Winchelsea introduced a Digital Passport for the Enquirer pathway of the school adapted from ‘’. The passport can be updated by children at any time and the most recent is kept in their ICT files in class. The passport covers every child’s personal view, knowledge skills and wishes for their personal life online. The purpose of the Digital Passport is to be used as an Assessment for Learning (AfL) tool for class teachers at the start of the discrete Online Safety to tailor delivery of Online Safety to meet the needs of their class or individual pupils. For example if a child was working in Online Safety 1.  but highlights a vulnerability to sharing images then the teacher can adapt their planning or implement specific support with the assistance of the Online Safety Champion and or DSL. When vulnerability form Digital passport arise staff should:


  1. Record the vulnerability through the school safeguarding reporting system CPOMS. Then take appropriate actions for the safety of the child and inform the parent / carer of the issues that arose.
  2. Decide on if the child requires some 1:1 tuition on the topic or if it is beneficial to the whole class.
  3. Deliver the content to support the child/children in the class seeking any advice required from with the subject lead and Online Safety

5. Educating parents about online safety

Winchelsea School will raise parents’ awareness of internet safety through the school termly newsletter and other communications home, and in information via our website. This policy will also be shared with parents on the school website containing

  • Links for support and reporting of internet safety concerns.
  • User guide to support social media use
  • Links to the latest apps, movies and games through ‘net aware’ and ‘common sense media’.
  • Addition internet safety advice from SWGfL

Online safety will also be covered during parents’ evenings.

Within online safety week additional resources are sent home through the School contact service ‘Schoolzine’


Prior to Covid we started an annual online safety coffee morning in conjunction with Dorsets Safer School Community Team which we will reintroduce in 2022/23.


If parents have any queries or concerns in relation to online safety, these should be raised in the first instance with the headteacher and/or the DSL.

Concerns or queries about this policy can be raised with any member of staff or the headteacher.


6. Cyber-bullying

6.1 Definition

Cyber-bullying takes place online, such as through social networking sites, messaging apps or gaming sites. Like other forms of bullying, it is the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. (See also the school behaviour policy.)

6.2 Preventing and addressing cyber-bullying


Reporting of safeguarding concerns, including cyber bullying, to the DSL is done through CPOMS staff use tags to categories incidents within school. The Online Safety Champion (Tim Davis) receives all incidents labelled as ‘E- Safety concerns’. These incidents are predominantly dealt with by the school participation team (Adam Bradford – Lead) with advice from the Online Safety Champion or other services such as the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), Dorset Safer School Community Team (SSCT) where required in line with the schools safeguarding policy, anti-bullying policy, peer on peer/ child on child abuse flow chart.  


Staff also receive annual internet safety training led or implemented by the ICT lead (Tim Davis) supported by the Dorset Safer Schools Community Team (SSCT). Follow up training for absentees and Online Safety relevant information in circulated via email and weekly whole school briefings where appropriate.


To help prevent cyber-bullying, we will support pupils to understand what it is and what to do if they become aware of it happening to them or others. We will ensure that pupils know how they can report any incidents and are encouraged to do so, including where they are a witness rather than the victim.


The school will actively discuss cyber-bullying with pupils, explaining the reasons why it occurs, the forms it may take and what the consequences can be. The Enquirers pathway of school will discuss cyber-bullying with their classes when there are at the level they can understand the concept, beginning with Conduct in Online safety unit 1 of the curriculum.

Teaching staff are also encouraged to find opportunities to use aspects of the curriculum to cover cyber-bullying. This includes personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, and other subjects where appropriate.

All staff, governors and volunteers (where appropriate) receive training on cyber-bullying, its impact and ways to support pupils, as part of safeguarding training

The school also sends information/leaflets on cyber-bullying to parents so that they are aware of the signs, how to report it and how they can support children who may be affected.

In relation to a specific incident of cyber-bullying, the school will follow the processes set out in the school behaviour policy. Where illegal, inappropriate or harmful material has been spread among pupils, the school will use all reasonable endeavours to ensure the incident is contained.

6.3 Examining electronic devices

School staff have the specific power under the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (which has been increased by the Education Act 2011) to search for and, if necessary, delete inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices, including mobile phones, iPads and other tablet devices, where they believe there is a ‘good reason’ to do so.

A good reasons linked to online safety includes information or images linked an offence that has been or is being committed, for example:

  • Pornographic images
  • Grooming
  • Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (YPSI)
  • Communications about involvement in criminal activity
  • Prevent, hate or radicalisation crimes
  • Drug related activity

This is not an exclusive list.

When deciding whether there is a good reason to examine or erase data or files on an electronic device, staff must reasonably suspect that the data or file in question has been, or could be, used to:

  • Cause harm, and/or
  • Disrupt teaching, and/or

If inappropriate material is found on the device, it is up to the staff member in conjunction with the DSL or other member of the senior leadership team to decide whether they should:

  • Delete that material, or
  • Retain it as evidence (of a criminal offence or a breach of school discipline), and/or
  • Report it to the police*

* Staff may also confiscate devices for evidence to hand to the police, if a pupil discloses that they are being abused and that this abuse includes an online element.

Any searching of pupils will be carried out in line with:

Any complaints about searching for or deleting inappropriate images or files on pupils’ electronic devices will be dealt with through the school complaints procedure.

7. Acceptable use of the internet in school

All pupils, parents, staff, volunteers and governors are expected to sign an agreement regarding the acceptable use of the school’s ICT systems and the internet (appendices 2) which is collated by the administration team and stored in reception. Visitors will be expected to read and agree to the school’s terms on acceptable use if relevant.

Use of the school’s internet must be for educational purposes only, or for the purpose of fulfilling the duties of an individual’s role. 

We will monitor the websites visited by pupils, staff, volunteers, governors and visitors (where relevant) to ensure they comply with the above.

More information is set out in the acceptable use agreements in appendices 1 and 2.

8. Pupils using mobile devices in school

Pupils may bring mobile devices into school. They are handed over to the class teacher who locks them in their cupboard during the school day. Pupils are not permitted to use them during:

  • Lessons
  • Tutor group time
  • Clubs before or after school, or any other activities organised by the school

Any use of mobile devices in school by pupils must be in line with the acceptable use agreement (see appendices 1).

Any breach of the acceptable use agreement by a pupil may trigger disciplinary action in line with the school behaviour policy, which may result in the confiscation of their device.

9. Staff using work devices outside school

All staff members will take appropriate steps to ensure their devices remain secure. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Keeping the device password-protected – strong passwords are at least 8 characters, with a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters (e.g. asterisk or currency symbol)
  • Data will not be taken off the school site with an unencrypted data stick.
  • Documentation can be accessed from home with the use of Microsoft OneDrive, schools secure emails or by sing remote access installed by the ICT support team.
  • Making sure the device, including school desktops computers around school, are locks if left inactive for a period of time (Windows key + L)
  • Not sharing the device among family or friends
  • Installing anti-virus and anti-spyware software
  • Keeping operating systems up to date – always install the latest updates

Staff members must not use the device in any way which would violate the school’s terms of acceptable use, as set out in appendix 2.

Work devices must be used solely for work activities.

If staff have any concerns over the security of their device, they must seek advice from Graham Broomfield and or Daniel Hill (The ICT technicians responsible for filtering and security of the ICT system)

10. How the school will respond to issues of misuse

Where a pupil misuses the school’s ICT systems or internet, we will follow the procedures set out in our schools behaviour policy and Acceptable use agreement. The action taken will depend on the individual circumstances, nature and seriousness of the specific incident, and will be proportionate.

The school will consider whether incidents which involve illegal activity or content, or otherwise serious incidents, should be reported to the police.

11. Training

All new staff members will receive training, as part of their induction, on safe internet use and online safeguarding issues including cyber-bullying and the risks of online radicalisation in a PowerPoint presentation handout in their induction t the school.

All staff members will receive refresher training at least once each academic year as part of safeguarding training, as well as relevant updates as required (for example through emails, e-bulletins and staff meetings).

By way of this training, all staff will be made aware that:

  • Technology is a significant component in many safeguarding and wellbeing issues, and that children are at risk of online abuse
  • Children can abuse their peers online through:
    • Abusive, harassing, and misogynistic messages
    • Non-consensual sharing of indecent nude and semi-nude images and/or videos, especially around chat groups
    • Sharing of abusive images and pornography, to those who don’t want to receive such content
  • Physical abuse, sexual violence and initiation/hazing type violence can all contain an online element

Training will also help staff:

  • develop better awareness to assist in spotting the signs and symptoms of online abuse
  • develop the ability to ensure pupils can recognise dangers and risks in online activity and can weigh the risks up
  • develop the ability to influence pupils to make the healthiest long-term choices and keep them safe from harm in the short term 

The DSL and Online Safety Champion will undertake child protection and safeguarding training, which will include online safety, at least every 2 years. They will also update their knowledge and skills on the subject of online safety at regular intervals, and at least annually.

Governors will receive training on safe internet use and online safeguarding issues as part of their safeguarding training.

Volunteers will receive appropriate training and updates, if applicable.

More information about safeguarding training is set out in our child protection and safeguarding policy.

12. Monitoring arrangements

The DSL logs behaviour and safeguarding issues related to online safety.

This policy will be reviewed every year by the Online Saferty Champion (Tim Davis). At every review, the policy will be shared with the governing board. The will be supported by an annual risk assessment that considers and reflects the risks pupils face online linked to the 4 C’s. This is important because technology, and the risks and harms related to it, evolve and change rapidly.

13. Links with other policies

This online safety policy is linked to our:

  • Safeguarding policy
  • Behaviour policy
  • Staff disciplinary procedures
  • Data protection policy and privacy notices
  • Complaints procedure
  • ICT and internet acceptable use policy
  • Winchelsea School code of Conduct