Skills4Stem recognises the benefits and opportunities which new technologies offer to teaching and learning. Our approach is to implement safeguards within Skills4Stem, and to support colleagues and
candidates/apprentices to identify and manage risks. We believe this can be achieved through a combination of security measures, training, guidance and implementation of our associated policies.
In support of our responsibility to safeguard candidates/apprentices, we will apply measures and training for candidates/apprentices and colleagues to raise awareness and support their safety when using online systems.
This e-safety policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant Skills4Stem policies procedures
particularly safeguarding, prevent and disciplinary policies and procedures.
Definition of E-Safety
The term e-safety is defined for the purposes of this document as the process of limiting the risks when using the internet or digital mobile technology, particularly for vulnerable groups including children, adults and young people.
E-safety risks can be summarised under the following three headings.
- Exposure to age-inappropriate material.
- Exposure to inaccurate or misleading information.
- Exposure to socially unacceptable material, such as that inciting violence, hate, extremism, or intolerance.
- Exposure to illegal material, such as images of child abuse.
- Illegal downloading of copyrighted materials e.g. music and films.
- Grooming using communication technologies, potentially leading to sexual assault or child prostitution.
- Radicalisation the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and extremist ideologies associated with terrorist groups.
- Bullying via websites, mobile phones, or other forms of communication device.
- Exposure of minors to inappropriate commercial advertising.
- Exposure to online gambling services.
- Commercial and financial scams.
This policy applies to all persons who have access to Skills4Stem IT systems, both on premises and remote access. Any user of Skills4Stem IT systems must adhere to e-Safety policy and safe practice guidelines and the IT Acceptable Use Policy.
The e-Safety Policy applies to all uses of the internet, and electronic communication devices such as email, mobile phones, games consoles, social networking sites, and any other systems that use the internet for connection and providing of information.
Skills4 Stems’ objective is:
- To ensure safeguards on Skills4Stem IT-based systems are strong and reliable.
- To ensure user behaviour is safe and appropriate.
- To assure that the storage and use of images and personal information on Skills4Stem IT based systems is secure and meets all legal requirements.
- To educate colleagues and candidates/apprentices in e-safety.
- To ensure any incidents which threaten e-safety are managed appropriately.
Security Skills4Stem networks are safe and secure, with appropriate and up-to-date security measures and software in place. Risk assessment: when making use of new technologies and online platforms, colleagues are to assess the potential risks that they and their candidates/apprentices could be exposed to.
It is an unacceptable to download or transmit any material which might reasonably be considered obscene, abusive, sexist, racist, defamatory, related to violent extremism or terrorism or which is intended to annoy, harass or intimidate another person. This also applies to use of social media systems accessed from Skills4Stem systems.
- All users of technology adhere to the standards of behaviour set out in the IT Acceptable Use Policy.
- All users of IT adhere to Skills4Stem guidelines when using email, mobile phones, social networking sites, games consoles, chat rooms, video conferencing and web cameras, etc.
- Any abuse of IT systems and any issues of bullying or harassment (cyber bullying) are dealt with seriously, in line with colleagues and candidate/apprentice disciplinary procedures.
- Any conduct considered illegal is reported to the police.
- Colleagues must take responsibility for moderating any content posted online.
- Colleagues should be aware of cyber bullying, grooming law and child protection issues and forward any concerns to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or the Designated Safeguarding Coordinator.
- Colleagues should keep personal and professional lives separate online.
- Colleagues should not have candidates/apprentices as ‘friends’ on social media sites that share personal information.
- Colleagues should be wary of divulging personal details online and are advised to investigate privacy settings on sites to control what information is publicly accessible.
- Colleagues should recognise that they are legally liable for anything they post online.
- Colleagues are always expected to adhere to Skills4Stem’s Equality and Diversity Policy and not post derogatory, offensive, or prejudiced comments online.
- Colleagues should not bully or abuse colleagues/candidates/apprentices online.
- Colleagues entering a debate with a candidate/apprentice online should ensure that their comments reflect a professional approach.
- Colleagues should not post any comments online that may bring Skills4Stem into disrepute or that may damage Skills4Stem’s reputation.
- Colleagues wishing to debate and comment on professional issues using personal sites, should be aware that this may be seen as a reflection of Skills4Stem views, even with a disclaimer, and should consider their postings carefully.
- Colleagues should not use their Skills4Stem e-mail address to join sites for personal reasons or make their Skills4Stem e-mail address their primary contact method.
- Colleagues should be aware that any reports of them undertaking inappropriate online activity that links them to Skills4Stem will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.
Use of Images and Video
- The use of images or photographs is encouraged in teaching and learning providing there is no breach of copyright or other rights of another person.
- Colleagues and candidates/apprentices are trained in the risks in downloading, posting, and sharing
- images, and particularly in the risks involved in posting personal images onto social networking sites, for example.
- Skills4Stem colleagues provide information to candidates/apprentices on the appropriate use of images, and on how to keep their personal information safe.
- Advice and approval from a senior manager are sought in specified circumstances or if there is any doubt about the publication of any materials.
- Processing of personal information is completed in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998.
- Personal information is kept safe and secure and is not passed on to anyone else without the express permission of the individual.
- No personal information is posted to Skills4Stem website/intranets without the permission of a senior manager.
- Colleagues always keep candidate/apprentice personal information safe and secure.
- When using an online platform, all personal information is password protected.
- No personal information of individuals is taken offsite unless the colleague has the permission of their manager.
- Every user of an IT facility logs off on completion of any activity, or ensures rooms are locked if unsupervised, where they are physically absent from a device.
- Skills4Stem mobile devices that store sensitive information are encrypted and password protected.
- Personal data no longer required, is securely deleted.
Education and Training
- Candidates/apprentices know what to do and who to talk to where they have concerns about inappropriate content, either where that material is directed to them, or where it is discovered as part of a random search.
- In classes, candidate/apprentices are encouraged to question the validity and reliability of materials researched, viewed, or downloaded. They are encouraged to respect the copyright of other parties and to cite references properly.
- Any new or temporary users receive training on Skills4Stem IT system. They are also asked to read, agree, and sign an Acceptable Use Policy.
Incidents and Response
- A clear and effective incident reporting procedure is maintained and communicated to
- candidates/apprentices and colleagues.
- Reports of e-safety incidents are acted upon immediately to prevent, as far as reasonably possible, any harm or further harm occurring.
- Action following the report of an incident might include disciplinary action, sanctions, reports to external agencies (e.g. the police), review of internal procedures and safeguards, tutor support for affected candidates/apprentices, etc.
The Chief Technology Officer and the Quality Manager are responsible for maintaining this policy, and for maintaining best practice in IT procedures and practices to manage any e-safety risks effectively. The following are responsible for implementing it:
- The Chief Executive Officer for all e-safety matters in relation to Skills4Stem colleagues.
- Quality Manager for all e-safety matters in relation to Skills4Stem candidates/apprentices.
- The Chief Technology Officer for championing good e-safety practice in Skills4Stem IT facilities and processes, and for providing technical expertise when issues are being investigated.
- The Quality Manager and Delivery Manager for providing pastoral and practical support for
- candidates/apprentices dealing with issues related to e-safety and for incorporating e-safety in candidate/apprentice induction, and for providing an appropriate range of resources to trainers.
- Trainers for embedding e-safety education and practice into their teaching programme.
- All Skills4Stem managers for implementing good e-safety practice and safeguards consistent with this policy in their area of responsibility.
- All members of Skills4Stem staff for staying alert to and responding appropriately to any potential or actual e-safety issue.
Access to the Policy
The policy will be published on the Skills4Stem website under “All Policies”, on candidate/apprentices Moodle and in the Colleagues Google ‘Team Drive’.
Monitoring and Review
Skills4Stem’s Senior Leadership Team are responsible for the monitoring of the policy. The policy will be reviewed annually.
|Written By||Revision Date||Revision Number||Approved By||Review Date|
|Sarah Green||Oct 2020||2|
|Darren Cass (Reviewed)||Nov 2021||3|