Online Safety

Ofsted published the long-awaited changes to the way it inspects all schools from September 2015. This includes significant changes to how they consider and inspect Online Safety.

The term 'e-Safety' has been replaced with 'Online Safety'. This fundamental change reflects a widening range of issues associated with technology and a user's access to content, contact with others and behavioural issues. The term 'Cyber bullying' has also been replaced with 'Online Bullying'.

Online Safety references are no longer simply statements that are inserted, but occupy significant areas of the new 'Inspecting safeguarding in Early Years, education and skills settings' guidance. Ofsted highlights that 'online safety' specifically is one of the broader aspects of care and education as "safeguarding is not just about protecting children, learners and vulnerable adults from deliberate harm, neglect and failure to act".

At Leicestershire Healthy Schools we completely agree with this representation that online safety is an increasing priority for inspectors and very clearly an element of safeguarding. We see online safety as being not only a matter for the ICT teacher, but more of a whole school approach to resilience building. It isn't that long since a lesson or unit of work about "internet safety", with traditional messages about how to report abuse or "think before you post" would have been the focus. However, this type of approach to online safety, which treats the online world as something we can step away from and deal with differently, has quickly become outdated. Teaching young people about how to maintain safe and healthy relationships online is more than simply teaching them how to report cyber-bullying – it is about teaching them the fundamental skills to maintain safe and healthy relationships irrespective of whether these are online or offline.

Click to see the document 'Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings' Guidance.

CEOP Thinkuknow Training for school staff

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre works to protect children from exploitation. CEOP's Thinkuknow programme provides a range of free educational resources - films, lesson plans, presentations, practitioner guidance, games and posters - to professionals working with children and young people. Through the use of their educational materials you can help to empower and protect young people from the harm of sexual abuse and exploitation, both online and off.

Digital risk and resilience tools

MindEd are hosting a resource that has been developed as information and support for all professionals who work with children and young people on digital risk and resilience. The content has been co-produced by Xenzone and young people from their online counselling and support service, For further information and learning on this topic, try MindEd's e-learning session on digital risk and resilience

How to keep children safe online

Recent research suggests that a lot of what we've been told about keeping children safe online may be wrong. In fact, rather than trying to limit young people's exposure to harmful content via filters and restrictions, we should be focusing on helping them build their skills, confidence and creativity. This will make it easier for them to manage their use (switch off!) and to deal with risks.

To help prevent the harm, young people need to be streetwise online. This is sometimes called digital literacy, and it has three elements:

  • technical literacy - knowing your way around technologies and having technical skills;
  • media literacy - understanding different platforms and being able to judge the quality and reliability of online sources;
  • social literacy - understanding online etiquette and the way things are done online.

Adults can help children explore the internet safely:

  • by familiarising themselves with the websites that children visit
  • having regular and open conversations about online safety as soon as a child starts using technology
  • keeping up-to date with new developments.

Appyness Online (Zeeko)

Appyness Online is a new online safety and wellbeing education programme coming to the market from Zeeko, the educational Internet Safety experts, this October.

Appyness Online (AO) is an innovative "Education Technology" package which trains teachers to enable Peer to Peer learning of same-age, or younger pupils, the digital citizenship skills they need to be safe online.

Appyness Online uses a 'virtual world' to provide a unique, innovative approach in peer to peer learning and includes a significant element of parental engagement.

Check out "Appyness Online" in action here

The Appyness Online package includes CPD for primary school staff, with lesson plans, teachers' notes, and worksheets that enables children in Year 5 and 6 to become peer-educators to teach younger learners (and their parents / carers) about internet safety and appropriate use. The peer educators, under teacher supervision, use a unique virtual world', to provide information, moral dilemmas for discussion and reflection opportunities to develop knowledge, internet safety skills and values clarification.

Within each lesson Zeeko encourage the development of critical thinking and emotional intelligence, particularly through group work and peer-to-peer learning. Pupils receive a certificate in internet safety training on completion.

Appyness Online addresses five major areas of internet safety: Self-Esteem; Digital Footprint: Screen-time; Fake Friends and Real Friends Online and Cyberbullying.

Appyness Online has been mapped against 'Education for a Connected World' and contributes to the expectations of publications like the Government responses to the Internet Safety Strategy Green Paper; the consultation on transforming children and young People's mental-health provision; KCSIE Guidance(2018) and the DfE Guidance on Relationships Education & Health Education.

Win a FREE Trial for your School starting in November 2018 !!

Simply email explaining why in 200 words or less "Why your School should be chosen as the first school in Leicestershire to use Appyness Online !! "

Please email before October 31st 2018 and Zeeko will pick the winner from the most creative entry !

Think! Road Safety Lesson Plans

THINK! have produced 25 lesson plans that will help teach children and teenagers a range of road safety topics. The lesson packs are colour coded by key stage and age range, from Reception to Key Stage Four. Each lesson pack contains a lesson plan, links to road safety teaching resources, and activities; everything you need to plan and deliver effective road safety education. These resources are not limited to classroom use and it is anticipated that they will be used by anyone with responsibility for educating children and teenagers on road safety, including road safety officers, police and fire officers, out of school leaders, and parents.

The lesson plans can be accessed on the THINK! website, by following this link. It may be worthwhile having a look at the other resources you can obtain from the THINK! website, such as child friendly highway codes and posters to promote road safety, which you can order to your school or setting via this link.

Knife Crime Prevention

Words over Weapons' (WOW) is a Home Office funded project available to young people aged 11-19yrs from across Leicester and Leicestershire.

Their aims are simple;

  • change young people's attitudes around knife culture
  • empower and equip young people with the skills to challenge and educate their peers
  • stop all young people carrying knives


Through their free offer of sessions and workshops, WOW will;

  • inspire, engage and educate young people on knife crime through interactive quizzes, case studies, debates and role play
  • help young people to understand the law, risks and consequences around carrying knives
  • enable young people to make safer choices

They will also work with you to identify 'Young Ambassadors' who will represent your service as part of a Leicestershire-wide network of young people, contributing towards the writing, performing and filming of Spoken Word pieces as part of WOW's legacy.

The WOW team will work with you to arrange a package to best engage your young people. Your organisation will be able to book our sessions for us to visit and work with your young people anytime from October 2018 - January 2019.


Online safety resources

Life Online Planning Framework

The online world has many implications for our young people — for their health, identity, lifestyle, and relationships. This is therefore an area of paramount importance for those of us working in PSHE education, as online life is integral to all three core themes (Health,
Relationships, Living in the Wider World) of the PSHE Association Programme of Study.

The Association has just published their Life Online Planning Frameworks for KS1 & 2 & KS3 & 4. These frameworks are available for members to download.