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Why Is E-Safety Important in Schools

When you think about Why Is E-Safety Important in Schools, consider why countries like England, Wales, Scotland and Northen Ireland set out laws, guidance and safeguarding responsibilities of schools with regards to E-Safety.

When we talk about E-Safety, its just about being safe on the internet; but in the context of this article is about school pupil being safe on the internet while in school.

Laws, Guidance and Safeguarding Responsibilities of Schools With Regards to E-Safety


In England, the Department for Education (DfE) provides the key guidance for schools and colleges Keeping children safe in education (DfE, 2023).

It sets out the legal duties to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people under the age of 18 in schools and colleges. As of September 2022, the guidance also provides detailed information on how schools and colleges should respond to sexual violence and harassment between children.

Part 1 of the guidance should be read by all school staff.

Schools and colleges must also follow the guidance set out in Working together to safeguard children (DfE, 2018).

The safeguarding duty of schools and colleges is set out in section 175 of the Education Act 2002, the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014, and the Non-Maintained Special Schools (England) Regulations 2015.

The DfE has also provided guidance for independent schools, which includes information about safeguarding (DfE, 2019).

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, the key guidance is Safeguarding and child protection in schools – a guide for schools (Department of Education, 2020).

The Department of Education (DE) has also published guidance for schools and other education settings on how to identify and manage harmful sexual behaviour displayed by children and young people (Department of Education (DE), 2022).

Schools must also follow the guidance, Co-operating to safeguard children and young people in Northern Ireland (Department of Health, 2017).

Article 17 and 18 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 places a statutory duty on Boards of Governors (BoGs) to safeguard and promote the welfare of its pupils and to determine the measures to be taken at the school with a view to protecting pupils from abuse (whether at school or elsewhere).


In Scotland, schools must follow the National guidance for child protection in Scotland (Scottish Government, 2021).


In Wales, schools must follow Keeping learners safe: the role of local authorities, governing bodies and proprietors of independent schools under the Education Act 2002 (Welsh Government, 2021).

Arrangements for safeguarding children are set out in section 175 of the Education Act 2002.

READ: How to Educate Students on Internet Safety

This is as stated by – National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Problem of E-Safety Among School Pupil

The problem of E-Safety among school pupils revolves around the challenges and risks associated with their use of the internet and digital technologies. E-Safety encompasses a range of concerns and issues, including:

1. Online Bullying and Harassment: School pupils are vulnerable to cyberbullying and online harassment, which can have severe emotional and psychological consequences. This includes harassment through social media, text messages, or other digital platforms.

2. Inappropriate Content: Children may encounter age-inappropriate or explicit content while using the internet, which can be disturbing or harmful to their development.

3. Privacy and Data Security: Young internet users may not fully understand the importance of protecting their personal information online, making them susceptible to data breaches, identity theft, and other privacy violations.

4. Online Predators: There is a risk of children interacting with online predators or being coerced into sharing personal information or engaging in unsafe activities.

5. Addiction and Screen Time: Excessive screen time can lead to addiction and have adverse effects on children’s physical health, mental well-being, and academic performance.

6. Fake News and Misinformation: Children may lack the critical thinking skills to discern credible information from fake news and misinformation, leading to misinformed beliefs and decisions.

7. Gaming and Online Gaming: Excessive gaming or involvement in online gaming communities can lead to issues such as addiction, disrupted sleep patterns, and neglect of academic responsibilities.

8. Digital Footprint: Children may not realize that their online actions can leave a digital footprint that could affect their future, including college and job prospects.

9. Lack of Digital Literacy: Many students may not have the necessary digital literacy skills to navigate the online world safely, discern credible sources, or protect their privacy effectively.

10. Device Management: Parents and schools often struggle with managing and regulating the use of digital devices, including smartphones and tablets, leading to issues with distractions during school hours and at home.

READ: 10 Safety Measures In School For Students

Tips To On How To Keep Children Safe Online

To address the problem of E-Safety among school pupils, educational institutions, parents, and policymakers must work together to implement comprehensive strategies that promote responsible internet use, digital literacy, and cybersecurity awareness among children and adolescents. Here are some of the tips:

1. Educate Students About Online Safety: Start with education. Teach students about the potential dangers they may encounter online, such as cyberbullying, inappropriate content, and online predators. Help them understand the importance of responsible internet use.

2. Implement Strict Privacy Settings: Ensure that all school devices and accounts have strict privacy settings. This includes enabling filters to block inappropriate content and configuring privacy controls on social media platforms and other online tools used in education.

3. Use Reliable and Age-Appropriate Tools: Choose age-appropriate educational tools and platforms that prioritize online safety. Verify that the websites, apps, and tools used in the classroom adhere to appropriate privacy standards and guidelines.

4. Monitor Online Activity: Implement monitoring systems to keep an eye on students’ online activities. This can include using content filtering software, tracking online behavior, and setting up alerts for suspicious activity.

5. Teach Responsible Digital Citizenship: Incorporate digital citizenship lessons into the curriculum. Help students develop responsible online behavior, including appropriate communication, respecting others’ privacy, and understanding the consequences of their actions online.

6. Create a Reporting System: Establish a clear and anonymous reporting system for students who encounter online issues like cyberbullying or inappropriate content. Encourage students to report any concerning incidents to a trusted adult.

7. Involve Parents and Guardians: Collaboration with parents and guardians is essential. Provide them with information about online safety measures, share resources, and communicate any potential risks or incidents involving their children. Encourage them to be actively involved in monitoring their child’s online activities at home.

READ: List Of Physical Activities In School

Remember that online safety is an ongoing process, and it’s essential to stay updated on the latest digital trends and potential threats. Regularly review and update your school’s online safety policies to ensure they remain effective in protecting students in the ever-evolving digital landscape.



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