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Online Safety

Page last updated: 29/06/2022

The breadth of issues within online safety is considerable. It can be categorised into three main areas of risk:

  • ​Content - exposure to illegal, inappropriate or harmful material. For example, pornography, fake news, racist or radical and extremist views;

  • Contact - subjection to harmful online interaction with other users. For example, commercial advertising and adults posing as children or young adults;

  • Conduct - personal online behaviour that increases the likelihood of, or causes, harm. For example, making, sending and receiving explicit images, or online bullying.

Schools should work to achieve a secure framework in which pupils and staff can be safe online. Schools are key in supporting children to keep themselves safe online. It is important to inform children and their parents and carers of what they can do to keep safe online.

There is much information available to help schools in this respect.

Essex County Council

Online Safety Guidance – online safety and remote learning guidance and information linked to the COVID-19 period.

Department for Education

Teaching online safety in school (2019) - Non-statutory guidance. Helps schools to ensure their pupils understand how to stay safe and behave online. Part of existing curriculum requirements

Harmful Online Challenges and Online Hoaxes - advice for schools and colleges to support their approach to harmful online challenges and online hoaxes. ​

Home Office  

Online abuse and bullying prevention guide (2015) - A guide for professionals working with young people. What abusive behaviour online is, the consequences, and where to get help.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and UK Council for Internet Safety​

Sharing nudes and semi-nudes: advice for education settings working with children and young people (2020) - Guidance on responding to incidents and safeguarding children and young people.​

Includes advice on:

  • responding to disclosures;

  • handling devices and imagery;

  • risk-assessing situations;

  • involving other agencies;

  • information about preventative education;

  • working with parents; and

  • reporting imagery.

Education for a Connected World - Framework for the knowledge and skills children and young people need at different stages of their lives to navigate the internet safely.

Useful websites

  • DotCom Digital - free resource for schools. Created by children with Essex Police and the National Police Chief Council Lead for Internet Intelligence and Investigations. Aims to prevent young people becoming victims of online grooming, radicalisation, exploitation and bullying. Giving young people the confidence to recognise warning signs and reach out to an adult for help.

  • UK Safer Internet Centre - a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International, Internet Watch Foundation and SWGfL (Safety & Security Online) - the partnership's mission is to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people, through their:

    • ​Awareness Centre: provides advice and support to children and young people, parents and carers, schools and the children's workforce; coordinates Safer Internet Day across UK.

    • Helpline: provides support to professionals working with children and young people with online safety issues.

    • Hotline: an​ anonymous and safe place to report and remove child sexual abuse imagery and videos, wherever they are found in the world. 

  • NSPCC - information on a variety of online safety topics. Examples include parental controls, advice on sexting, and online games and video apps.

  • NSPCC Net Aware - news, information and updates around the social networks, Apps and games that children are using

  • Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command – 'CEOP' - Law enforcement agency working to keep children and young people safe from sexual exploitation and abuse. Children, young people, their parents or carers and professionals can report concerns online to CEOP's Child Protection Advisors. CEOP also offers a range of information about keeping safe from child sexual exploitation. This is separate information for different age ranges – for example 5-7, 8-10, 11-13 and 14+ year olds. Separate information for parents and carers, professionals and for reporting concerns.

  • Thinkuknow - an education programme from CEOP / National Crime Agency. Advice separated into age groups and topics relating to staying safe using a phone, tablet or computer.

  • Childnet International - children's charity with a range of free practical resources about online safety. For teachers, including for children with Special Educational Needs.

  • Internet Matters - Not-for-profit organisation. Works to empower parents and carers to keep children safe in the digital world.

  • Parent Info - Safety advice in relation to a range of online harms. Endorsed by the National Crime Agency's CEOP command.


​Access to materials following the recent E-Safety ('Two Johns') training sessions

Thank you to everyone who accessed the Online Safety training sessions in January and February 2021; feedback has been very positive.

To access the materials, settings will first need to register here on the E-Safety Training website.

Once you have entered your details (username should be the name of the school or organisation) enter the invitation code of 2j and you will then be allowed access to the Professionals' Area of the website.

Once logged in, hover over 'Resources' and then click on 'Online safety training - ECC - Spring 2021'.

You will then have access to the materials – these include:

  • a video recording of one of the training sessions

  • video resources to use with pupils as part of lesson delivery (versions to cover from KS1 – KS4)

  • lesson plans

  • emotional wellbeing resources to support staff and pupils (these should be used by schools alongside the lesson resources)

  • a letter to parents to inform them of the delivery and signpost to useful websites

​Please note: the materials are for the use of Essex educational settings only and must not be shared outside of your setting