School Improvement: Question of the Month – February

Tuesday 6th February is safer internet day.

John Croghan, former Head Teacher, and Head of Content is discussing what Internet Society Services must do to support school leaders and parents to eliminate the risk children face online.

Do we have an e-safety policy for pupils, students and staff that is being used and regularly reviewed, including the safe use of technology and online dangers? (PU785)

On January 18th, the Information Commissioner’s Office updated its Opinion (published in October 2021} on what ISS (Internet Society Services) must do if they are likely to be accessed by children. This opinion explains how age assurance can form part of an appropriate and proportionate approach to reducing or eliminating the personal risks children face online. It facilitates conformance with the Children’s Code, whilst also complying with the Online Safety Act 2023.

This opinion will give extra to support all of us in education as we seek to support children and young people navigate the risks faced online. Online services (ISS) now need to be able to ensure that they have developed or are developing age assurance verification, estimation, and confirmation methods, including parent or self-declaration to establish the age of users.

This ICO opinion further supports the Data Protection and Online Safety Acts as we keep building better Child Protection and Safeguarding environments for all young people.

What can school leaders to ensure pupils are safe online? 

  • Regularly review your e-safety policy
  • Keep up to date with the latest guidance on e-safety.
  • Share the e-safety policy with staff, pupils, and parents.
  • Ensure the e-safety policy is on your school website.
  • Run a whole-school event on safer internet day.
  • Collaborate with pupils and parents to educate about the safe use of technology.
  • Work with pupils and parents to educate about online dangers.
  • Review your PSHE or SMSC curriculum to include e-safety.
  • Review your mobile phone policy


Content Development and Monitoring

John Croghan M.Ed. BA. CertEd. has over 50 years of experience in education, as a teacher, leading learning in classrooms from EYFS to Y11, as well as a leader and primary headteacher.  He enjoyed his role supporting Every Child Matters in schools and has advised and supported schools across the West Midlands, as well as leading OFSTED inspections.   He is currently a school consultant, mentor, and governor. 

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