With the internet now playing a major role in education, ensuring the safety and well-being of children online is of the utmost importance, as pupils are growing up in such a complex world that is ever-changing.
While the internet provides exciting opportunities that their parents and grandparents never had, it also presents challenges and risks, to children, that pervade into every part of their lives and, with the majority of their time spent at school or involved in homework, with the internet as a learning resource, schools are under pressure to equip their pupils with the knowledge needed to make the best use of the internet and technology in a safe, considered and respectful way.
Also, in the UK, there has been a shift towards embracing the concept of ‘digital citizenship’ in schools to ensure children are taught to use technology responsibly and respectfully, in their communication with others and to develop their moral compass.
E-safety has become an integral part of the Ofsted inspection framework, with guidance for teaching on-line safety in schools, by the Department of Education. While providing a vital framework, this places enormous responsibility on schools to “deliver online safety content within their curriculum and embed this within their wider whole school approach”.
Fortunately, with the availability of powerful web filtering solutions, schools are now able to adopt to protect children from harmful content and maintain a safe learning environment.
Among the leading web filtering systems is Securly, the world’s first 100% cloud-based web filtering solution designed specifically for schools. Securly is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), and works closely with the IWF and the UK Home Office to ensure compliance with the standards recommended by the UK Safer Internet Centre for filtering and monitoring.
The importance of web filtering in student safety:
The internet provides children with a wealth of resources, enabling them to access information, collaborate with peers, and enhance their learning experiences. However, it also exposes them to potential dangers such as explicit content, cyber-bullying, fake information, incitement and online predators. Web filtering acts as a safeguard by controlling and monitoring the content that children can access, ensuring they are protected from harmful or inappropriate material. By implementing web filtering solutions like Securly, schools can proactively reduce risks and create a safer online environment.
What are the main features and benefits of the Securly Web Filtering solution?
Content Filtering: Securly Filter operates as the eyes and ears of teachers, when they cannot be with the children, and offers advanced content filtering capabilities, allowing schools to block access to inappropriate websites and harmful content. Using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, Securly’s database is constantly updated to keep-up with ever-changing online threats and complies with the standards set at the highest level for e-safety.
Cyberbullying Detection: Securly employs powerful algorithms to identify cases of cyber-bullying in student communications, helping schools detect and address potentially harmful issues promptly. This proactive approach ensures that children feel safe and supported while on-line.
Real-time Monitoring: Schools are able to access real-time visibility into children’ online activities, with Securly keeping a watchful eye on the network. Administrators can monitor internet usage patterns, identify potential risks, and intervene when necessary. This feature enables prompt intervention and enhances student safety.
Self-Harm and Suicide Prevention: To help prevent everyone’s worst nightmare, Securly’s advanced algorithms analyse children’s online behaviour and communication to detect signs of self-harm or suicidal tendencies. If flagged, the system instantly alerts school administrators, enabling them to provide immediate support to the student at risk.
Personalised Policies: Every school has different requirements and, for that reason, Securly allows schools to set their own web filtering policies based on their specific requirements taking into account the age of the children, vulnerable children and an in-depth knowledge of the behaviour of children in the school.
This flexibility also gives parents control when school devices are used at home. Parents are able to view activity, “pause” the internet, and set their own filtering rules. It also helps to keep schools and parents connected and work through issues together.
Promoting Digital Citizenship:
Web filtering solutions like Securly not only protect children but also play a vital role in promoting digital citizenship. By filtering inappropriate content and discouraging cyber-bullying, these systems encourage responsible online behaviour and help children develop essential skills for navigating the digital world safely.
Securly authorises teachers to engage in conversations relating to digital literacy, accepted online behaviour and how to use technology responsibly, which promotes a more positive online culture within the school community.
How Elmdale Group can help:
Many Elmdale Group customers are schools, benefitting from our print and document management systems which are installed and maintained by Elmdale Maintenance, while their computers and networking are managed by our IT services division, Elmdale IT Services.
Elmdale IT Services is an authorised provider of the Securly software and is already working closely with schools, administrators, and teachers to ensure they feel confident that their needs are being met and maintained at the best possible level. Securly helps to make children and schools feel protected and it is our responsibility to help schools to make that happen.
What is more, Elmdale Group is committed to delivering a full range of innovative managed print solutions and ICT services that offer the best value for money. We are dedicated to offering quality, flexible services and solutions to meet all of your current and future print and ICT requirements.
For more information, please contact us on 0118 982 1444 or email:
Elmdale Maintenance (for managed print and document solutions): firstname.lastname@example.org
Elmdale IT Services: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org