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How can we safeguard remotely?
Live online teaching is exceptionally well suited to the current educational needs of children, but are we being careful enough?

With the COVID-19 outbreak causing UK schools to close, being online is now an integral part of children’s learning whilst they are at home. Social media, live stream lessons, websites and apps are being used more than ever to ensure as much continuity in education as possible during this challenging time. But, are our children being safe online? 
It seems silly to consider that children may not be safe in their own homes. But with screen time on the up, it is time to acknowledge the fact that safeguarding measures are critical, now more than ever.

Schools have a responsibility to ensure their e-safety guidelines are being implemented, particularly if they are choosing to venture into the world of live streamed teaching. Teachers and schools should be considering…

  • Which channels are you using? It would be best to only use school approved platforms and channels. This should mean that all students data and privacy is protected!
  • Where are you going to be teaching? If cameras are going to be involved in the delivery of your lesson, make sure you have chosen a space in your home where no personal information is displayed, and avoid being in your bedroom.
  • Who are you going to be teaching? It would be best to conduct all lessons in a ‘whole class’ or group scenario. Not only does this provide the children with an opportunity to connect with their classmates, but it supports safeguarding of pupils and teachers. 
  • Why are you streaming live lessons? With the childrens’ best interest at heart, teachers around the country are going to be streaming live lessons to ensure their pupils receive consistently good education throughout the period of isolation. Be sure to dress and speak appropriately, as if you were teaching in the classroom. Also remind your class that they should follow these same rules. 

Whilst children are learning remotely, they will also need support from their parents to ensure their online safety. If your child’s school is choosing to teach live online, there are some things you can be doing to protect your child online…

  • Position the computer or device in an open space where you can monitor their online activity during lessons. Try to keep the background neutral without displaying personal information. 
  • Double check the security and privacy settings on the device your child is using. Although the school’s chosen channel or platform may be secure, it’s always worth the extra layer of security. 
  • If online lessons require online activities through other platforms or apps, make sure you know what your child is using and that the appropriate security measures are in place. 
  • If in any doubt, raise any concerns you may have with the school. 

Teachers and parents; it goes without saying that now is the time to talk openly about online safety with your children, and reinforce safeguarding messaging surrounding their conduct online, who they are talking to and which platforms they are using. 

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