E-Safety and IT Acceptable Use

Our e-safety policy states how we safeguard our beneficiaries when using the internet and social media.

Purpose and Scope

Students / residents interact with new technologies such as mobile phones and the Internet on a daily basis and experience a wide range of opportunities, attitudes, views and situations. The exchange of ideas, social interaction and learning opportunities involved are greatly beneficial but can also place students / residents in danger. The College weighs up the risks and decides the right balance between controlling access, setting rules and educating students / residents for responsible use.

What is e-safety?

E-Safety encompasses not only Internet technologies, but also electronic communications via mobile phones, games consoles and wireless technology. It
highlights the need to educate students about the benefits, risks and responsibilities of using information technology:

  • E-Safety concerns safeguarding students / residents in the digital world.

  • E-Safety emphasises learning to understand and use new technologies in a positive way.

  • E-Safety is less about restriction and more about education, about the risks as well as the benefits so we can feel confident online.

  • E-Safety is concerned with supporting students / residents to develop safer online behaviours both in and out of college.

The Internet is an unmanaged, open communications channel. The World Wide Web (WWW), email, blogs, Twitter and social networks all transmit information using the
Internet’s communication infrastructure internationally at low cost.

Anyone can send messages, discuss ideas and publish material with little restriction. These features of the Internet make it an invaluable resource used by millions of
people every day.

Some of the material on the Internet is published for an adult audience and students / residentsneed to develop critical skills to evaluate online material and learn that publishing personal information could compromise their security and that of others. Students / residents need to be taught the British Values of respect and tolerance of other’s beliefs. The College has a duty of care to enable students to use online systems safely.

Student / Resident Safety

The electronic world is just like the real world. We need to take the same care when using ICT as we do when crossing the road.

Some students / residents will be unable to take full responsibility for their own access and will need to be protected, but this should not be used as a reason for wholesale blocking and banning of access.

Students / residents have individual risk assessments and care plans which details the support they need when using IT (Information Technology).

Homefield College uses internet filtering software to enable granular control, enabling safe access to the Internet.

Student / Resident Support

There is hardware and software that can improve students’ abilities to learn and communicate through using IT. Staff will assess whether you need a specific piece of
IT to support you.

Requests for supportive technologies should be made direct to the College’s IT department.

Guidance: Below is a simplified version (without symbols) and an easy-read version (with symbols) of this policy as students / residents have differing levels of comprehension and reading abilities.

Staff need to read this part of the policy before supporting students / residents to complete the e-safety policy below. It is identified that some adaptations will be required, as appropriate to students’ / residents’ individual needs and abilities.