KCSiE 2024 Checklist

Safeguarding Consultant Joanne Bocko from Judicium Education recaps the changes to KCSiE regulations and outlines a checklist to prepare for the new academic year

We know that KCSIE 2023 introduced vast responsibilities for DSLs to embed an understanding, and to have oversight of, filtering and monitoring at their school. As we come to the end of the school year, it’s a good time to ensure we’re actioning best practice, considering how to evolve filtering and monitoring and get ourselves confidently prepared for September.  

What should schools have actioned so far?

  • You should have allocated roles so that the DSL and a governor or trustee (most likely the governor or trustee responsible for safeguarding) has overall responsibility for filtering and monitoring.
  • All staff and governors should have received training in online safety including filtering and monitoring.
  • You should have considered the online risk, and digital resilience of your pupils when selecting and implementing your filtering and monitoring system and used this to make decisions on what should and shouldn’t be blocked. This will differ from a primary to a secondary, a specialist school or a boarding school for example.
  • You should be confident that critical alerts will be sent to your safeguarding team (not just your IT lead), and that other monitoring reports are regularly received for review.
  • Filtering and monitoring should be referenced in your policies, your Safeguarding Policy, Online Safety Policy (if separate), and perhaps your Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use policies, detailing expectations for staff use of devices and Wi-fi on site.

Coming towards the end of term, we should consider reviewing our systems, and ensure they’re evolving alongside our needs. To achieve this, you should consider the following areas and associated questions: 

Review your filtering and monitoring system annually
  • Is your system still fit for purpose?
  • Is it working in the way you want it to?

If not, have a conversation with your provider, tailor and amend the product to your liking.

Review record keeping
  • Can you locate data on filtering and monitoring?
  • Is your system set up in such a way to be able to pull all filtering and monitoring records together?
  • Is it easy to identify and analyse trends?
  • What does the data tell you?
  • Are certain search terms being over or under blocked?
  • Do students need to have additional support and reminders of online behaviour through the curriculum?
Consider contextual changes
  • Do you have any new students where additional language blocks need to be considered?
  • Are there any contextual changes in your area, for example is there a prominent new extremist group in your area that needs to be blocked?
Governor and trustee challenge
  • Have all actions set by governors/ trustees around filtering and monitoring been resolved?
  • Have governors/ trustees been involved in a way that provides appropriate strategic challenge?

If governors/ trustees are unsure how to provide strategic challenge in this area, consider signing them up for the Schools Broadband training session with Judicium Safeguarding Consultant Joanne Bocko for
additional support to provide effective challenge on filtering and monitoring.

September 2024 Checklist

Finally, lets cast our thoughts forward to September. The following checklist will help you prepare for the new school year. Schools should ensure that:

  • All staff and governors/ trustees receive refresher training on filtering and monitoring (this is a annual requirement alongside online safety and safeguarding) 
  • The senior leadership and safeguarding team refresh their understanding of what the filtering and monitoring system blocks, and how and what information it gathers, including any updates. 
  • The system has been tested across any new devices Wi-fi networks and after any large IT updates that might have occurred over the holidays.  
  • Filtering and monitoring is embedded in every governor/ trustee meeting, including stats and trends for strategic challenge. Governors/ trustees should also be assured that effective testing of the system has been undertaken.  
  • Expectations around filtering and monitoring including Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and use of school Wi-Fi are shared with all staff, students, agency and contractors and any visitors to the school. 
  • Any changes to staffing and therefore filtering and monitoring responsibilities have been considered to ensure all relevant staff have access to critical alerts and monitoring reports, including any access requirements for new IT support staff.

I hope this
article has helped and a big well done for what you have achieved so far. Have a wonderful summer break from all at Schools Broadband.

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