Drafting a Child Protection Policy & Online Safety Policy
Child Protection Policy
is a document that highlights organizational position on child protection and mechanisms to protect children. A child protection policy is mandatory for all organizations, which come in contact with children (directly or indirectly) irrespective of the nature of their work.
A child protection policy is a public commitment that the school makes to uphold the safety & security of the students.
What is a child protection policy?
A safeguarding or child protection policy is a statement that makes it clear what an organisation or group will do to keep children safe.
It should include:
a statement setting out the organisation’s commitment to protecting all children
what the organisation will do to keep children safe and respond to concerns
a list of the supporting procedures that accompany the policy.
Getting started on your policy
There are different ways to write a safeguarding policy, but before you put pen to paper it’s helpful to think about potential risks to a child in your organisation, how someone might raise a concern and the practicialities of who should be involved in writing the policy.
Things to consider
What are the potential risks to children – who may pose a risk? what situations may increase risk?
How do you check people who work or volunteer for the organisation currently and new starters?
What are the different ways someone might raise a concern?
How should you respond to concerns or allegations of harm?
How does this policy link up with other policies and procedures?
Should you provide training for staff and volunteers? How will you raise awareness for everyone involved with the organisation?
Tailor your policy and procedures to suit the needs of your organisation.
Use words and phrases that will mean the most to the group or community.
Involve people from different parts of the organisation to make sure the policy is relevant for everyone.
Think about how you can involve children and incorporate their perspective.
Ask different people in different roles to read the policy and feedback to ensure it is accessible to everybody.
What to include
Try to include the following:
Purpose and aim of the policy
Identify the organisation, its purpose and function. Set out the organisation’s commitment to keeping children safe and how, in broad terms, the organisation will meet this commitment.
Links to relevant guidance
Briefly state the main law and guidance that supports the policy. Explain how this policy links to other relevant organisational policies and procedures such as taking photographs and videos, internet use, recruitment.
Your organisation should make sure that all children and young people have the same protection regardless of age, disability, gender, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity. Your policy needs to state your commitment to anti-discriminatory practice and should explicitly recognise the additional needs of children from minority ethnic groups and disabled children and the barriers they may face, especially around communication.
Scope of the policy
Be clear about who the policy applies to. It should cover all children under 18 but does it apply to all adults in the organisation? Should it just be staff and volunteers who work directly with children? What about those who have occasional contact with children such as a caretaker?
Provide the date the policy comes into force and review dates.
Click here for Podar International School’s Child Protection Policy for you to refer to.
Online Safety Policy
is a document that defines procedures and policies that the school implements to safeguard against and respond to an online safety incident.
how to safeguard against and respond to an online safety incident.
Below are some key areas that should be included in a school e-safety policy.
The purpose and scope of the policy
- To educate pupils about e- safety issues and appropriate behaviours so that they remain safe and legal online.
- To help pupils to develop critical thinking skills to reflect and enable them to keep themselves safe.
- To keep any personal data and information secure
. · To minimise the risks of handling sensitive information.
Define different technologies
For example, websites, email, instant messaging, chat rooms, social media, mobile phones, blogs, podcasts, downloads, virtual learning platform.
Link to other relevant school policies
The e-safety policy should link to the schools acceptable use policy (for pupils and staff), policies for child protection, anti-bullying, and staff code of conduct.
Roles and responsibilities
For example, the Headteacher, Governing Body, E- Safety Co-ordinator.
This should include details of e-safety training (which all staff should have attended) when the training should be refreshed and which members of staff have received accredited training.
Statements on Pupils with Special Needs
Pupils with Special Needs have an increased vulnerability to risk online, especially those with language and communication needs, or social communication difficulties. The policy should outline the provisions the school will make to protect them.
A statement on how e-safety is covered in the curriculum
This should cover what children and young people are taught about e-safety and ICT in lessons and how e safety is embedded across the curriculum.
A statement on misuse of technology and breaching the policy
This should outline how the school will respond to misuse of equipment by pupils and staff. How incidents are reported, How incidents/concerns should be reported and how they will be logged.
- How parents are consulted about the policy.
- How the school involves them in promoting e safety.
- As part of the home school agreement, are parents asked to agree not to deliberately upload or text anything that would cause offence to anyone at school?
How images and videos are managed
- Are parents asked to give consent for their child’s image or work being uploaded on the school’s website?
- How images of pupils are stored and for how long.
The management of email
The management of email accounts, password security, contact between staff and pupils via email, managing email accounts, what to do if you receive an offensive email, what happens if you send an offensive email.
Statement on passwords and password security
How passwords are kept secure and what happens if passwords are shared.
A statement on use of mobile technologies including mobile phones
When and how mobile phones can be used in school (including how they are used to support learning) and the sanctions for misuse of mobile phones.
Cover the use of Cameras Including Webcams
For example: · When and how cameras will be used in school.
- What measures the school takes to keep pupils safe when using webcams.
- The sanctions for misuse of camera
The use of video conferencing
This should cover when and how video conferencing will be used in school and what measures the school will take to keep pupils safe when using video conferencing.
Information on monitoring and evaluation
This should outline how the school will monitor the effectiveness of the policy and esafety practices and update as necessary.