Online Safety Education

Welcome to the new SSCT (Safer Schools and Communities Team) education material hub designed to assist professionals to educate children and young people about online safety.

From September 2017, SSCT will only be providing education sessions for Years 2, 6, 8, 10 and 16+, parents education and staff training sessions for online safety. This will enable us to resource the increasing demand for targeted work and ensure where incidents have occurred we are able to deal with them in a timely manner.

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The Ofsted Inspection handbook launched in 2015 included significant changes to how it considered and inspected online safety. The Ofsted Outstanding grade descriptors include:

  • Pupils work hard with the school to prevent all forms of bullying, including online bullying and prejudice-based bullying.
  • Pupils have an excellent understanding of how to stay safe online and of the dangers of inappropriate use of mobile technology and social networking sites

To achieve both of the above, schools will need to provide regular, appropriate education for all pupils taking account of any special education needs or disabilities or any other factors affecting the young person. In addition, Ofsted will be considering evidence that staff understand the risk posed to young people by the internet, and that this is regularly updated and that schools have mechanisms protecting.

We encourage you to think about how to embed online safety as part of a bigger digital literacy initiative across the curriculum. This is to ensure that young people are being taught the skills they need to navigate the world in which they find themselves, and to emphasise the positive aspects to using technology and the internet.

SWGfL have developed a free digital literacy curriculum together with the US organisation ‘CommonSenseMedia’, which covers all age groups and provides multiple activities in each area of the curriculum. It covers the following eight areas:

  • internet safety
  • privacy & security
  • relationships & communication
  • cyberbullying
  • information literacy
  • self-image & identity
  • digital footprint & reputation
  • creative credit & copyright

Up to Year 9, there are five lessons covering one or more of these areas with links to resources; for years 10-13, there are four units each with five modules. For each set of lessons there are also ideas about what opportunities there are to embed the ideas from the lesson across the curriculum, which are available here>

There are also other programmes such as the Childnet Digital Leaders programme and e-Cadets programmes which are peer-led programmes and the ParentZone Digital Schools Membership which are aimed more at staff and parents. Peer-led programmes where older children help to educate younger children are often very practical, realistic and relevant. These are in addition to programmes aimed at bullying for example the Diana award Anti-Bullying Campaign or the Anti-Bullying Alliance All together campaigns.


We are continuing our termly online safety newsletters for parents and professionals. The parent’s newsletter may be sent out by email or placed on your website. To sign up to receive newsletters please click here>

The version of the newsletter sent out to the mailing list is an email magazine, but a PDF version can be downloaded from the above website.

Online Safety Education

Education for KS1 should explore the following topics:

  • the appropriateness of content that children are viewing and sharing
  • who they are in contact with
  • the differences between an online ‘friend’ and a real friend.

Materials and resources for KS1 online safety education can be found here> 

Education for KS2 children should be similar to KS1 and build on the following topics:

  • children should be exploring privacy settings
  • blocking
  • reporting
  • what to do if they see or experience unpleasant behaviour or bullying online
  • thinking about what the effects of sharing content could be in the future

The biggest risk to children at this age is getting into unpleasant conversations with friends from school and the potential fall-out from this or escalation into bullying. .

Education for KS3+ young people is more complex as issues such as:

  • peer pressure
  • sexual development
  • body image
  • mental health
  • online bullying and grooming
  • youth produced sexual imagery

can be more prominent and young people are taking a bigger responsibility for their online activity and many will have mobile phones.

Resources and more information can be found here>


There are numerous resources for education on sexting (youth produced sexual imagery), CSE and other sexual content, these are all available here>.

Resources and materials are available that can help with the online safety education for young people with additional needs. These are available here>

Educating parents so that they are aware of the risks and know how to protect their children is vital.

Resources, information and materials to assist with this is available here>

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