Digital Safety

The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has published a new module called ‘Digital Safety’. The resource is divided into three sections:

  • How to identify an effective approach to mitigating online harms and risks in your context
  • How to develop a risk mitigation approach to online harms and risks for their setting
  • Ensure that your organisation adopts a best practice approach to online harms and risks for their learner.

This module follows on from an introduction to digital safeguarding but is targeted at those who are responsible for digital safeguarding in their setting. It applies to all settings – work-based learning; community settings; FE colleges and independent training providers.

Whilst some of the settings are mandated through statutory guidance to ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place online, this should be used as a model for best practice to protect learners in all settings.

Why is digital safeguarding important?

As more learners are learning both on and offline, the protection of them in the online environment is just as important as the offline one. All settings need to plan their approach regardless of their context.

Protecting learners online is a setting’s duty of care and should be treated in the same way as physical safeguarding, which means that the governors, trustees, directors and senior leaders in your organisation need to plan the approach, and it needs to be effectively executed.

In addition, all staff should be trained, and staff should know where to report online incidents. In some settings keeping learners safe online is mandated. ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ highlights the approach that schools and colleges ought to have in place in relation to digital safeguarding and contains an Annex – Annex C giving further detail.

More specifically it states that: ‘Governing bodies and proprietors should be doing all that they reasonably can to limit children’s exposure to the above risks from the school’s or college’s IT system’.

This module will help those in digital safeguarding leadership positions develop their approach to mitigating risks to learners online. The module contains a selection of case studies and videos that explore the practical application of the guidance in both colleges and ITPs.

This is a FutureLearn course and runs for 3 weeks. To access this course, please sign up through our ETF Booking System.