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Many Schools Still Lack A Basic Capability To Manage Childrens Data...

New research based upon data submitted from almost 2000 schools has highlighted that they are weak when it comes to managing personal data in their organisations, including information held about children.

South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) together with partners IKeepSafe Coalition, are marking Data Privacy Day 2012 by publishing a brand new report; Online Safety Policy and Practice in the UK and internationally.

Based on data from approximately 2,000 schools, the report discloses the strength and weaknesses of wider e Safety provision in schools in the UK and internationally. Based on data submitted by the schools on 28 separate aspects related to online safety and policy, it shows that many schools consider their own management of personal data as weak (being in the bottom quarter of aspects reviewed). The report shows that strongest aspects in schools are those aspects around ‘policy and filtering’, whilst consistently the weakest area is staff training, clearly a cause for concern when schools are at the front line of keeping children safe online. However, there is some good news with “information literacy” – the part of the curriculum related to ensure children know how to stay safe and protect their data online – among the strengths identified by schools.

This report is based on school using the multi award winning 360 degree safe self review tool, which is now also used in schools in the US, Australia and Hong Kong. The author, Prof Andy Phippen from Plymouth University, commented thatFor the first time ever, we are able to compare the e safety provision of schools across the world. This is particularly exciting and we can see that in many aspects UK schools have relatively good practice compared to the international counterparts. There are some areas that are in need of addressing, but these are typically mirrored across the world”.

360 degree safe was awarded 4 national awards in 2011 for the change it enables in schools. It enables schools to consider and challenge their own provision and offers advice and action to better serve their students, staff and parents. Adopted in 2010 by IKeepSafe, this opportunity was extended to schools worldwide through their innovative GenerationSafeTM tool. Prof Phippen highlighted that ‘the data is a mine of fascinating information that we continue to draw conclusions’

Generation Safe logoPlymouth University Online Safety logo360 degree safe logo
The report can be downloaded here  (PDF)

SWGfL logoAbout The South West Grid for Learning

SWGfL is an educational trust of the 15 South West Local Authorities. The SWGfL Trust is committed to providing all 2,500 educational establishments throughout the South West with safe, secure and reliable broadband internet connections and broadband-enabled teaching & learning resources and services.

SWGfL has developed an international reputation within online safety. It is a founding member of UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and has spoken at conferences across Europe, America and Africa. SWGfL, along with partners Childnet and IWF, launched the UK Safer Internet Centre in January 2011 as part of the European Commission’s Safer Internet Programme.

iKeep Safe logoAbout IKeepSafe Coalition

The Internet Keep Safe Coalition is a broad partnership of governors and/or first spouses, attorneys general, public health and educational professionals, law enforcement, and industry leaders working together for the health and safety of youth online. iKeepSafe® uses these unique partnerships to disseminate safety resources to families worldwide.

iKeepSafe educational resources teach children of all ages in a fun, age-appropriate way, the basic rules of Internet safety, ethics, and the healthy use of connected technologies.