Online safety courses for teachers

Online safety courses for teachers

19 May 2022

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Online safety is an increasingly important component of Schools and Teachers wider safeguarding and child protection responsibilities. Being online is now a central part of young people’s lives through their interactions with social media, websites, apps and games, often engaging across multiple devices like mobile phones, laptops and tablets. The Department for Education (DFE) has statutory guidance in relation to safeguarding children, requiring a whole school and community approach where online safety is an integral part of school policy and culture, and where all staff receive regular training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in the area of online safety.

This CPD article aims to explain the importance of online safety, the value and benefits of participating in an online safety CPD course, and what to expect from a typical course.

What is online safety?

In short, online safety is the act of staying safe online. It is also sometimes referred to as E-Safety or cyber safety. Although there are many positive opportunities presented through online engagement, there are also risks. In the context of young people, these include sexualised content, online harassment or bullying, exposure to advertising and mental health concerns.

The Department of Education guidance requires a dual approach to this from schools, ensuring safety within their own systems and use of online teaching resources, but also to recognise children’s wider engagement with the online world as part of their daily lives and to encourage open conversations about this and to incorporate it into the wider curriculum. This whole school approach aims to equip children with the tools to interact positively with online activity, identify risks, and know how to respond and find support if risks occur.

What is a designated safeguarding lead (DSL) in schools?

Schools are required to appoint a Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) to ensure Schools adhere to safeguarding policies of which online safety is now a critical element. This will normally be a senior member of staff often supported by a deputy or in larger settings, a series of deputies. The DSL is not exclusive to schools and colleges and will be found in any industry or organisation that regularly engages with children and young people.

The DSL must be fully trained in safeguarding policy and will be the referral point and lead for any suspected safeguarding issues. The DSL will be required to oversee and support any areas of the curriculum that cover safeguarding issues.

The DSL is also responsible for ensuring all other staff are trained in current safeguarding procedures and incorporate this in to their Continuing Professional Development. An understanding of online safety is essential to the wider fulfilment of safeguarding policy and an online safety CPD course can be invaluable in ensuring both the DSL and staff remain compliant with current safeguarding requirements.

Online safety in schools

What do you learn on an online safety CPD course?

The fundamental value of regular online safety training is that the digital world is ever changing with the introduction of new apps, social media platforms, streaming content etc. To continue fulfilling their safeguarding responsibilities, it is vital that teachers are familiar with the current digital landscape and also understand how this is perceived by children and how they engage with it. Listed below are some of the key learning objectives from a typical online safety course:

  • Understand how children use the internet and technology.
  • Understand the statutory guidance and legislation around online safety.
  • Learn to identify harmful content online.
  • Learn about bullying online.
  • Understand how technology and social media can impact negatively on children’s mental health and wellbeing.
  • Learn about the sharing of personal content online.
  • Learn the best ways to respond to safeguarding issues online.
  • Understand how to support parents and carers with online safety.
  • Learn how to use digital technology safely and positively as a teaching resource.

One of the best ways to make sure you are going to get the most out of an online safety course is to take part in a CPD certified course. This should offer you some assurance as that course has had a prior review by an established independent organisation to a recognised industry standard of learning.

How to find CPD online safety courses?

If you are looking for an online safety course, then please have a look through our CPD Courses Catalogue. There are thousands of training courses, events, e-learning programs, conferences, workshops and seminars, which have all been formally CPD certified.

If you would like to find out more about a particular online safety course that is listed on the CPD website, you can click on each course and there is an enquiry form that will be sent directly to the relevant CPD provider.

Where can you log and record your individual CPD?

If you are looking for a free online CPD record tool to help manage, track and log your ongoing Continuing Professional Development, as well as store your personal training record and CPD attendance certificates in one simple place, please visit the myCPD Portal page.

Become a CPD accredited training provider

The CPD Certification Service is the largest and leading CPD accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. Our unique 25 years' experience and history helps to provide assurance that any courses or training will be assessed and checked to help ensure each delegate can get the most out of learning. If you are considering becoming a CPD accredited training provider, please contact our team to discuss in more detail.

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For more information from CPD News Team, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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