Reopening of Schools - Online Safety Considerations
As new developments continue to come forward about when schools may reopen their doors, it is important to be prepared for the transition into regular practice again. Although lockdown laws have only been in effect for a couple of months, parents, pupils and staff across the nation have had to adapt to a very different way of life during the coronavirus pandemic. Whichever way your school community has responded to the lockdown laws, it’s important to bear certain things in mind when the return does eventually happen. SWGfL have put together a very helpful resource which offers some handy pointers and highlights certain issues to be aware of when school practice resumes.
Why it’s important
The majority of children have been working remotely for a number of weeks now. This means they have grown accustomed to a new daily routine of spending more time with their family and are very likely to have had more exposure to technology. With this in mind, the transition phase for children can vary across the board – each individual experience of lockdown could be drastically different to others.
It’s important to clarify the safeguarding and support routes available to pupils, parents and carers and make the necessary provisions for online/anonymous routes. Not only that, but it’s equally important to remind all staff of safeguarding reporting routines, especially if these have changed at all due to lockdown.
Your understanding of your pupils may have also changed after not seeing them for a long period of time in the school environment. You may know more about their home lives now than you did before. Some may be further advanced in their home schooled education then others, who now may need more support from staff. Make sure your safeguarding policies are robust enough for these situations.
What is Available?
We have put together a helpful resource that outlines the key points to remember when it comes to reopening your school. This also includes knowledge on online safety issues, communicating with your colleagues as well as actively working with children, making sure safeguards are considered, not to mention planning for future eventualities.
Whilst not all nations are planning to reopen schools currently, all continue to update and publish safeguarding guidance:
Department for Education - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers
Northern Ireland - https://www.education-ni.gov.uk/general-guidance-covid-19-schools
Welsh Government - https://gov.wales/education-safeguarding-guidance-coronavirus
This article was originally published on SWGfl’s website. The original article can be accessed here.