During the times of the COVID pandemic education has resulted to virtual learning. Online lessons are taking place all over the country across all ages constantly. Schools and Academy Trusts have an obligation to ensure the safety of our children when learning online. Schools still need to follow safer recruitment principles when considering new members of staff to work for their school.

There are many platforms that have been made available for people to connect online for work, education and just for fun, however when remote teaching, staff must ensure the platform used is suitable for the children’s age group, ability and stage of development. Staff must not set up personal accounts on the platform school accounts should be used only.

Parents, carers and children must understand the benefits and risks when learning online. They have to give consent for their child to be involved in online sessions. Staff members must also be comfortable planning and delivering lessons online.

Lives streaming and recording lessons are new to everyone therefore, some areas of this type of learning needs to be considered to minimise harm. Sat in front of a camera can be an unusual feeling, especially for children so it is important to be aware of how comfortable a child is when learning online. Any unusual behaviour during the online sessions should be followed by child protection procedures provided by the school. The NSPCC Learning provide an Education Self-Assessment Tool (ESAT) to ensure the correct safeguarding and child protection measures are in place. This can be found here.

Online teaching is different to a face-to-face environment, staff must remain professional and should be reminded of the code of conduct frequently. During recording or online streams teachers should not have anything personal that could be seen or heard in the background.
Keeping children safe online is a top priority, therefore following these guidelines to ensure the safety of children when learning is critical.

More information and guidance on safeguarding children when learning online can be found on the NSPCC Learning website here.