Curriculum managers need to be aware of the safety issues relating to new technologies so that they can provide maximum safeguards across the school.

So says new research from Becta, the Government agency for developing ICT policy.

E-safety: the experience in English educational establishments — an audit of e-safety practices: 2005 outlines the main challenges posed by use of new technology in school. It recommends that schools have a designated internet safety coordinator and an acceptable use policy (AUP) in place so that teachers will be better able to deal with breaches of e-safety, the most common one being viewing ‘unsuitable online material’. This is more likely to occur in schools that allow pupils to bring in their own personal ICT equipment.

Teaching e-safety Curriculum managers need to ensure pupils are being taught about e-safety, and to regularly review teaching materials to ensure these are not putting pupils at risk. Given specific groups are more at risk than others, schools should have targeted strategies. For example, girls are more likely to be involved in mobile phone bullying than boys, whereas boys are more involved in plagarism and viewing unsuitable online material, says the report. Schools should also ensure they have clear policies and procedures in place to help teachers to manage e-safety, along with training, and technical systems to support them in this endeavour.

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