St Pauls Church of England Academy located in Tipton, within the West Midlands, has taken a proactive stance to Online Safety having procured the SIPS service. Being recognised in 2016 for an Online Safety Award, Anna McGuire, Principal, explains…
“Our school established that we have a central role to play in digital guardianship. We wanted to create a balance for our 200+ pupils aged 3 to 11, this meant working in partnership with SIPS to upskill staff, governors, parents, carers, community leaders and of course our children so that everyone has informed usage. With the specialist advice, professional input and guidance of SIPS Online Safety Service in close contact with our designated Safeguard Lead, we developed a whole-school digital strategy which fulfils our statutory obligation keeping pupils safe online while in our care.”
The school developed an Online Safety Committee moving from initial setup through to embedded practice. St Paul’s undertook a 360-degree Online Safety Self Review Survey which evaluated (i) Policy & Leadership, (ii) Infrastructure, (iii) Education; and; (iv) Standards & Inspection. An Online Safety group was launched, supported by regular newsletters and live updates to the school website. Senior staff were supported by governors who also attended training and teachers incorporated learnings into their Continuous Professional Development (CPD).
The Principal concludes:
“SIPS have been instrumental in explaining the ‘new world’ challenges we face. At our school, staff have been upskilled and feel better informed on the topic of digital guardianship. Each year, the online world evolves, therefore SIPS Online Safety Service is certainly an ongoing priority for us, to do right by the children in our care.”