E-Safety Policy

1.0 Policy scope

This policy has been developed by the Principal who is the Lead Compliance Officer (LCO). It is addressed to all students and staff, and is available on the Ashbourne College website. In drafting this policy, the College has consulted with parents, students and staff, and taken into account guidance issued by the Department for Education. This policy works in conjunction with the Acceptable Use of ICT Policy and Agreement and the Student Acceptable Use Agreement.

1.1 The policy relates to the use of technology, including:

  • email
  • The internet
  • Virtual Learning Environments
  • Social networking sites and social mobile apps
  • Instant messaging, chat rooms, blogs and message boards
  • Mobile phones and smart devices
  • Handheld game consoles
  • Other photographic or electronic equipment

1.2 This policy applies to all members of the Ashbourne community, including staff, students, parents and visitors, who have access to and/or are users of the College’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems, whether on or off the premises. In particular, this policy addresses the (mis)use of any of the above technologies, whether on or off College premises, which affects the welfare of others or where the culture or reputation of the College are put at risk.

1.3 Ashbourne College uses Apple Mac computers. Network provider Meraki, provides the College with a comprehensive, smart, internet filtering system that offers students a safer online experience without excessive blocking. The College also works with Impero, which provides monitoring and software management in accordance with the Acceptable Use Agreement. Ashbourne staff and students all have access to an Ashbourne College Gmail account. Google alerts users to suspicious login attempts and blocks them. It also filters spam and phishing emails and scans emails for potential viruses.

2.0 Policy aims

2.1 Identify roles and responsibilities relating to e-safety at Ashbourne College.

2.2 Encourage students to make good use of the educational opportunities presented by access to the internet and other electronic communication.

2.3 Safeguard and promote the welfare of students by preventing cyberbullying and other forms of abuse.

2.4 Minimise the risk of harm to the assets and reputation of the College.

2.5 Help students and staff take responsibility for their own e-safety.

2.6 Ensure students and staff use technology safely and securely.

2.7 Educate members of the Ashbourne community about potential threats and harms arising from internet use.

3.0 Roles and responsibilities

3.1 The Principal

3.1.1 The Principal, Mike Kirby, is responsible for overseeing the safety and wellbeing of all members of the Ashbourne community, including e-safety. The Principal delegates the day-to-day management of issues relating to e-safety to the Facilities Department and the Designated Safeguarding Lead.

3.1.2 The Principal is responsible for ensuring that the Facilities Department, which manages technical e-safety monitoring and review, receives sufficient support to carry out this task including authorising the acquisition of relevant software as and when necessary. The Principal conducts weekly meetings with the Facilities Department in relation to all aspects of health and safety, including e-safety.

3.1.3 The Principal oversees the procedures that follow a serious breach of e-safety or acceptable use, or allegation of such, made against a member of the Ashbourne community. The Principal conducts weekly meetings with the Designated Safeguarding Lead relating to all aspects of safeguarding, including e-safety.

3.1.4 The Principal is responsible for ensuring that the e-Safety Policy, and relevant documents, are up to date.


3.2 Facilities Department

The Facilities Manager, Fabio Carpene, is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of e-safety in relation to the College’s ICT systems and works closely with the Designated Safeguarding Lead to manage safeguarding concerns. The Facilities Manager is supported in this role by Jerome Carasco, Facilities Assistant. Responsibilities include:

3.2.1 Ensuring the College’s infrastructure is secure and not open to malicious attack.

3.2.2 Ensuring that adequate internet filtering is in place across the College’s ICT system.

3.2.3 Ensuring that e-safety breaches are reported to the appropriate person and assisting, where possible, with any necessary follow-up investigations.

3.2.4 Ensuring that intuitive monitoring software is up to date and fully operational throughout the College’s ICT system.

3.2.5 Producing risk assessments where required.

3.2.6 Maintaining security through use of privileges and passwords.

3.2.7 Ensuring integrity and consistency of software, including operating systems, used across the College’s devices.

3.2.8 Liaising with the Principal and other relevant parties to discuss current systems, updates and ways in which systems can be improved.

3.2.9 Liaising with the Principal to ensure this policy is up to date and properly distributed and communicated to all members of the Ashbourne Community. This includes requesting, fielding and responding to feedback.


3.3 Designated Safeguarding Lead

The Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL), Frances Burns, is responsible for investigating all e-safety issues that may pose a safeguarding risk; e-safety issues are almost always safeguarding issues and may include serious concerns such as sexting, grooming and cyberbullying. It is the principal task of the DSL to see that all members of the Ashbourne community are properly educated to cope with the dangers that may arise from internet use.

The DSL is supported in this role by Ruchi Agarwal and Lee Kirby, who are deputy DSLs. With respect to issues of e-safety, the DSL is required to:

3.3.1 Recognise that e-safety issues most often present a safeguarding risk.

3.3.2 Liaise regularly with the Facilities Department to discuss and investigate e-safety breaches relating to safeguarding.

3.3.3 Make the Facilities Department aware of anyone who may be at risk or whose behaviour may cause risk in relation to e-safety.

3.3.4 Update the safeguarding database when necessary.

3.3.5 Contact relevant government bodies, where required.

3.3.6 Oversee schemes of work produced for year 11 personal, social, health and economic education (PSHEE) and year 12 personal tutor sessions to ensure that relevant e-safety matters are covered.

3.3.7 Keep Heads of Faculties updated on e-safety issues that must be communicated to teachers during half-termly meetings.

3.3.8 Organise timely and appropriate staff training in relation to e-safety issues, as part of the College’s safeguarding training.


3.4 Teaching and operations staff

Teaching and operations staff are responsible for ensuring that:

3.4.1 They have read, understood and signed Ashbourne’s Staff Acceptable Use of ICT Policy and Agreement. (See appendices.)

3.4.2 They report any suspected misuse or problems through the appropriate channels

3.4.3 They have read, for reference, the Student Acceptable Use Agreement. (See appendices.)

3.5 Students

Students are responsible for ensuring that:

3.5.1 They have read, understood and signed Ashbourne’s Student Acceptable Use Agreement. (See appendices.)

3.5.2 They understand the importance of reporting abuse, misuse or access to inappropriate materials.

3.5.3 They are responsible for using the College’s ICT system, and their own devices whilst on the College premises, in a way that complies with the Student Acceptable Use Agreement.

3.6 Head of Administration

The Head of Administration, Hien Nguyen, is responsible for:

3.6.1 Ensuring all students and staff have read and signed the relevant Acceptable Use policies and agreements.

3.6.2 Organising e-safety training for relevant staff in collaboration with the DSL.

3.6.3 Organising annual e-safety review meetings between the Facilities Department, the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Heads of Faculty, the Administration Department, the Director of Studies (DOS) and the Principal.

3.6.4 Ensuring the administration team understands the procedures to follow once an e-safety incident has been reported to them.


3.7 Year 12 Personal Tutors and Year 11 (Middle School) leaders

Year 12 Personal Tutors and Year 11 (Middle School) leaders are responsible for:

3.7.1 Teaching subject matter that communicates and reinforces the importance of e-safety, with special regard for safeguarding issues; schemes of work for this content must be agreed with the DSL in advance. Year 12 students will cover these issues in personal tutor groups and year 11 in timetabled PSHEE lessons.

3.7.2 Contacting parents if they have an e-safety concern about a student that does not warrant the attention of the DOS or DSL.

3.7.3 Reporting any suspected misuse or concerns through the appropriate channels and taking proactive action where required.

3.8 The Student Council

The Student Council is responsible for:

3.8.1 Communicating e-safety concerns of students to appropriate staff.

3.8.2 Understanding the e-safety policy and procedures.

3.9 The Heads of Faculty

The Heads of Faculty are responsible for:

3.9.1 Communicating e-safety concerns of students to appropriate staff.

3.9.2 Communicating to their faculty staff, during half-termly meetings, relevant e-safety material for teaching and awareness.

3.10 Parents and guardians

Parents and guardians are responsible for:

3.10.1 Reading and understanding the e-Safety Policy and Student Acceptable Use Agreement.

3.10.2 Being vigilant and reporting any concerns they have regarding e-safety to the College.

3.10.3 Taking advantage of parents’ evenings to discuss e-safety with tutors.

4.0 Procedure

4.1 e-Safety concerns

e-Safety concerns may fall under three core areas: safeguarding, discipline and cybersecurity. For example, cyberbullying and online grooming fall under safeguarding issues; abusive communications between members of the Ashbourne community fall under disciplinary issues; and external email hacking falls under cybersecurity issues. These are not mutually exclusive so concerns may fall under one or all areas in certain circumstances.

Every e-safety concern will be assessed in relation to safeguarding, discipline and cybersecurity risk. Typically, however, e-Safety concerns will be dealt with in the following way:

4.2 The Liability of the College

Unless negligent under the terms of this policy, the College accepts no responsibility to the student or parents caused by or arising out of a student’s use of mobile phones, e-mail and the internet whilst at College.

4.3 Take down policy

Should Ashbourne become aware that any resource, image or media have been uploaded which the College does not have the copyright permission to use, it will be removed as soon as practically possible.

4.4 Monitoring and review

e-Safety incidents will be logged using the FileMaker academic share database and should the issue be safeguarding related, it will be tagged appropriately with the safeguarding reference. The Principal has responsibility for the implementation and annual review of this policy, in consultation with parents, students and staff. The Principal will consider the record of e-safety incidents and new technologies and will also consider if existing security procedures are adequate.

Authorised by

The Principal


September 2021

Effective date of the policy

September 2021


Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request

Review date

September 2022

Appendix A

Staff and Student Acceptable Use of ICT Policy and Agreement

All use of Ashbourne’s ICT systems by staff and students, both on and off the premises, is underpinned by and must be considered in conjunction with:

Appendix B

Acronyms and Technical language

  • DOS – Director of Studies
  • DSL – Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • PT – Personal Tutor
  • HOF – Head of Faculty
  • HOR – Head of Reception
  • End to End Encryption – A method of secure communication that prevents third-parties from accessing data while it’s transferred from one system or device to another.
  • Malware – Short for ‘malicious software’, malware refers to software programs designed to damage or do other unwanted actions on a computer system.

Appendix C


Most of the safeguarding issues arising from online use are relevant generally regardless of their origin. For example cyberbullying is bullying and is covered within PSHEE and Personal Tutor meetings with students. e-Safety is part of the College’s safeguarding responsibility; nevertheless there are eight areas which have particular relevance to online use:

  1. Self-image
  2. Online relationships
  3. Online reputation
  4. Cyberbullying
  5. Managing information
  6. Health, wellbeing and lifestyle
  7. Privacy and security
  8. Copyright and ownership

1.0 Self-image 

Dissatisfaction with your body may arise from exposure to advertising in various off-line media such as television, magazines and cinema. Social media throw up new challenges; for example, it is important for students to know that ‘celebrity’ vloggers/bloggers may be paid by clothing companies to wear their products. It is also important to recognise that social media companies fund themselves through knowing your profile and arranging target advertising. Students should therefore understand privacy settings and be able to distinguish adverts from editorial.

2.0 Online relationships

Ashbourne’s safeguarding programme, with particular regard to Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), should help students communicate with and respond to others; understand the effect of teasing, bullying and other behaviours on themselves and others. Students should also be wary of making contact with others online, ensure they do not reveal personal details and never agree to meet people in person. Students will discuss grooming, through the PSHEE and Personal Tutoring programmes, and learn to recognise it, resist and how to find support. Students will also discuss ‘sexting’, peer-on-peer abuse and pornography, also with respect to the law, in PSHEE and Personal Tutoring sessions. Students must recognise and learn to resist social pressure to send or share sexts.

2.1 Sexting and the law

Taking, distributing, possessing or sharing sexually explicit photos of anyone under the age of 18 is illegal. It does not matter if the person has given consent nor does it matter if the person in possession of such images is also under 18. Neither does it matter if the image is a selfie. You could be investigated by the police and your future employment and education affected.

What to do if you encounter or receive unsolicited inappropriate images/sexts:

  • Do not open
  • Do not forward to anyone
  • Do not print
  • Inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.

Please refer to Ashbourne’s Relationships and Sex Education Policy and Peer-on-Peer Abuse Policy.

3.0 Online reputation

All members of the Ashbourne community have considerable control in managing their online presence; for example:

  • You may delete or de-activate social media accounts.
  • You may control the audience which receive your online posts and you may unfriend or block communication to/from anyone.
  • You may change your privacy settings and limit the advertising which you see.

When posting, it is vital to remember that information you share is irrecoverable and that others may re-share it, which affects your digital footprint and personal reputation.

4.0 Cyberbullying

As with grooming, bullying, including cyberbullying, is discussed in PSHEE and Personal Tutoring sessions. The College helps educate students to recognise bullying, how to resist it and what support is available to them.

There are measures you can take  to counter cyberbullying:

  • Unfriend/block
  • Inform the site owner
  • Inform the DSL
  • Never give into pressure to upload embarrassing content
  • When using shared computers at the College  make sure you always log off
  • Flaming – never get into arguments on the internet
  • Rumours – it is illegal to post an image/video of someone else without their permission
  • Hashtags – be careful of your posts which are available to anyone
  • Tweets – you may restrict to people you choose.

5.0 Managing information

All members of the Ashbourne community should be aware of identity theft as a result of phishing and hacking.

  • Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, credit card and personal details generally by disguising as a trustworthy entity via email. Most commonly such phishing fraudsters pose as a bank asking assistance in resetting login details. Never open suspicious emails and always be sure that the email address of the sender is authentic.
  • Hacking is the unauthorised invasion or interception of your data usually because ‘foreign’ software (malware or computer viruses) have been unwittingly uploaded onto your device (laptop, i-pad, etc). You may protect against this using anti-virus software or as the College does by means of a robust firewall. You should also only use bona fide software and never use copies (this is illegal of course). You should only download data from trusted sources and you should always keep your software up to date with the latest version.
  • Corruption of data Uploading data infected with a computer virus opens your system and the College’s system to the corruption of data and hence the potential loss of information and damage to the systems as a whole.

5.1 Protecting your information

5.1.1 Usernames and passwords

Each current member of the Ashbourne community has a unique username and password which permits access to the College ICT system. These may only be changed with authorisation from the Facilities Department. Never reveal these details to anyone, as it is equivalent to providing an unfettered hacking opportunity.

5.1.2 Backing up data

Always have a second copy of everything you produce digitally.

5.1.3 Grooming

You should be aware of how grooming works online in order to protect your personal information and for your own personal safety. Never reveal personal information; never agree to meet anyone you encounter online; resist pressure to do things which might compromise you in any way; be aware of support that exists to help you.

5.1.4 Hate speech

Hate speech, potentially leading to actual harm (hate crime), is where the victim, or anyone else, believes they have been attacked based on their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability, for example.

Ashbourne does many things to protect its users and system, including:

  • Monitoring the College’s ICT system and its users constantly; with the expectation that everyone communicates in a professional and courteous manner, for, among other things, the use of appropriate language.
  • Ensuring each member of the Ashbourne community is aware of the issues surrounding digital media and that each has read and signed the Acceptable Use of ICT agreement.
  • Sanctioning unfair and unlawful discrimination and abuse, in accordance with the College’s Student Behaviour and Exclusions Policy and Staff Code of Conduct.

6.0 Health, wellbeing, lifestyle

6.1 Safeguarding programme

Our safeguarding programme deals with both physical and emotional wellbeing, and in particular:

  • helps students begin to understand themselves and others
  • teaches students how to cope and develop strategies to deal with feelings
  • helps break down barriers
  • helps students build confidence to ask for help and to become aware of support networks
  • teaches students how to keep physically and emotionally safe.

6.2 Mental health issues

With specific regard to mental health issues, students will:

  • learn to talk about their emotions accurately, sensitively and with appropriate vocabulary
  • understand that happiness is linked to connections with others
  • recognise the signs of mental health problems
  • learn about  common types of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
  • learn how to evaluate behaviour of themselves and others
  • understand the benefits of physical exercise for positive mental health
  • understand the importance of sleep
  • understand the impact of drugs, alcohol and tobacco on their health

6.3 Internet

Internet specific issues include:

  • Unhealthy comparison of body images
  • Curating your own unrealistic image
  • Gambling, debt and extortion
  • Addiction to online activities such as gaming
  • Targeting from advertisers.

7.0 Privacy and security

7.1 Consent, permissions and cookies

All of the Ashbourne community should be aware of the need for national security, safeguarding and personal privacy. The internet is never entirely private so that most users of online services are likely to be giving up personal data which may be collected, used or sold to other services or organisations without their knowledge or, despite the use of cookies, their full consent. This information includes friends, contact, likes, images, videos, voice messages and location. Everyone should be aware of:

  • cookies and how to use permissions to limit access to their data
  • the terms and conditions that apply to each app.

7.2 Data protection

Ashbourne members should be aware of their rights and responsibilities under data protection legislation and to that effect renew their understanding of data protection legislation each year and acknowledge their understanding by signing the Privacy Notice. Ashbourne members should not hold, disclose or share personal information of any other member of the Ashbourne community unless required by law.

7.3 Safeguarding and data protection

Safeguarding issues will always come before data protection. When children are suffering from harm or are at risk, concerns must always be shared immediately with the Designated Safeguarding Lead and then the local authority and police, where appropriate.

8.0 Copyright

Copyright is automatic in the UK for the following items; there is need to make an application to protect personal rights as an author:

  • Original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic written work
  • Non-literary written work such as software
  • Recording for film and television
  • Broadcasts
  • Layout of published editions of written, dramatic and musical works. You may © your work if you wish but your rights pertain regardless.

You may sell your copyright and also decide how your work will be used. You may also register with a licensed body who will collect royalties for you and agree licenses with others. You have the right to be identified as the author and may object to any change to the work. If you are an actor you have separate performance rights.

8.1 Protection

Copyright protects against copying, distributing, renting or lending of your work or performing your work in public.

8.2 Plagiarism

Plagiarism of any work, whether from the internet or not, may be a civil offence but will certainly lead to the disqualification of any associated work submitted by a student. Please refer to Ashbourne’s Plagiarism Policy.

Further information can be found on Ashbourne College Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy and Procedures.

Appendix D

Delivery of online distance learning

Ashbourne has a duty of care to provide the highest standard of education it can and, when circumstances require, believes that an online audio-visual communication tool for learning is necessary to deliver high-quality lessons. The College takes very seriously the need to maintain the highest standards of safeguarding and risk management. Therefore, in order to conduct online audio-visual lessons all staff and students must comply with the following:

  1. All lessons must be carried out according to the normal timetable; no lessons outside of normal class hours.
  2. Teachers will update Ashbourne FileMaker to register student attendance.
  3. Lessons will be conducted using GoogleMeet – teachers may choose to use a number of additional tools to support students (e.g. GoogleDocs).
  4. Teachers must only use College accounts and software tools to conduct lessons or communicate with students; this means logging out of personal accounts.
  5. Lessons will be by invitation: only teachers will initiate and close lessons.
  6. The same high standards of personal and professional conduct that are expected in the classroom, from both students and teachers, apply during online lessons, including the use of the integrated chat function. This means maintaining professional teaching standards, using appropriate language, attendance, behaviour and attire.
  7. Ashbourne lanyards must be worn and visible, and a suitable dress code maintained in line with College expectations for both students and staff at all times during the lessons.
  8. The recording of lessons, unless agreed by the teacher, is not permitted. Please be aware, nonetheless, that anything said or done during GoogleMeet lessons can be recorded, stored, edited and forwarded. Transcripts of what was said and by whom can also be auto-generated.
  9. Teachers must ensure they conduct their audio-visual lessons from a suitable environment, if not in the classroom, and take into consideration what background may appear in the video. No one else should be in the room, if the lesson is not taking place at the College, whilst the lesson is taking place. Teachers must also be vigilant to ensure their audio and visual functions are switched off at the end of the lesson and be aware that some applications can auto-generate captions.
  10. Students must also make suitable arrangements to take their audio-visual lessons in an appropriate room; no one else should be in the room whilst the lesson is taking place, including parents. Teachers should be aware, however, that this may not be possible for some students and that parents may also share the same room while online lessons are taking place.
  11. If a parent has concerns about any aspect of a lesson they should contact the College directly to discuss it and not raise issues during the lesson itself. All concerns and complaints are taken very seriously and will be dealt with in line with Ashbourne’s Complaints Policy where appropriate.
  12. Students will be able to use the audio and visual functions for their lessons, as advised by the local authority; students may be asked to switch off these functions if it will improve connectivity and clearer delivery for the student. Teachers must monitor when students’ cameras and audio are switched on or off.
  13. One-to-one lessons and group-classified lessons with only one student will be carried out using audio and visual functions.
  14. To avoid disruption from unsolicited pop-ups as well as the exposure of personal data, students and staff must turn off all notifications on their device used for lessons.
  15. Ashbourne will conduct spot monitoring of lessons to check compliance.
  16. Teachers should be mindful that students working from home may feel lonely, bored or anxious; it is vital to ensure they have regular breaks and where possible be offered strategies for working productively at home. Any concerns about students’ wellbeing should be communicated through the Academic Share on FileMaker and directly with the Personal Tutor. More serious concerns should be communicated directly to the Safeguarding Team and through the Safeguarding Share on FileMaker.

All members of the Ashbourne community will be briefed about these arrangements.

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