It doesn’t matter how proactive schools are in supporting young people to build the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to make safe and informed choices online, sometimes things happen that you can’t plan or anticipate.
When incidents happen online, the impact can be significant. It’s important that schools have the systems and processes in place to support students quickly, appropriately and confidently.
The responsibility for responding to and managing online incidents in schools often ends up falling to senior leadership or pastoral teams, however, they’re not usually the first port of call when a student seeks help. More often than not, it’s the front-line teaching staff who receive the initial report or alert from students.
So how can schools ensure staff remain confident when faced with a distressed student who is suffering harm online?
While most schools have processes or procedures to support the triaging of online or digital incidents it is important these are shared and unpacked with all staff.
To help schools review and update any incident response processes and procedures, we have put together an Online Incident Response Guide. The guide builds on robust and clear advice from research leaders and pertinent regulatory and legislative departments and expanded it to include additional guidance for schools using the Linewize visibility tools and usage reports.
We strongly recommend schools use the guide when reviewing and updating existing school processes to reflect the use of digital devices and online spaces in learning. One size doesn't fit all so customisation is critical to ensure processes and procedures reflect each school’s unique context.
As well as responding to and managing incidents, it’s important schools keep a record of those incidents including who was involved, what happened and how the matter was resolved. As part of your commitment to continuously improving health and safety processes and responses, schools must have a coordinated system to track and evaluate those health and safety processes.
To support this, we have created an Online Incident Log/Register. This helps schools record details of any online safety incident while also collecting the information needed to inform the next steps. It can be used in a variety of ways including creating a Google form (or similar) to help collate data to identify trends and patterns over time.
Join Pauline, Matt and Toni from our Customer Success Team as they discuss why it’s critical for schools to have clear, shared and robust procedures for responding to and managing online incidents.
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